Blue Origin announced on July 22 that Coby Cotton, the co-founder of the Frico-based YouTube channel Dude Perfect, is joining the list of crew members flying to space.
Blue Origin’s NS-22 mission is slated to be the sixth human flight for the New Shepard program. Next to Cotton, the crew will include entrepreneur Mário Ferreira, British-American mountaineer Vanessa O’Brien, technology leader Clint Kelly III, Egyptian engineer Sara Sabry and telecommunications executive Steve Young. AKA, these folks:
The New Shepard program, named after Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space as part of the Mercury Project, is a commercial 11-minute suborbital flight. The reusable rocket system flies past the Kármán line, the internationally recognized space border, some 63 miles from the surface of the Earth.
MoonDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) aimed at decentralizing access to space research and exploration, is sponsoring Cotton’s ticket for the flight. MoonDAO co-founder Pablo Moncada-Larrotiz said via The Dallas Morning News, “We sent [Dude Perfect] an email that was just like, ‘Hey, we’d like to send you to space.’”
MoonDAO works on donations, and donors receive a “governance token” that they can use to cast their vote for the space traveler they’d like to fund, which in this case was Dude Perfect. The company has raised $8.3 million in Ethereum, a portion of which was used to fund Cotton’s travel.
Each astronaut in this mission will carry a postcard to space on behalf of Club of the Future, Blue Origin’s foundation dedicated to inspiring future generations to pursue careers in STEM. The postcards were created through Postcards to Space, a free program that invites people to draw their vision of what they think life in space will look like, and after the postcards have returned to Earth, they will have a “flown to space” stamp.
The program’s flight test period was completed in early 2021. On July 20, 2021, the first flight’s crew consisted of Amazon and Blue Origin’s founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old space race pioneer Wally Funk and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen. By now, the program has launched over 20 flights in the last year and even added 91-year-old Star Trek star William Shatner among its recent crew members.