MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Six people, including the first parent and child duo who are from South Florida, will travel to space together aboard the third crewed flight of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket.
The spacecraft is scheduled to launch December 9 from Blue Origin launch facilities near the rural town of Van Horn, Texas, with Miami Beach resident and tech entrepreneur Lane Bess and his son Cameron on board. Lane Bess is the principal and founder of Bess Ventures and Advisory. Cameron Bess is a content creator.
The crew also includes Good Morning America co-anchor and former New York Giants star Michael Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, the daughter of Alan Shepard, the first American to fly to space who later walked on the moon.
Blue Origin named its sub-orbital spacecraft and rocket after her father.
The other space travelers are space industry executive and philanthropist Dylan Taylor and investor Evan Dick.
This will be the third space tourism launch from Blue Origin, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. It's also the first with a six-person crew. Thursday's journey will carry its passengers just above 62 miles, the internationally recognized "boundary" between the discernible atmosphere and space, and last 11 minutes. As the spacecraft arcs up to the top of its trajectory and starts back down, the crew will experience three to four minutes of weightlessness.
Blue Origin said that Strahan and Shepard Churchley are "honorary guests," much like the last celebrity Blue Origin sent to the edge of space, William Shatner, and have not paid for their tickets. It's not known how much Bess and the other paying customers are paying for the brief journey to space.
In a video posted to YouTube, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swhujamaNFI) the father and son discussed the upcoming trip.
Cameron is carrying with him an important message into space that's close to the heart for the LGBTQ community.
"I think them seeing somebody that's like them doing something so monumental is exciting and inspiring," says Cameron. "I just want the people out there who don't feel cool to feel cool just for a second."
"I'm thrilled that the message he'll carry will go on beyond the traditional view of what people do with their lives and how they approach it," says Lane Bess.
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