A Trip on the Blue Origin New Shepard

In March 2022, Sharon Hagle and her husband Marc Hagle completed their first trip to space on the Blue Origin New Shepard. 

Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space for the benefit of Earth. Today, Blue Origin’s efforts to “fly astronauts to space on New Shepard, produce reusable liquid rocket engines, create a highly reusable orbital launch vehicle with New Glenn, and return Americans to the surface of the Moon will add new chapters to the history of spaceflight.” 

This mission was the fourth human flight for the New Shepard program and the 20th in its history. The flight took off at 8:57 a.m. CDT and arrived safely back to earth at 9:07 a.m. CDT. The 10-minute journey to space traveled 62 miles above earth, where the six-person crew experienced several minutes of weightlessness and a rare glimpse of Planet Earth from above. 

Prior to lift off, all crew members underwent space training, including zero-g etiquette and mission rehearsals. The crew also included: Party America CEO Marty Allen; entrepreneur and University of North Carolina professor Jim Kitchen; New Shepard Chief Architect Gary Lai; and President of Commercial Space Technologies Dr. George C. Nield.

Hagle described her experience as “out-of-this-world”. She hopes that her first-hand pre-flight training will play a key role in the opportunities and education SpaceKids Global creates for kids.

“Having just experienced the journey of a lifetime with my husband, Marc, I am further inspired and dedicated to ensure that the next generation is ready for space,” says Sharon. 

Founded by Sharon in 2015, SpaceKids Global is a nonprofit whose mission is to “inspire students to excel in STEAM+ education with a focus on empowering young girls.” To date, Sharon has reached nearly 100,000 students globally.  

This is made possible through the hosting of several annual challenges designed to inspire kids to pursue careers in the space industry, which includes national essay competitions. SpaceKids also has a partnership with the Girl Scouts of Citrus County and participates in Club for the Future’s Postcards to Space program.

As the only female crew member on Blue Origin New Shepard and the first ever married couple to fly to space on a commercial vehicle, Hagle hopes her unique experience in space will be the “First Step” in making space travel and STEAM+ education accessible for kids everywhere one day.

The Hagles’ will have more upcoming trips to space and will also be announcing the winners of their National Essay Competition on National Space Day (May 6) which will give two kids the chance for a ZERO-G Experience.

For more information visit https://www.spacekids.global/.

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Written by Alexis George

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