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SNL's Pete Davidson will fly to space next week with Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket lifts off from the company's West Texas launch site on July 20, 2021, carrying company founder Jeff Bezos and three other people.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket lifts off from the company's West Texas launch site on July 20, 2021, carrying company founder Jeff Bezos and three other people. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

Actor Pete Davidson will reach the final frontier next week, if all goes according to plan.

The "Saturday Night Live" star and five other people are scheduled to fly to suborbital space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard vehicle on March 23, company representatives announced today (March 14).

Liftoff is targeted for 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT) from Blue Origin's launch facility in West Texas. You can watch it here at Space.com when the time comes courtesy of Blue Origin, or follow the action directly via the company.

In photos: Blue Origin's 1st New Shepard passenger launch with Jeff Bezos

"Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson is one of the six people who will fly on Blue Origin's fourth crewed spaceflight, which is scheduled to launch on March 23, 2022.

"Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson is one of the six people who will fly on Blue Origin's fourth crewed spaceflight, which is scheduled to launch on March 23, 2022. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

The March 23 mission will be Blue Origin's fourth crewed spaceflight and the 20th liftoff overall for New Shepard (which explains the mission's name, NS-20). Joining Davidson on the flight are businessman and angel investor Marty Allen; married couple Sharon Hagle and Marc Hagle, both of whom are active philanthropists (Sharon Hagle founded the nonprofit SpaceKids Global); entrepreneur and teacher Jim Kitchen; and George Nield, the president of Commercial Space Technologies, LLC.

Nield has a long history in the spaceflight field. He formerly served as associate administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, for example, and also managed the Flight Integration Office for NASA's space shuttle program.

It appears that Davidson is getting a free ride to suborbital space; in a press release (opens in new tab) announcing the mission this morning, Blue Origin noted that the actor will fly "alongside five customers."

Blue Origin has not revealed how much a seat aboard New Shepard costs. The company's main competitor in the suborbital tourism realm, Virgin Galactic, is currently charging $450,000 to ride its VSS Unity space plane, which has not yet carried paying passengers.

The NS-20 crew manifest continues a trend for Blue Origin, which flew at least one celebrity on each of its first three flights. 

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos flew with three other people, including aviation pioneer Wally Funk, on the first crewed New Shepard mission, which lifted off in July 2021. The next two New Shepard crewed flights, in October and December of 2021, included "Star Trek" actor William Shatner and former NFL star and current GMA host Michael Strahan, respectively, on their passenger lists. 

New Shepard consists of a rocket and a capsule, both of which are reusable. The capsule gets more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth, letting passengers experience a few minutes of weightlessness as well as see our planet against the blackness of space during missions that last about 11 minutes from liftoff to touchdown.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).  

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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com (opens in new tab) and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.