Pete Davidson was set to be the latest celeb civilian blasted to space aboard a Blue Origin rocket later this month – but according to Jeff Bezos's space company, the flight will be delayed and Davidson is no longer on the passenger list.
Blue Origin originally announced its latest space jaunt would take place on 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 replacement is set to be announced in the coming days.
Although Blue Origin keeps the price of tickets to fly on its New Shepherd rocket quiet, it's thought to be in the millions of dollars. Davidson was reportedly flying as an "honorary guest" however, joining the ranks of more traditional space icons Mercury 13 legend Wally Funk and Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, as guests of Bezos.
The media circus surrounding Davidson ensured plenty of hype and coverage of Bezos's space tourism project, and no reason has been given why he is now not going.
Here's hoping the mission patches were just a design and not made up already.
In a bizarre moment of life imitating art, Davidson played the role of a SpaceX astronaut named Chad on Mars when Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live in May 2021.
Unfortunately for Chad, this fictional space mission ended with a disastrous depressurization accident and an exploding skull.
Perhaps presciently, the NS-20 flight has been shifted to March 29 for more testing, Blue Origin said. This is to be Blue Origin's 20th trip to space and fourth crewed flight, though some may quibble over whether it really counts as "space". Traditionally Earth ends and outer space starts at the Kármán line, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the planet's surface.
However, as per the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules, to be considered an astronaut in the eyes of the FAA's Commercial Space Astronaut Wings Program, you must be part of the flight crew and make contributions to space flight safety, which makes Bezos's passengers space tourists.
The crew will fly 100 kilometers above the surface of Earth on the New Shepherd in a ride that will last for approximately 10 minutes, experiencing weightlessness for a few minutes.
Shatners' response to his experience was a wild ride, Davidson's would have been a treat to see too.