Jim Kitchen, a teacher, entrepreneur and one of Blue Origin’s newest NS20 astronauts, used his space trip to express his solidarity with beleaguered Ukraine. He carried the Ukrainian flag on him as a symbol of support and tribute to the millions of Ukrainians beaten by the Russian offensive which began on February 24. Speaking about his gesture after his robbery on March 31, Kitchen said Espace.com“So in my passport, I brought the Ukrainian and American flags, and I released them, just to pay tribute to the situation that is happening there now and just to let them know that our hearts are collectively with them. .
In addition to the Ukrainian flag and passport, Kitchen took with him all his passports bearing the stamps of 193 United Nations (UN) recognized countries he visited. With his spaceflight, Kitchen became the first person to visit all UN-recognized countries and travel into space. “We’re just people. We’re governed by different leadership structures, different governments, and different borders, but we’re all just humans. And so I just wanted to express a little bit of humanity on this flight, and make them knowing that we were aware of what was going on around us,” Espace.com quoted Kitchen as saying.
Blue Origin completes its 4th manned flight
Blue Origin’s NS20 mission, which was its 4th manned flight, took off from its launch site in West Texas with six passengers on board. Besides Kitchen, there were four other paying customers: Marty Allen, Marc Hagle, Sharon Hagle, and George Nield, as well as Blue Origin engineer Gary Lai. Of the four crewed missions, it was the only one that didn’t have a celebrity on board because Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson couldn’t make it to the spaceflight.
However, the NS20 made history by carrying the first married couple, Sharon and Marc Hagle, into space in a private spacecraft. It’s worth mentioning here that the Hagles, however, aren’t the first couple to visit space simultaneously. The record is held by NASA astronauts Mark Lee and Jan Davis, who visited space in 1992 on the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s STS-47 mission.