Coby Cotton, one of the five members of Dude Perfect, launched on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket early Thursday morning. Cotton’s participation is part of a partnership between the trick shooting YouTubers and a crypto company called MoonDAO.
Liftoff of Blue Origin’s NS-22 took place at 8:56 a.m. CDT and carried six crew members. Between the six, some were paying customers who foot the bill for the 10-minute joy ride, while others had tickets sponsored by another organization. Below is a look at who flew on NS-22 alongside Cotton:
- Mário Ferreira: President of Pluris Investment Group, the first person from Portugal to fly to space.
- Vanessa O’Brien: A British-American explorer and first woman to complete the Explorers’ Extreme Trifecta – which includes climbing Mt. Everest, diving to Challenger Deep, and passing the Kármán line.
- Clint Kelly III: Driverless car researcher and wildlife photographer, alongside his wife, Clint has captured images of animals on every continent.
- Sara Sabry: A mechanical and biomedical engineer and founder of Deep Space Initiative, she became the first person from Egypt to fly to space. Sara’s trip was sponsored by Space for Humanity.
- Steve Young: Former CEO of Young’s Communications and member of the Space Coast Coastal Conservation Association’s committee.
Cotton beat the rest of Dude Perfect for the seat to space
Cotton won his seat on Blue Origin’s recent New Shepard launch by competing against the other four members of Dude Perfect. The “dude,” as they call each other, won with the rocket that launched the highest; the seat was purchased by MoonDAO. Cotton’s rocket, named America Pandemonium, launched to an altitude of 7,412 feet, beating out the other attempts.
Blue Origin’s rocket launches much higher than a few thousand feet. Cotton’s flight Thursday morning reached a peak altitude of 350,866 feet and reached the speed of 2,239 miles per hour. Just like the rockets launched by Dude Perfect, New Shepard’s crew capsule descended using parachutes, touching down 10 minutes and 20 seconds past liftoff. However, New Shepard’s booster relit its engine to propulsively land itself, similar to how SpaceX lands its Falcon 9 booster, although from a much lower altitude and speed than SpaceX.
MoonDAO is a cryptocurrency company whose goal is to “decentralize space.” Your guess as to what that means is as good as ours, but they intended to fund a space program through the use of its coin called $MOONEY. Eventually, MoonDAO wishes to build a colony on the Moon. It’s unclear how MoonDAO is being funded. You can buy its coin. However, they urge you not to, but to instead work with them and receive coins as compensation. It’s a very mysterious and interesting group indeed.
NS-22 marked Blue Origin’s sixth crewed flight of the New Shepard launch vehicle. The rocket is a small suborbital vehicle designed for those who can afford the ticket price who want to experience a trip to the boundary of space. Blue Origin has been competing with Virgin Galactic in this space and pulled ahead as Virgin Galactic has yet to fly paying customers. However, Galactic’s founder, Richard Branson, beat Blue Origin’s founder, Jeff Bezos, to ride their respective product last year.