tv Jose Diaz- Balart Reports MSNBC October 13, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT
>> i wouldn't say all of it is aimed towards that. of course, any commercial veteran needs to turn a profit in order to stay in business. so it's partially about that. it's partially about helping jeff bezos realize his big picture dream of colonizing what we call sis lunar space, the area between low earth orbit and the moon. this is a small first step for jeff bezos and blue origin, showing that they can launch people successfully into space and they have other rockets and bigger ambitions on the drawing board. if you want to take really big picture view of it, in jeff bezos' mind, this is all about saving planet earth by helping to move industries off planet. but in the shorter term, the company needs to turn a profit in order to keep going. >> and you can see right now, jose -- i want to point out, you can see, in addition to looking at the four astronauts to the left on your screen is jeff bezos.
he, of course, is not going to be aboard this craft. i interviewed him after the last launch, and while he said he was ready to go the next day and the day after and wanted to be on many missions going forward, he wanted to let others experience it. but it sure looks like he's going to be with them until the very, very last moment. besides the four of them, it seems to be just jeff. >> sorry, garrett, real quick, there is a difference between space exploration and space tourism. this is a case of space tourism. so far, we don't know, i mean, how much they're paying, who is paying and who is not paying. but going forward, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, just to get a seat on this flight that will give you three minutes of micro -- of no gravity. >> that's right. so it is a lot of money and it's
even more money if you want to go up into orbit. so i want to make the distinction between this flight, which is basically 15 minutes, it begins and ends, go straight up, goes straight down. that's suborbital. if you want to go up there and stay up there, like the inspiration 4 mission, upcoming missions where private citizens will go to the space station and stay up there for weeks, you add another zero to the price tag or two zeros to the price tag. this is very expensive. and it's led to some criticism that this is just a bunch of rich people going on joyrides. and there's some validity to that. but i want to point out the other side of the coin, which is that nasa has done this on purpose. nasa has encouraged the growth of these commercial industries, because there's a benefit to the u.s. taxpayer. when you have other people, whether they be rich individuals or organizations that are also sharing the cost of these vehicles, whether it be the "new shepard" rocket or the spacex falcon 9 and dragon rocket, that reduces the cost that nasa has to pay.
they don't have to pay it themselves. they've been supportive and encouraging of this commercial approach. and it has led to dividends. i mean, they've paid billions of dollars less money for rockets than if they had all by themselves. >> that's an important point. >> it's a new way of doing this. and on the surface of it, it could be like, oh, look at a bunch of rich guys going on joyrides, but there are real benefits to the american taxpayer. >> we see that jeff bezos is right there at every step of the way. jose, before i let you go, i'm just wondering, these missions do play a part in sparking the imagination. i'm just thinking about you, the son of agricultural workers. you were on the fields at one time, working those fields, and yet you looked up to the moon and you saw apollo 17 and said, that's something that i want to do. there is something to sparking the imagination. >> that's correct, jose. you know, this is why i have so
much affection for william shatner, because his series ran from '66 to '69 and i was all of 7 years old when i was watching the first run series of "star trek." that was my first introduction into space exploration. then in 1972, i saw the very last apollo mission, walking on the surface of the moon. and when i was a senior in high school, i heard that the first hispanic american, dr. franklin diaz got selected by nasa as an astronaut. and those were the three pivotal moments where i said, i'm going to be an astronaut. seeing this on tv, there's an 8-year-old somewhere, i'm sure hundreds of them, watching and saying, one day, i'm going to be like that and go to mars and beyond. so this inspires our youth. we know that technology is the heartbeat of any economy. and so space exploration is -- it pushes the envelope of
technology and innovation, so i think it's great. anytime we can get private industry to invest a dollar in space exploration, it's a dollar less that the u.s. taxpayer, that you and i have to pay. i think that's great, as well. >> we now have just under 26 minutes to go. there was that temporary hold, but now jeff bezos is shaking hands with the astronauts. it looks like he's giving a final hug to audrey powers right now. tom costello, speak to that. besides william shatner, captain kirk, talk about who's onboard. because audrey power, she's been with blue origin since 2013. she played a lead role in this multi-year process of getting approval for the first human flight for "new shepard." >> is that to tom costello? i couldn't hear who you were asking? >> you, tom costello.
