Blue Origin, the space tourism company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, announced on Monday who will be on board its next flight into space.
Notable members of the crew include “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson and Winter Park real estate developer Marc Hagle and his wife, Sharon, according to Blue Origin’s website.
“This is going to be a fantastic 26th wedding anniversary,” Sharon told News 6 investigator Merris Badcock hours after the announcement. “To have your partner go with you, is beyond the Moon.”
The self-described future astronauts were one of the first people ever to sign up for a private space flight, when they purchased tickets to one of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic missions.
But the couple is not discriminating against the ‘big three’ private space companies. The Blue Origin flight will be their first, and they have a ticket for a Virgin Galactic flight, but they said they would snag a seat on SpaceX, if they could.
“I do not see them as competitors. Each of them is approaching things in a little different manner, and as entrepreneurial companies, they are all doing a terrific job,” Marc told News 6. “But to answer your questions? Yes, if we have that opportunity, we want to try all three of them.”
Sharon has already worked with the big three through her company SpaceKids Global, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring elementary students to pursue careers in STEAM+, with a focus on female empowerment.
“We are just very excited to have the opportunity to fly with Blue Origin and come back and share a story with elementary school students,” said Sharon. She estimates, since 2015, SpaceKids Global has reached roughly 100,000 children.
Blue Origin confirmed to News 6 that most crew members paid for the seats on the upcoming mission. Consistent with other flights, the company did not say how much each participant paid, but confirmed that Davidson’s flight was complimentary.
It was previously reported earlier in March that Davidson was in talks to launch onboard a Blue Origin flight.
Davidson is not the first celebrity to take part in the sub-orbital launches Blue Origin provides. Michael Strahan and William Shatner have also taken part in Blue Origin missions.
Marc Hagle is the president and CEO of Tricor International, a residential and commercial property development corporation based in Winter Park. According to a news release, Tricor International has developed or owns shopping centers, warehouses, medical facilities, recreational facilities, drug stores, and office projects across the U.S.
Sharon Hagle founded the nonprofit SpaceKids Global, which is aimed at inspiring kids to excel in STEAM education.
SpaceKids Global is currently holding an essay competition for kids ages 8-12 in which two winners will get a zero-gravity flight. Entry for the competition ends on March 21 and the winner will be announced on National Space Day, May 6.
Other members of the Blue Origin crew, according to a news release, include Marty Allen; a turnaround CEO and angel investor, Jim Kitchen; a professor at the University of North Carolina and entrepreneur and Dr. George Nield; the president of Commercial Space Technologies, LLC, “which he founded to encourage, facilitate, and promote commercial space activities,” the release reads.
The flight, which will be the fourth for Blue Origin, is set for Wednesday, March 23 at 9:30 a.m. EDT.