Laura Shepard Churchley and TV presenter Michael Strahan are guests of Blue Origin’s third manned flight. Four other people paid for the trip, including a father and son.
Sixty years after her father’s historic flight, she too will cross the final frontier: Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of the first American in space Alan Shepard, will be one of six passengers on Blue Origin’s next flight in early December .
Jeff Bezos’ space company announced on Tuesday what will be its third manned flight, with a takeoff from West Texas scheduled for December 9. An American celebrity, one of the presenters of the morning television show “Good Morning America”, Michael Strahan, was also invited by Blue Origin to make the trip. The flight will also include four other passengers who have paid for the experience: businessmen Dylan Taylor and Evan Dick, and a father and child, Lane and Cameron Bess.
Blue Origin’s rocket has been named New Shepard since its development, in honor of Alan Shepard. “It’s pretty funny for me to say that a genuine Shepard is going to fly in a New Shepard,” said Laura Shepard Churchley in a video posted by Blue Origin. “I am very proud of my father’s legacy,” she added.
Alan Shepard performed a 15-minute space flight on May 5, 1961, 23 days after the historic flight of the Soviet Yuri Gagarin, who was the first human in space. Alan Shepard is also the fifth of twelve men to have set foot on lunar soil to date. He died in 1998. His daughter will not stay up there any longer than her father, Blue Origin’s suborbital flights only last about ten minutes in total.
The two previous flights of Blue Origin notably transported billionaire Jeff Bezos himself to space, as well as actor William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the famous Star Trek series.