talk to us about who's onboard besides william shatner. >> you talked about audrey power, who is a pilot, but not a nasa-trained astronaut, by any means. a veteran of blue origin. she will be the last person to board the space capsule. they board from the highest seat numbered down. so six, five, four, three, two, one. they've only got four people onboard. and william shatner just boarded a few minutes ago. and chris bosshousen. she's the cofounder of planet labs, and glen de vries, and a cofounder of meta data. those two guys allegedly paid about $250,000 each. what they're doing now, strapping in, they have practiced dozens of times. over and over and over again, because they don't want to screw up, right? and one of the biggest challenges is, it's easy enough to strap in before you launch.
the challenge is going to be once you're actually at altitude and you're in space, unstrap, get out of your harness, you've got three minutes to float. and then quickly jump back in and harness back in. and these are reclining seats. you know, it's not like you're getting into a comfortable seat at the dining table. it's a little more challenging. and listen, we've talked about the fact that william shatner is 90 years old and in incredible shape. you know, you would think you're talking to a 50-year-old. but he's 90. and so jumping in and out of one of those reclining seats with a five-point harness, that's not easy. i did it myself in the simulator. it's not easy. you can't do it really quickly. that's why they practice it over and over and over again, so that, in fact, they are ready for the descent. because their remote controlled from the ground. they can't tell everybody, hey, okay, we'll wait another minute until you're strapped in.
no, once they start descending, they're descending. so that's why they have gone through this so many times, over and over and over again, to make sure that these guys are ready to do it. >> tom, i mean, we're including 5gs on the downward path, right? this is stuff that is kind of intense on your body. >> reporter: yeah, it's a mach 3 experience. listen, it's not as intense as, you know, if you're going the space station and then you're coming back or, you know -- it's not that intense, because they haven't gone as high, so your descent is not going to be quite as dramatic, but absolutely, especially given the age. listen, 82-year-old wally funk did it just fine back in july. no issues. william shatner is 90. he's in great shape. but all of these are considerations as you would expect. but listen, as we said earlier, this is kind of an exciting moment, because it's william shatner. because it's his life coming
full circle, 55 years ago. he was beginning his "star trek" career as the captain of the enterprise and he has said -- he said it to me on camera, now his life is coming full circle. 55 years later. he's actually going into space, and that's what makes this fun for him and fun for us to join him along the way. >> 9:10 in texas, just a few moments from now, we're just over 21 minutes. still with us is our all-star panel. also, morgan chesky near the launch site, a former nasa astronauts may jenison, scott kelly, clayton emerson, and leroy chow. >> i want to bring in former nasa astronaut, a man who has spent a whole lot of time in space, scott kelly. scott, for someone like you, this is exciting. for science enthusiasts, they are thrilled to watch this. why should the average american care? >> well, i think when you fly
flights like this, you know, with a celebrity or some other person that gets some extra attention, you just show the public how the accessibility of spaceflight is becoming more broad. hopefully, eventually, the cost will come down. i don't think these flights mean we're going to be jumping on a rocket like we jump on airplanes anytime soon, but it is a step in that direction. >> clayton, i want to ask you as we're looking at this, one of the things i'm particularly fascinated by is the size of the windows on the capsule. this is clearly designed so that people can enjoy the view, as short as three minutes can be in zero gravity. it must be extraordinary to see so much of something that, well, we're never able to see from down here. the organization and the way
this capsule has been designed is clearly so that people can see as much as possible. >> reporter: -- in the short time, if you think back to 1961, when alan shepard first went, windows were a big controversial item, because they were expensive to put in and they didn't think they were needed. so the fact that these guys are going to spend about 11 minutes in space and they get to look out these gorgeous windows, i would love to be up there to see it again, but i think all it's going to do is whet their appetite and they're going to be longing for more. >> leroy, i want to bring you back in. i believe it was jose who said it earlier. this isn't like commercial airlines. this type of commercial private space travel is largely unregulated. and while blue origin -- you know, i spoke to mark bezos, who was part of that first maiden
voyage, jeff bezos' brother, and he said from culture to engineering to training, safety is the absolutely number one priority for blue origin. but safety without regulation, how concerned are you? >> it's not that there's no regulation. the faa has, you know, oversight of all flying things. even launched from foreign shores, if it's an american company. so there definitely is faa oversight. there's not probably to the degree of commercial airliners, but commercial aviation is very mature. and so i think it's not natural to see this nascent industry, it's going to evolve to more strict regulation, just like for the airlines. as far as safety goes, these commercial companies, blue origin, certainly, and the others that are involved. they know that if they have an accident early on, especially, they're done. they're probably going to be shut down and it's not going to be good. so they are going to be concentrating on making sure that the flights are safe, the vehicle is as safe as possible,
and getting the people back healthy and happy. >> what is it that these four people are going to be experiencing for those three minutes? years ago, years ago, i was onboard the spasta, nasa's zero gravity airplane, where they did praables, 30 to 60 seconds of zero gravity as they went on this arch. is that what they'll be experiencing for three minutes, may? >> that's basically what you're going to see. because by the time you actually get up and come back down, you get that three minutes of zero gs. so there will be the excitement of that. looking out the window, doing everything, somersaults, whatever you want to do, and get back into place. of course, you'll be looking out at the horizon. it's not going to be looking out at the horizon, for me, it's going to be looking at the earth
and trying to encapsulate all that means. i wanted to do a little bit of whimsy. you talked about william shatner being on "star trek," and of course, i was a "star trek" fan growing up, but i was also able to be on "star trek: the next generation" after i had flown in space, so this whole generation of where stories and reality influence each other is really important, because "star trek" started after we already had a space program going. and it helped to reinforce all that could occur and people's excitement and involvement. >> scott kelly, watching this, how do you feel about this personally? did you think in your lifetime, we would see this private industry? there right now, you are watching jeff bezos close the
door for the last time. you saw all four passengers of this unmanned flight indoors, they closed the door, and it was bezos himself who closed it. scott, can you tell us -- can you help us understand what we're looking at? >> well, i think it's exciting for the people inside the rocket. it's actually exciting for me, too. one of my earliest memories was watching apollo 11 land on the moon, but also my memory was crawling downstairs to sit behind the couch where my mother couldn't see my brother and i watching "star trek." so i'm excited to see william shatner to be able to have this opportunity. so hopefully, i would like to see some kids get up there with some science experiments, maybe some make-a-wish foundation people. but, yeah, this is bringing space accessibility to a much
more broader audience. >> did you think you would see it in your lifetime, scott? >> i think so. i hope to have a couple of decades at least ahead of me. so if you think back about when we flew the first airplane in 1903. and 1969, we're landing people on the moon, that's an impressive feat. who knows what the next 20 or 30 years will bring us. >> morgan chesky, what are you excited see today? >> reporter: well, jose, we were back here in late july and we saw this inaugural flight take off with jeff bezos onboard. and i would have to tell you, having witnessed one of these, that it would be lessened somewhat. but to stand here just a few miles away from this launch pad and see captain kirk hop onboard that capsule, this is a nervous, exciting energy starting to build here, especially as we see that countdown clock hit 15 minutes after that hold of about half an hour here.
and of course anyone had any question about the impact of william shatner onboard this flight, look no further than what was inside the media hanger here. "star trek" cookies themselves. the badge right there. everyone just fully soaking in this moment. we're about to see the oldest person go into space right now. and if everything goes according to plan, it will be a carbon copy of what we witnessed in late july with that first flight coming back down with a soft landing there. and i have to tell you, jose, the thing that sticks with me the most is the excitement of the crew members that were onboard that capsule when they walked after experiencing that short but oh, so sweet flight. you could see it all over their faces. >> morgan, as we're chatting, i want to go over and see -- jeff bezos closed that door, but there are some crew people outside door. there is a hold that's now a minute and 34 seconds into, you can see the t-15 has been frozen there. so there's something going on.
we can't exactly know what. but some crew members and some people were right outside the door of the capsule. maybe communicating to some of the people inside. the four astronauts inside. we don't know what it is, but we do see that hold is now coming up on two minutes from the 15-minute countdown that has been stopped. as you can see, they're right outside that door. at least two people there. >> leroy, what do you make of that? it's not weather related or we don't believe it is. for people inside, when they're making any sort of equipment adjustments, i don't know, that seems scary. >> certainly, you know, at this point, we're getting close to launch and there's another hold. we're not really sure why. the fact that it came right after the door closed might indicate that there's something with the mechanism that they're just being sure about. maybe the close indicator did flip fully over or something like that. so they're probably communicating with the crew,
telling them what's going on, and meanwhile, you see the two people outside are working around that hatch area. probably just making sure that it is sealed. so we'll have to wait for word from blue origin to let us know exactly what's going on. >> and scott, i mean, that hatch was closed so quickly by jeff bezos, how -- i mean these things have to be really, really sealed well. >> well, hopefully he had the proper training on hatch closure. i imagine he did. these things happen. on my second flight, we couldn't tell whether the hatch was physically closed. the ground couldn't tell. we thought it was, but the way we found out is eventually, we just put one of the closeout crew guys inside the space shuttle, to then examine all the hardware of the hatch from inside, and then we opened the hatch up, he jumped out, we
closed it and we launched. these things happen. it's not that unexpected. >> one of the many things they do to prepare for this, even the morning of, is sort of a last-minute medical check. may, help us understand the kind of message clearance one needs. william shatner, for example, is not a trained astronaut. and while he's a beloved american, he's 90 years old. >> i don't actually know what all the checks are that they do, but what you want to do is to make sure that people's blood pressure was within reason, that there's no new abnormalities with their heart. you want to make sure their sensory perception is normal. but normally you would have done that all before. and you'll know what kind of condition they're in before you suggest or nominate them for the mission. i think it's going to be a
relatively cursory check, but just to make sure nothing has happened unforeseen between when you last checked them, and as you heard, you'll be going through additional 5g, you'll go through 3g, have a lot of disorientation from microgravity. so you want to make sure everything is working normally. so it's going to be a cursory check, not a deep check. >> and the four people inside have very little to do, right? there's no pre-check stuff that they have to do to make sure that the capsule and the whole rocket is good. scott, i'm just wondering, zero gravity, you experience it more than anybody else. but even three minutes does affect your body. >> yeah, it will have an effect. it might make them feel a little bitdisoriented. probably not enough time for them to physically get sick in that period of time. if i can encourage them, though,
i would say, look out the window. because that's something that you can't recreate on earth. you can do a little bit of zero g in the airplane like the vomit comet. so i just spend my time looking out the window if i had the opportunity. >> scott, what is it like for that moment when you're inside the spacecraft and you can no longer see the ground? because as someone who watched that launch over the summer, that was a moment of panic for so many of us, to see the spacecraft, and suddenly, it was gone. >> yeah, you know, that happens sometimes. i remember when i was in kazakhstan for the expedition 1 launch, they launched right into a fog bank and the rocket was gone. so, you know, sometimes you go to see a rocket launch and it doesn't last very long, but it looks like really good weather today, at least as far as the ceiling and visibility is concerned. >> scott, back to the whole zero
gravity issue, it does take a while. but back to my very limited experience with that, as you call it, the vomit comet, which was the nasa zero gravity airplane. you know, just a little bit in zero gravity does make your stomach turn and make you feel disoriented. it will make a difference if they're just kind of focused on just enjoying themselves, right, rather than experiments or looking at different projects that you have to do. >> yeah, you know, that's one thing that's really hard about flying in space, on something like the space shuttle, the soyuz, is that when you get there, you immediately have a very, very complex job to do. and like you mentioned earlier, in this capsule, there's not a whole lot of controls. i think job wub, you have the coms system, which is just push to talk. i'm not even sure if at last fire extinguisher in there, because there's nothing that
flammable. but it's very sparse as far as -- you know, it's not the flight deck of the starship enterprise, that's for sure. >> may i add something -- >> i want to bring morgan chesky in. morgan, do you have more information about this hold? >> reporter: yeah, steph. a blue origin spokesperson has said regarding this brief hold, it appears the astronaut loading portion of this process took a little bit longer than expected. they anticipate this to be a brief hold before resuming -- you can see there on your screen right now, that hold going at about eight minutes. hoping to resume that countdown from 15 minutes here. again. the big difference today from the other day, we don't have that those 75-mile-an-hour winds that pushed this launch back to today. so all systems are a go. they just have that brief hold in place before hopefully resuming this process. steph? >> it's been kind of on hold now for, as you say, just over eight and a half minutes. dr. jepson, you wanted to pitch
in on something. >> the whole adaptation to zero gravity and the impact. so when you're on the parabolic flight or the vomit comet, every 20 seconds, you go from microgravity to pulling about 2g. so that's a very different profile. so the nausea, the things that you feel are really more akin to motion sickness than space adaptation syndrome or adapting to zero g. so what happens with the three minutes, it's probably going to be more akin to motion effects. but once you actually go into orbit, then there's a really complex series of physiological adaptations that cause people to have issues, because your inner ear is working differently. your eyes are seeing dhinchts. they're mismatches. the blood is redistributing differently. it takes three or four days
actually to adapt to weightlessness. there is a significant difference between the profiles you're seeing here in terms of that launch. between the vomit comet and when you get on orbit. so i think it's really important to sort of work those out and so the physiology, the physiological aspect of people may not have to be as robust. i will never get over the vomit comet. all of these are small steps towards a return to the moon. who will get there first? the u.s. or china? >> it's hard to say, because, of course, there is a program going on in both countries and hopefully we will get to the moon sooner rather than later. but i'll turn again to the commercial side. companies like spacex are making great strides in their new vehicle. spacex is creating a new ship called the starship, by coincidence.
or probably not by coincidence. and a falcon super heavy booster, fully reusable system. that vehicle will almost certainly at least orbit the moon or get to the moon before either the u.s. gets back or china gets there with their first astronauts. and it may even land. so i think it's pretty exciting to see, the commercial side is the most exciting right now. >> scott, is there a transfer of real technology on every single one of these different space experiences. was there a big transfer between gemini and apollo and the apollo and the shuttles and now between the public technology created by nasa and the private technology with blue origin or others? >> well, they definitely got progressively more complex, right? and now i wouldn't make the argument that this blue origin spacecraft, that the capsule is more complicated, clearly not
than the dragon or russian soyuz, but it is much more automated, which shows progress. which shows that you can put people in a vehicle, fly them into space and return them on a ballistic flight, which i'm not even sure if they have a fire extinguisher in there. there's very little controls or interface, it's pretty remarkable. >> and scary, no? >> you know, it depends. you get on public transportation that's automated, like a tram at the airport. and the more we do something, the better we get at it, the more we learn and the safety comes down. but certainly, this is not without risk. it is a risky thing to do. launching into space, every single time, it's risky. i would imagine the crew onboard has weighed the risks versus the rewards to them personally and made the choice to go.
