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Blue Origin announces crew for next suborbital space tourism launch

The NS-21 group of space tourists flying aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft include six individuals. Top row, left to right: Evan Dick, Katya Echazarreta and Hamish Harding. Bottom row, left to right: Victor Correa Hespanha, Jaison Robinson and Victor Vescovo.
The NS-21 group of space tourists flying aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft include six individuals. Top row, left to right: Evan Dick, Katya Echazarreta and Hamish Harding. Bottom row, left to right: Victor Correa Hespanha, Jaison Robinson and Victor Vescovo. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

Blue Origin just announced the identities of the next six people it will launch to the final frontier.

The six passengers for the NS-21 mission include a past spaceflyer aboard the company's New Shepard spacecraft and the first Mexican-born woman to visit space, Blue Origin announced today (May 9).

Unlike the company's previous four spaceflights, no celebrity passenger is listed among the group. ("Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson was supposed to fly aboard Blue Origin's most recent mission, known as NS-20, but he backed out due to a scheduling conflict after the mission's launch date changed.)

The company hasn't yet released a flight date for the NS-21 mission, nor disclosed how much the passengers paid. Historically, it is mostly the very rich who can participate in such spaceflight opportunities directly, although this particular crew includes a person from the nonprofit Space For Humanity's sponsored citizen astronaut program that flies individuals to space for free, following an application process.

Below are descriptions of the six individuals flying aboard NS-21.

Jeff Bezos: Blue Origin and Amazon founder

Evan Dick

Evan Dick will be the first person to fly aboard a New Shepard spacecraft twice, having been a participant in the NS-19 mission of Dec. 11, 2021. He is a pilot, engineer, investor and managing member of Dick Holdings, LLC. Previously, he was senior vice president of D.E. Shaw and managing director of Highbridge Capital Management. He supports the Darwin Foundation, Population Relief International Corp. and Starfighters Aerospace either through charity or as a volunteer, according to Blue Origin's NS-21 mission announcement (opens in new tab).

Katya Echazarreta

Katya Echazarreta, born in Guadalajara, will become the first Mexican-born individual to visit space. She is the co-host of the YouTube series "Netflix IRL" and "Electric Kat" on the CBS show "Mission Unstoppable." She spent nearly four years at NSAA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, working on space missions including the Perseverance Mars rover and Europa Clipper, which will launch toward the Jupiter moon Europa in 2024. She is pursuing a masters degree in electrical and computer engineering at Johns Hopkins University and aims to "provide representation for women and minorities" for those interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to Blue Origin. Her seat was sponsored by the nonprofit Space for Humanity (opens in new tab).

Hamish Harding

Hamish Harding is chair of the business jet brokerage company Action Aviation, as well as a business jet pilot. He holds several aviation world records, including a 2019 milestone with retired NASA astronaut Terry Virts for breaking a round-the-world record for aircraft flying over the north and south poles. Harding has also visited the South Pole twice and dove to 36,000 feet (nearly 10,100 meters) in a submarine in 2021.

Victor Correa Hespanha 

Victor Correa Hespanha, 28, is a civil production engineer from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. His seat was sponsored by the Crypto Space Agency, and he is identifying himself as the world's first cryptonaut. He is also the second Brazilian to fly in space, according to Blue Origin.

Jaison Robinson 

Jaison Robinson founded the commercial real estate company JJM Investments and co-founded Dream Variations Ventures with his wife, Jamie. Robinson lists himself as an avid scuba diver and skydiver with a variety of adventurous activities under his belt, such as breaking the sound barrier in a Mig-29 jet, making Eagle Scout, playing water polo at Stanford University and becoming a finalist in "Survivor: Samoa" in 2009.

Victor Vescovo 

Victor Vescovo is a co-founder of the private equity investment firm Insight Equity. He completed an "Explorer's Grand Slam," which is an adventurer community term for skiing to the North and South Poles and climbing the highest mountains on the world's seven continents, including Everest. He is a commercially rated multi-engine jet and helicopter pilot, as well as a certified submersible test pilot, and he has visited the Challenger Deep (the deepest point in the ocean) 12 times, according to Blue Origin. He also served 20 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer, retiring as a commander.

This story has been corrected to reflect the correct spelling of a name.

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Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc (opens in new tab). in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.