Blue Origin will send ‘SNL’ star Pete Davidson into space next week

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – “Saturday Night Live” comic Pete Davidson has been confirmed as the next celebrity vying for a trip to the far reaches of space courtesy of Jeff Bezos’ astrotourism company Blue Origin, with his suborbital flight scheduled for next week.

The 28-year-old comedian and boyfriend of reality TV star and socialite Kim Kardashian was announced Monday by Blue Origin as a ‘guest of honour’ joining five paying customers for the company’s fourth commercial flight since the summer latest.

Davidson, who had no immediate comment on his selection, was reportedly in talks with Blue Origin earlier this month.

His five future citizen astronauts are: angel investor Marty Allen, real estate veteran Marc Hagle and his wife Sharon Hagle, Jim Kitchen, a professor at the University of North Carolina, and George Nield, president and founder of Commercial Space Technologies.

They are set to lift off on March 23 aboard Blue Origin’s fully self-contained six-story spacecraft, dubbed New Shepard, from the company’s launch site outside the rural West Texas town of Van Horn. .

The entire flight, from takeoff to touchdown, should last just over 10 minutes. The crew will experience a few minutes of weightlessness at the very top of their suborbital ride, some 106 km (350,000 feet) above sea level, then fall back to Earth for a parachute landing on the desert floor.

Davidson, a nine-year-old “SNL” cast member who co-wrote and starred in the semi-autobiographical film “The King of Staten Island,” is the latest of several celebrities chosen as Blue Origin’s non-paying promotional passengers.

He follows in the footsteps of 90-year-old ‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner, whose October ride made him the oldest person to ever fly in space, and co- “Good Morning America” ​​host Michael Strahan, a former NFL star. Strahan flew in December with Laura Shepard Churchley, 74, eldest daughter of the late NASA pioneer astronaut Alan Shepard, after whom the Blue Origin rocket is named.

Bezos himself accompanied Blue Origin’s maiden crewed flight to space in July last year with his brother Mark Bezos, pioneering octogenarian aviator Wally Funk and 18-year-old high school graduate Oliver Daeman Dutch and the beneficiary of a $28 million auction. raffles.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by David Gregorio)

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