With tiny footballs, cheers and wide smiles, Blue Origin's biggest crew of space tourists yet clearly had a blast on their trip to space this weekend.
Blue Origin launched the six space tourists — a team that included former NFL star and "Good Morning America" host Michael Strahan — on a New Shepard rocket from the company's Launch Site One near Van Horn, Texas early Saturday (Dec. 11). Hours later, Blue Origin unveiled a 45-second video clip showing what the space experience was like for Strahan and his crewmates.
Video recap: Watch Blue Origin launch Michael Strahan to space
The GMA host only appears briefly in the video, which offers a brief glimpse into the full 10 minute, 13 second flight. But his cheers and those of his fellow passengers are clear, as are comments from crew member Laura Shepard Churchley.
"Oh my goodness sakes, this is heaven!" exclaimed crew member Churchley, the daughter of NASA astronaut Alan Shepard, in the video. (Blue Origin's spacecraft is named after Shepard, the first American in space.)
Despite watching her dad's space career closely, Churchley delighted in little surprises of weightlessness. "You just let go, and you go up! Holy moly," she continued.
Later in the video, with her back facing the camera and hair flying free, Churchley asks somebody else how her hair looks. Next she and other crew members are shown glued to the window: "Look at the black!" Churchley cries.
Crew member Cameron Bess also took a moment during the video to hold their hand to the camera. "Meowdy" read the text on their palm. (It's like "Howdy" from a cat. Bess is a Twitch streamer using the handle MeepsKitten.)
While we don't hear much from Strahan in the video, but he does shout a triumphant "We did it!" with this crew. The GMA host also had plenty to say after landing.
"I can't wait to go back," he was heard to say to onlookers nearby where his spacecraft returned to Earth. He also joked about the forces of gravity pulling upon the crew during landing: "I know what I'm going to look like at 85," he said.
Blue Origin's New Shepard launch on Saturday marked the company's third human spaceflight, and the first to carry a full crew. The two previous flights this year carried four-person crews.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace