Pete Davidson was supposed to be the latest celebrity citizen to be launched into space on a Blue Origin rocket later this month, but the journey has been postponed, and Davidson is no longer on the passenger list, according to Jeff Bezos’ space business. The launch of Blue Origin’s latest space mission was originally scheduled for March 23, with six passengers, including the Saturday Night Live alumnus – but an announcement yesterday confirmed the launch would now take place on March 29, with Davidson “no longer able to join the NS-20 crew on this mission.” His successor will be announced in the following days.
Although the price of tickets to fly on Blue Origin’s New Shepherd rocket is kept under wraps, it is expected to cost in the millions of dollars. However, Davidson was apparently traveling as an “honorary guest,” joining the likes of Mercury 13 legend Wally Funk and Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, as Bezos’ guests. The media circus around Davidson generated plenty of buzz and promotion for Bezos’ space tourism idea, and no justification has been offered as to why he is suddenly declining to participate.
Let’s hope the mission patches were only a concept and not fully produced. When Elon Musk headlined Saturday Night Live in May 2021, Davidson portrayed Chad, a SpaceX astronaut on Mars, in a peculiar case of life imitating art. Unfortunately for Chad, the imaginary space voyage ended in a depressurization disaster and an exploding cranium.
The NS-20 flight has been rescheduled until March 29 to allow for extra testing, according to Blue Origin. This will be Blue Origin’s 20th voyage to space and fourth crewed mission, though some may question whether it truly qualifies as “space.” The Kármán line, around 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the planet’s surface, is traditionally where Earth terminates and outer space begins.
However, according to FAA guidelines, in order to be deemed an astronaut in the perspective of the Commercial Space Astronaut Wings Program, you must be a member of the flight crew and contribute to space flight safety, making Bezos’ passenger’s space tourists. The crew will ride the New Shepherd 100 kilometers above Earth’s surface for around 10 minutes, experiencing weightlessness for a few minutes. Shatner’s reaction to his ordeal was crazy, and Davidson’s would have been much more so.