British explorer based in UAE to launch into space on Blue Origin flight

Hamish Harding will experience a few minutes of weightlessness after he travels 106 kilometres into orbit on May 20

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British explorer Hamish Harding, who has called the UAE his home for more than a decade, will travel to space on a Blue Origin suborbital flight.

The businessman, 50, is known for his adrenalin-fuelled stunts, including journeying to the bottom of the ocean in a submarine in 2021.

He will be part of Blue Origin’s NS-21 flight, which will also fly five other paying customers, on May 20, with a launch window starting at 5.30pm UAE time.

The flight also includes investor and NS-19 crew member Evan Dick; electrical engineer and former Nasa test engineer Katya Echazarreta, also the first Mexican-born woman to fly into space; civil production engineer Victor Correa Hespanha; and adventurer Jaison Robinson.

This mission will be the fifth human flight for Blue Origin’s New Shepard programme and the team was announced by the company on May 9.

The space tourism company has launched 20 people on these flights since 2021, including company owner and Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos and Star Trek actor William Shatner.

The suborbital flight involves a vertical launch that takes passengers about 106 kilometres above the ground, bringing a few minutes of weightlessness.

It is a 10-minute trip from lift-off near the rural West Texas town of Van Horn to a parachute landing.

A ticket price on a Blue Origin flight has not been revealed, but a ticket was previously sold for $28 million in an auction.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: Patrick Ryan. News. Hamish Harding returns to Dubai after diving the Mariana Trench in the Pacific. Wednesday, March 10th, 2021. Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Updated: May 18, 2022, 7:43 AM