VAN HORN, Texas - "Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson will be among those catching a ride to the edge of space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket, scheduled to launch next week.
Blue Origin announced on Monday that Davidson, 28, will be a part of the company’s fourth human flight and 20th flight overall for the New Shepard program. The flight is scheduled for liftoff on March 23.
The comedian and actor, who joined the "SNL" cast in 2014 and co-wrote and starred in the 2020 film "King of Staten Island," is the latest celebrity to fly to the edge of space. "Star Trek" actor William Shatner, 90, became the oldest person to reach space in October aboard a Blue Origin flight. In December, former NFL player and TV personality Michael Strahan joined Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of NASA astronaut Alan Shepard, and others for a flight in December.
FILE IMAGES - (L) Pete Davidson attends the 44th Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on Dec. 5, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images) (R) Blue Origin’s New Shepard flies toward space carrying Good Morning America co-anc
Davidson will be part of a six-person crew, which also includes Party America CEO Marty Allen, philanthropist and Tricor International CEO Marc Hagle and his wife, Sharon Hagle, who founded the nonprofit SpaceKids Global, teacher and entrepreneur Jim Kitchen and Commercial Space Technologies President Dr. George Nield.
Passengers of the automated capsule soar to an altitude of 66 miles, feeling a few minutes of weightlessness before parachuting into the desert.
Liftoff is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. from Blue Origin's launch complex near Van Horn, Texas, and will be streamed live.
NS-20 Mission Patch (Credit: Blue Origin)
Bezos, who founded Amazon six years before Blue Origin, was on his company’s debut launch in July. The second, in October, included Shatner — Captain James Kirk of TV’s original "Star Trek." The late Leonard Nimoy’s daughter sent up a necklace with a "Vulcan Salute" charm on the Oct. 13 flight in honor of the show’s original Mr. Spock.
Private U.S. companies had a multitude of launches in 2021, signaling the year of space tourism finally taking off. Virgin Galactic kicked it off in July, sending up its billionaire founder, Richard Branson, followed by Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
So many are flying that the Federal Aviation Administration announced in December it will no longer designate who is a commercial astronaut or give out wings.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.