Dubai resident to launch into space on next Blue Origins mission this week

UAE expat to be on fifth human space flight on Friday


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 17 May 2022, 4:03 PM

Last updated: Wed 18 May 2022, 12:31 AM

A Dubai resident is set to fly on Blue Origin’s fifth human spaceflight that takes off on Friday.

British expat of 14 years Hamish Harding will be one of the six people on a brief trip to the high frontier.

Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company has announced May 20 for the launch of NS-21 provided the weather is conducive for liftoff.

This is the next crewed flight of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle, and the launch window opens at 8:30am CDT / 13:30 UTC (5.30pm local time).

Blue Origin 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.).

In 2021, then 49-year-old Harding dived the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the world, with Victor Vescovo in a two-person submarine.

Harding’s company Action Aviation deals in buying and selling business jets. He got his nascent World Record, two and a half years ago for fastest circumnavigation of the earth via both poles in a Gulfstream 650ER business jet.

It’s said each astronaut on board NS-21 will carry a postcard to space on behalf of Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future.

These Postcards to Space program gives students access to space on Blue Origin’s rockets. The Club’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM for the benefit of Earth.

All about Blue Origin

On May 9, Blue Origin announced the crew flying on its NS-21 mission. Several of the NS-21 astronauts have already travelled to the depths of the oceans and fell passionately about Earth’s waters.

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

The five stars around the crew capsule represent Blue Origin’s fifth human flight.

Meet the passengers:

Hamish Harding

Hamish is chairman of Action Aviation, a business jet brokerage company he founded in 2004. In 2019, the business jet pilot and former International Space Station (ISS) Commander Col. Terry Virts broke the Round-the-World record in a Gulfstream G650ER for any aircraft flying over the North and South poles.

Apart from holding several aviation world records, Hamish has travelled to the South Pole twice and in 2021 dived the Challenger Deep with Victor Vescovo to a depth of 36,000ft in a two-person sub that cost $35 million and was designed by Vescovo.

In an earlier interview Harding had stated that “he hoped to inspire others to push the boundaries of what is possible”.

Evan Dick

Evan is an engineer, investor, and managing member of Dick Holdings, LLC., and flew onboard NS-19 on December 11, 2021. Evan is an ATP-rated pilot and volunteer for Starfighters Aerospace, as well as an avid sailor and motorcyclist.

Katya Echazarreta

Native Mexican Echazarreta is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at Johns Hopkins University. After graduating she spent nearly four years at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on five Nasa missions, including the Perseverance Rover and Europa Clipper. She will become the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American woman to fly to space.

Echazarreta’s seat is sponsored by Space for Humanity, a nonprofit whose mission is to expand access to space for all of humanity.

Victor Correa Hespanha

Twentyeight-year-old Hespanha is a civil production engineer from Minas Gerais (Brazil). As a child he dreamed of becoming an astronaut, and after buying his first NFT, he’s honoured to be the second Brazilian to fly to space and the world’s first cryptonaut. Victor’s seat is sponsored by the Crypto Space Agency.

Jaison Robinson

Robinson founded JJM Investments, a commercial real estate company, and co-founded Dream Variations Ventures (DVV). He’s an avid scuba diver and skydiver, has broken the sound barrier in a Mig-29 fighter jet. He climbed to the tallest waterfall in the world in Venezuela. He was a finalist on Survivor: Samoa in 2009. He is also an Eagle Scout and played water polo at Stanford and on the United States national team.

Victor Vescovo

Vescovo is a co-founder of private equity investment firm Insight Equity. He has completed the “Explorer’s Grand Slam”, which includes summiting the world’s seven summits and skiing to the North and South Poles. In 2020, he became the first person to repeatedly dive to the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep which he has now done 12 times. He is the first person to visit the deepest point in the world’s five oceans and executed the deepest wreck dive in history.


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