UAE space tourist’s Blue Origin flight launch delayed

Hamish Harding was scheduled to travel to the edge of space this Friday


Nandini Sircar

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KT file photo
KT file photo

Published: Wed 18 May 2022, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 20 May 2022, 10:00 AM

The launch of Blue Origin’s fifth human spaceflight that was supposed to carry a UAE expat to space this Friday has been postponed.

British expat Hamish Harding was supposed to travel to the edge of space along with five other customer astronauts.

During the final vehicle checks on Wednesday, it was apparently observed that one of New Shepard's back-up systems was not meeting the expectations for performance.

New Shepard is a fully reusable rocket manufactured by Blue Origin for space tourism. It has apparently made 15 uncrewed test launches.

In an abundance of caution, Blue Origin announced that the launch of NS-21 originally scheduled for Friday has been postponed.

Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company had earleir said that the sub-orbital flight would lift off from Launch Site on May 20.

The launch window was supposed to open at 8:30 a.m. CDT / 13:30 UTC (5.30pm local time).


The company announced that the crew flying on its NS-21 mission will include: Business jet pilot and Action Aviation Chairman Hamish Harding; investor and NS-19 Astronaut Evan Dick; electrical engineer and former NASA test lead Katya Echazarreta; civil production engineer Victor Correa Hespanha; adventurer and Dream Variation Ventures co-founder Jaison Robinson; and explorer and co-founder of private equity firm Insight Equity Victor Vescovo, Commander, USN (Ret.).The space tourism company Blue Origin, has launched 20 people on these flights since 2021.

This has also included company head and Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos and Candaian actor William Shatner best known for his performance of Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek.

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