- Laurence Russell
New Shepard Mission NS-21 to fly six customer astronauts, with 1st Mexican-born woman to go to space
Blue Origin has announced the crew flying on its NS-21 mission will include: investor and NS-19 Astronaut Evan Dick; electrical engineer and former NASA test lead Katya Echazarreta; business jet pilot and Action Aviation Chairman Hamish Harding; civil production engineer Victor Correa Hespanha; adventurer and Dream Variation Ventures co-founder Jaison Robinson; and explorer and co-founder of private equity firm Insight Equity Victor Vescovo, Commander, USN (Ret.). Katya will become the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American woman to fly to space, and she will be flying as part of Space for Humanity’s sponsored Citizen Astronaut Program. Victor Correa Hespanha will be the second Brazilian to fly to space.
Each astronaut on board NS-21 will carry a postcard to space on behalf of Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, whose Postcards to Space program gives students access to space on Blue Origin’s rockets. The Club’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM for the benefit of Earth.
This mission will be the fifth human flight for the New Shepard program and the 21st in its history. The flight date will be announced soon.
Meet the crew:
Evan is an engineer, investor, and Managing Member of Dick Holdings, LLC., and flew onboard NS-19 on December 11, 2021. Evan formerly served as Senior Vice President for D.E. Shaw and Managing Director of Highbridge Capital Management, and he is a charitable supporter of the Darwin Foundation and Population Relief International Corp. Evan is an ATP-rated pilot and volunteer for Starfighters Aerospace, as well as an avid sailor and motorcyclist.
Katya was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. Her mission is to provide representation for women and minorities interested in STEM fields. She is the co-host of the YouTube series "Netflix IRL" and "Electric Kat" on the CBS show "Mission Unstoppable.” Katya is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at Johns Hopkins University and earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UCLA in 2019. Following graduation, she spent nearly four years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on five NASA missions, including the Perseverance Rover and Europa Clipper.
Katya’s seat is sponsored by Space for Humanity, a nonprofit whose mission is to expand access to space for all of humanity.
Hamish is Chairman of Action Aviation, a business jet brokerage company he founded in 2004, and also a business jet pilot. In 2019, he and former International Space Station Commander Col. Terry Virts broke the Round-the-World record in a Gulfstream G650ER for any aircraft flying over the North and South poles. In addition to holding several aviation world records, Hamish has travelled to the South Pole twice, and in 2021 dived the Challenger Deep with Victor Vescovo to a depth of 36,000 ft in a two-person sub. Hamish lives in the United Arab Emirates with his wife, two teenage sons, and two golden retrievers.
Victor Correa Hespanha
Victor is a 28-year-old civil production engineer from Minas Gerais (Brazil). As a child he dreamed of becoming an astronaut and now, after buying his first NFT, he's honored to be the second Brazilian to fly to space and the world’s first cryptonaut.
Victor’s seat is sponsored by the Crypto Space Agency, whose mission is to combine the space industry's technology with the innovation and financial power of the crypto markets to accelerate humankind’s off-world future.
Jaison founded JJM Investments, a commercial real estate company, and co-founded Dream Variations Ventures (DVV) with his wife, Jamie. DVV invests in technology and sports start-ups. He’s an avid scuba diver and skydiver, has broken the sound barrier in a Mig-29 fighter jet, spent a week hiking in Antarctica, and climbed to the tallest waterfall in the world in Venezuela. He was a finalist on Survivor: Samoa in 2009. Jaison earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford, with study at Oxford, and a JD from the University of Chicago. He is also an Eagle Scout and played water polo at Stanford and on the United States National Team.
Victor is a co-founder of private equity investment firm Insight Equity. He has completed the “Explorer’s Grand Slam,” which includes summiting the world’s seven summits and skiing to the North and South Poles. In 2020, he became the first person to repeatedly dive to the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep (now twelve times). He is the first person to visit the deepest point in the world’s five oceans and executed the deepest wreck dive in history. Victor is a commercially-rated multi-engine jet and helicopter pilot, as well as a certified submersible test pilot. He holds degrees from Stanford, MIT, and Harvard Business School, and served 20 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer, retiring as a Commander (O-5).