Michael Strahan is embarking on the trip of a lifetime.
Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, sent Good Morning America host Michael Strahan, the daughter of famed astronaut Alan Shepard, and four paying customers on a supersonic joy ride to the edge of space Saturday morning.
The group blasted off aboard Blue Origin’s suborbital space tourism rocket at 9:01 am CT from the company’s launch facilities near the rural town of Van Horn, Texas, where Bezos owns a sprawling ranch, and took a supersonic, 10-minute flight that reached more than 60 miles above the Earth’s surface before parachuting to a landing.
Strahan emerged beaming from the capsule where he was greeted by Bezos.
“I wanna go back,” he said. “The Gs…it’s not a face lift, it’s a face drop. I know what I’m going to look like at 85.”
Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, whose father Alan Shepard went on a suborbital flight in 1961 and later walked on the moon, rode alongside investors Dylan Taylor, Evan Dick, and Lane Bess, as well as Bess’ adult child, Cameron Bess — all of whom were paying customers. Blue Origin said that Strahan and Shepard Churchley were “honorary guests,” much like the last celebrity Blue Origin sent to the edge of space, William Shatner, and did not have to pay their way.
This flight marks the first time that Blue Origin filled all six seats on its New Shepard rocket and capsule, which is named for Alan Shepard. On the company’s two previous flights — including the July flight that sent Bezos himself to space — only four of the seats were taken up.
That means the passengers had a bit less wiggle room than prior customers, especially Strahan, who is six feet, five inches tall.
Strahan announced his plans to join the flight during a segment on Good Morning America last month, noting that Blue Origin had him measured for his flight suit and had him test out one of the New Shepard capsule’s seats to ensure he’d fit.
JUST IN: @michaelstrahan is going out of this world – literally! – and will be flying on @BlueOrigin’s #NewShepard rocket on December 9! https://t.co/zubchTcMg9 pic.twitter.com/mwVqRQ7HAB
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 23, 2021
Strahan spent 15 season in the NFL, all of them with the New York Giants, where he won the Super Bowl with them in 2007. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
We hope everyone returns safely.
My badge and getting into the capsule! pic.twitter.com/UKjz9hJXGr
— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) December 7, 2021