Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin plans all-women crew for space launch, says report

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin plans all-women crew for space launch, says report

Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin is reportedly planning an all-women crew launch to the edge of space likely by early next year.

Emmy-winning media personality and trained helicopter pilot Lauren Sanchez, who is also Mr Bezos’ girlfriend, revealed details of the ongoing plan in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

While the names of the other crew members remain unknown, Ms Sanchez said they’d be “women who are making a difference in the world and who are impactful and have a message to send.”

She is reportedly expected to to lead the six-person crew aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle that has so far launched six successful crewed suborbital missions to date.

In one of the earlier Blue Origin flights, Mr Bezos travelled to the edge of space along with three other people, including his brother Mark as well as aviation pioneer Wally Funk.

Star Trek actor William Shatner was also flown to space in a subsequent crewed mission as well as NFL player Michael Strahan along with others in another launch.

Mr Bezos may not be part of the crew in the upcoming mission, Ms Sanchez said.

“I’m going to have to hold him back. He’ll be cheering us all on from the sidelines,” she told The Wall Street Journal in the interview, adding that she is “super-excited” and also “a little nervous”.

Apart from the recreational flights to the edge of space, Blue Origin has also done a few Nasa missions taking up scientific equipment.

Blue Origin may have to wait for the US Federal Aviation Administration to give the space company the green signal for future New Shepard after one of its recent uncrewed mission in September erupted into a fireball during flight.

In this 2022 incident, the New Shepard booster was caught in flames at about a minute and four seconds into the flight, and in a few moments flight abort rockets separated the capsule, helping it jettison back to Earth safely.

“Before the New Shepard vehicle can return to flight, the FAA will determine whether any system, process, or procedure related to the mishap affected public safety,” the FAA had said in a statement on the same day as the failed launch.