>> obviously, this is extraordinarily expensive for anyone. and it will be for quite some time. we are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. but when it gets significantly less expensive, and i'm not saying this is cheap, but scott, you've probably spent the most amount of time in space as anyone i could think of. if a flight like this cost $10,000, let's say, would you want to do it? would you jump onboard? >> at this point, i don't know, i would have to look into more detail about how risky it is and the -- you know, learn a little bit more about the hardware, but if we fly more flights and they're safe, yeah, i would probably do it for that kind of money, especially, i think for me it would involve bringing family members or friends along for the ride to share a little bit of what i had to experience in my career. i would want to do it where i
was able to experience it through the eyes and the experience of, you know, someone who's important to me. >> that would be pretty special. we are going to take a quick break. do not go anywhere. we are still at the 15-minute mark in the countdown on a temporary hold. we will be covering every moment of this as we approach the next launch of the blue origin flight. flight i'm not getting through the pandemic just to end up with the flu. i asked for fluzone high-dose quadrivalent. it's the #1-used flu vaccine for people 65 and older.
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morgan chesky right outside, very close to where this rocket will be taking off. what are you seeing there? >> reporter: jose, these final preparations are now underway. that crew safely inside that capsule. and we just have a few minutes now before we're going to see what is a one of a kind sight, no matter where you are. and that is a rocket lifting off from the west texas desert floor, and rising more than 60 miles above the earth's surface. we were not this close last time, at least i was not. i was in the neighboring city of van horn, but you could see that ignition and see that rocket go skyward. it sticks you forever. but to now just be a few miles from where that rocket will be lifting off, we'll have a much different scene here, on a blue sky sunshine day, from what looks to be a pretty perfect flight. that hold temporarily went about 18 minutes before being lifted,
and 14 minutes away, we have that crew of four onboard, including 90-year-old william shatner, captain kirk, about to become the oldest space traveler in history. three to four minutes of weightlessness before coming back down for a soft landing. cannot wait to hear the reactions on the other side of this. jose? >> may, when morgan mentioned watching the last launch, i was there. and as one standing on the ground, watching it, smelling it, experiencing it is something that i will never forget. as someone who has actually been in space, when you watch this and think back to your experiences in outer space, what was your most memorable moment? >> let me just underscore how exciting a launch is. the first time i ever saw a shuttle launch, i had worked that launch the night before, as one of the support astronauts for kennedy space center. so launches give you this visceral feeling, where you feel
two things. there's a physical feeling of this roaring in your chest, but also that here's humanity moving forward. in terms of my experience in space, probably one of the fondest memories is what i saw first got to space, which was my hometown of chicago. literally, the first thing i saw out the window was my hometown chicago, because i had launched on the middeck, so i didn't have a view, and the crew commander called me up to look out the window and there was midtown. so i thought about this little girl who was really excited about space exploration and the big smile that she would have on her face. those are parts of it, but for me, i also remember just how important it was to do the experimentation that we did. we looked at different parts of semiconductors and can we make them better. we worked on understanding how
embryos develop this space, frog embryos develop in space. there was this wide range of experimentation that i think is also part of the heart blood of space exploration, and why you use microgravity as a platform. it was both, the visual, the physiological, but the work and how we can use it back here on earth. those visions hold for me. and scott, i would kind of ask you the same question. what is it like or the things that yo keep close to you that changed you? just seeing the curvature of the earth and crossing that barrier. what are the things you keep as the most impactful? >> certainly the first time you
look out the window to space, i saw something i didn't recognize, and i said to the commander, what is that? and he said, that's the sunrise. as the sun came up, i thought how breathtakingly beautiful. like someone took the most brilliant blue paint and painted it on a mirror right in front of your eyes. and i knew right then, i would never see anything as beautiful as our planet earth again. you have those kind of memories. certainly, the rocket launching, the first time on the space shuttle, when you feel that 7 million pounds of thrust instantaneously, that gets your attention like nothing else. you know, landing the space shuttle, coming back in pa russian soyuz is an any ticket ride, for sure. a lot of great memories in my career at nasa. >> scott, did you call your brother, mark, and remind him of those memories, hiding behind the couch, watching "star trek," when you saw that william
