The suborbital tours provided by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin’s space venture have been notable for who was flying, but the mission set for launch today is just as notable for how some of its crew members are getting to fly.
One spaceflier, Katya Echazarreta, is the first beneficiary of Space for Humanity’s Citizen Astronaut Program, a philanthropic effort that sponsors spaceflights for worthy applicants. Echazarreta, an electrical engineer who’s the co-host of the YouTube series “Netflix IRL” and a member of CBS’ “Mission Unstoppable” team, will be the first Mexican-born woman to reach the final frontier.
In an Instagram post, Echazarreta said she looks forward to experiencing the Overview Effect, a broadening of perspective associated with viewing Earth from space. “I plan on coming back ready to continue changing the world,” she wrote.
Another crew member, Victor Correa Hespanha, will be the second Brazilian to fly in space and the first “cryptonaut.” His seat is sponsored by the Crypto Space Agency, which is funded entirely by the NFT community through mint proceeds. Hespanha won the trip in a lottery.
“My first dream is to become a soccer player,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “And the second one is to be an astronaut, because I have so many curiosities to explore in the universe.”
Evan Dick, an investor at Dick Holdings LLC, will be the first person to take a second flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital spaceship. He was one of the crew members for last December’s NS-19 mission, flying alongside the daughter of pioneering Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard.