Worries about winds delay Blue Origin space trip

Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard’s daughter will have to wait a little longer to take a ride on the suborbital spaceship that’s named after her father.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture has delayed its next New Shepard mission until Dec. 11, due to concerns about forecasted winds on Dec. 9 — the date that was originally set for Laura Shepard Churchley’s launch. Her late father was the first American in space in 1961, and his suborbital spaceflight was the inspiration for New Shepard’s name.

Five other spacefliers will be waiting alongside Churchley for the suborbital trip at Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas: Michael Strahan, a co-anchor for ABC’s “Good Morning America”; Bess Ventures founder Lane Bess and Cameron Bess, the first parent-and-child duo to go into space together; and two business executives, Evan Dick and Dylan Taylor. Churchley and Strahan are flying as Blue Origin’s guests, while the others are paying an undisclosed fare.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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