shatner, captain kirk was going to be aboard this mission? >> i haven't talked to him about it yet. ly probably today, when i talk to him. he's been a little busy lately. so -- but i'm sure he's paying attention and is excited about captain kirk or the guy who played him getting ready to launch. >> and morgan, you're so close. just a mile or more from the location of this launch. it is a beautiful day. almost cloudless skies. we're going to see a lot, but also, in your case, feel a lot. >> yeah, jose, that could certainly be the case. even in van horn, about 20 miles away where we were for the first launch. you could feel that initial boom when the rocket went skyward. and as we approach this final countdown, there's been a lot of discussion about the autonomous nature of the controlling of this rocket. however, built into this, blue
origin has said that it does have significant safety features onboard, should anything go wrong. and that includes the ability to actually jettison that capsule on top of the rocket, away from that tlurs, at any point during flight. whether that be on the launch pad, whether that be as it starts to take off, or as it starts to enter that edge of space there, crossing that carmen line. they said they've tested this repeatedly and that's why they're confident in some of the safe gaurds in place here, that should something go wrong with the tlurs, that capsule would be able to leave entirely and return to earth. and in doing so, you can still make a safe landing on the earth's surface with two out of its three chutes still working there and those seats we've seen are built so they can withstand g-forces on landing. they're planning for a very soft landing in the texas desert. but should that not be the case, those seats are especially
designed to cushion the fall. as we have heard from william shatner say, as excited as he is to go up into space, he'll be just as excited if not more so to come back and have that smooth landing. guys? >> may, we are now inside the ten-minute mark. what are the final check points? >> so mission control will be running through everything they need to know to make sure the rocket is safe and the mission is safe. whether it be looking at weather, whether it's making sure that the engines and all of those pieces, there's going to be a series of factors that will be considered and weighed and made sure that they're correct. for crew will be having -- for me, it's a big spoil on my face and you'll be watching very carefully and not wanting to go into another hold, so you can have this experience. so, you know, again, you have to make sure that the weather is
okay. that it's holding stable, you want to make sure that the engines are going through all of their checks. they're going to be swiveling the engines and trying to make sure everything is working well. the flight surfaces. so it's this series of things that have to happen, particularly in a situation where you're automated and the crew has very little control. so mission control has to make sure everything is working well. >> and scott, you were talking about liftoff, as being one of the most impactful moments. how -- describe what that feels like. >> you know, i tried to describe it to my brother, who is an astronaut classmate of mine, an aifuater test pilot in the navy and i flew in space a couple of years before he did. so over the course of those two years, i tried to explain to him what launch was like. and as soon as he landed, the first thing he said to me was, i had no idea what that launch was going to be like. it's like being a bug on a
bottle rocket. but, you know, i'm looking forward to what william shatner will say here right before his launch, and if it's not some cool "star trek" quote, i'll be very disappointed. >> you know it's going to be super cool. it is william shatner. meg, given that we've had two holds already this morning, if you were inside that shuttle, would you have any apprehensions about going? >> no, because it's very much a part of what happens. and in fact, that you have a hold, it means that someone is checking things out. and when you come out of the hold, it means that they've checked it out and things are working well. so it wouldn't make me more apprehensive, on my mission, we didn't have any holds and we
launched to the second. which is not usually the second. there's usually something that happens that changes your actual launch time from the second that it was scheduled. it wouldn't bother me. >> and we were talking with jose hernandez a little while ago about how all of these things sparked the imagination and people who may be obviously now couldn't afford it, but conceive their future. and say, gosh, one day i could go to space one way or another. is this an important aspect of these flights. the inspiration it may kindle in people? >> absolutely. that's one of the great successes of nasa, their mission to inspire not only this country, but around the world. there are a lot of benefits we get from the space program. and now we have different kinds
