‘GMA’ host to join third Blue Origin flight

November 23, 2021
Fox NFL Sunday analyst Michael Strahan smiles during filming at the United States Military Academy.
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Move over, William Shatner – it’s Michael Strahan’s turn to travel out of this world. 

The “Good Morning America” host is going to be on Blue Origin’s next flight to space, the former NFL football player announced on the morning show Tuesday. He will take off with a crew of five other passengers on Dec. 9.

“Blue Origin – they approached me and they asked if I wanted to be a crew member and without hesitation, I said ‘yes,’ ” Strahan told his “GMA” co-hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. “I wanted to go to space!”

The 50-year-old TV personality covered the first human space launch from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin this summer and since then, has been “enamored” with the human space travel, he said. His trip will be the aerospace company’s third human spaceflight.

More:Man who traveled to space last month among 2 dead in plane crash, New Jersey police say

“It’s going to take a while, but I do believe it will bring a lot of technological breakthroughs and also innovations to us here on earth … and I just wanted to be a part of it,” he said.

Strahan has already been preparing for his journey, getting fitted for his space suit and testing out his flight seat. Next, he will head to West Texas for more training.

Joining him in flight include Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard; space industry philanthropist Dylan Taylor; investor Evan Dick; and the first-ever parent and child pair of Lane Bess and Cameron Bess. Churchley and Strahan are honorary guests on the flight, while the four other crew members are paying customers.

More:Prince William blasts space tourism, says focus should be on trying to ‘repair this planet’

Strahan isn’t the first familiar face to go to space. Shatner, who is best known for his role in the original “Star Trek” series and the first six films in the “Star Trek” movie franchise, blasted into space with Blue Origin in October.

The 90-year-old actor became the oldest person to visit space, and he described an emotional experience after returning to Earth.

“Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see it,” Shatner said. “It was unbelievable. The little things – the weightless – but to see the blue color (of the sky) whip by you and now you’re staring into blackness. … And then it’s gone. It was so moving. This experience did something unbelievable. “

More:William Shatner is still reeling from his trip to space: ‘We all need a wake-up call’

Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight launched on July 20, when it flew Bezos, Bezos’ brother Mark, Mercury 13 aviator Wally Funk (formerly the oldest person in space) and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen (son of a hedge fund manager) to suborbital space. 

In a matter of minutes, the group blasted off from the West Texas desert, reaching space and returning to Earth in a smooth parachute landing. 

“Best day ever,” Jeff Bezos said after touchdown, greeted by a sea of cheering Blue Origin employees and others at the company’s campus.

This was 16th flight for New Shepard, the 60-foot rocket designed primarily for space tourism, but the first to include people. Bezos said sales of private seats on his flights are approaching $100 million. 

Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, Jenna Ryu

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