of space programs. there's the suborbital, tourism aspect, which may probably do some science, eventually, some day, which will be great. you know, there's the stuff we do on the space station. there's going back to the moon and mars and all of that has its benefits in its own way. but i think just the inspiration aspect alone, the motivation for kids to study the s.t.e.m. subjects, because those subjects are so important to our future, to our economy, to national security around the world. i think the space program, what we spend on it, if it was only for that, is worth every single penny. >> scott, that's what it could mean to our kids. what do places like china and russia, who have been part of the international space race against the u.s. or the u.s. government for years, what are they thinking watching this? >> well, i hope it does what competition has done throughout
the space program's history, in that, you know, motivates companies in those countries to be like, you know, blue origin and, you know, spacex, virgin galactic. and the more people we have investing and putting their energies into space flight, even if it's suborbital space flight, it's going to bring down the cost and increase the safety. i think it's great. >> and we're just coming up on -- >> i just wanted to add something to that whole piece about international and inspiration. there's an african proverb that says, no one shows a child the sky. it's something that people have aspired to for thousands of years. what we do with space exploration and how we come back to the earth, it's not just about being a passenger. it's about how we use the technology. and there are developing countries who work with space exploration, who use it for land
management, for remote sensing, nasa, is a, the european space agency, the japanese space agency, all of these have actually worked to make sure that those benefits come back to earth. so i think we want to make sure that as we look at commercial and tourism, that we don't forget that space exploration has a really big benefit and that vision and that inspiration has been with us for thousands of years and it's not just about going up in space. it's about using space. >> coming up on 1:20 to liftoff. let's listen in on mission control. >> they are sitting at the top of the of-foot rocket want 20 meters tall. t-minus 1 minute. and there you can just see slightly there, the gimbaling
altitude. we're aiming just own the carmen line, the internationally recognized line of 100 kilometers. that's about 328,000 feet. and a gorgeous view down the rocket. and now we've had main engine cut off. in just a moment, we're going to separate the capsule from the booster and at that point, our astronauts will have the opportunity to get out of their harnesses and enjoy the beauties of zero g. let's wait to listen. >> you can see a clean separation between the capsule and the booster.
and there you can see the capsule from the top of the booster. they are continuing their assent over the carmen line. you'll know when they hit apajy when the speed hits zero. there they are, over 100 kilometers. welcome to space. the newest astronauts on board our crew capsule. er there they are. they have just about hit their
>> thauj for joining us live from west texas. so far a nominal flight for the second human crew so exciting. two have sent captain kirk himself william shatner to space. i can't wait to hear his commentary upon return the others. a big shoutout to those tuning in from down under. they are coming back home. the booster, of course, is going to beat the capsule back home. it is more aero dynamically spaced. what we're going to see coming up shortly is at the top of the rocket we have the ring fin, the -- there's some what we call the pie fins that extend from the ring fin as well as the drag brakes, the pie fins, the wedge fins helps stabilize the vehicle
like kind of like the feathers of the back of an arrow, and then you'll also see the drag brakes. as you mentioned, it cuts the velocity dramatically. you can see the wedge fins are out. >> we are going to expect the engine to relight in about 36 hours feet or about 1200 meters aboveground level. here we come, new shepherd.
welcome back new shepherd. a beautiful flight to space for our second human crew. wow. that gets me every time we do this live down here in texas. the sonic boom is so cool. drag brakes are folding back in as have the wedge fins. just looks like you could fuel her up and go again. >> and even when you know to expect the sonic boom, it still catches you off guard every time. >> talk about a rumble. a beautiful sight of our new shepherd rocket in the west texas desert, but the show is not over.
the capsule is descending. we're waiting for first the droeg shoots to deploy. those are like the guide parachutes. they'll be followed by the main parachutes that will first reef, and then fully inflate, and there go the parachutes. and here come the mains. what a flight. you can already start to hear the cheers from outside our stage here in west texas.
>> that's unlike anything you'll ever feel again. >> stand by, touch down. >> all capsule touch down. what a day for you. welcome back. i cannot wait to talk to them. and just get what the experience up there this morning, what a clean and beautiful flight from the rocket for ours a tra naughts. >> what a stunning flight. i also loved hearing that audio of them on their way back about how this experience was for them. i can't wait to hear their stories. >> well, you heard william shatner say, this is like nothing i've ever experienced before. so coming from a man who has experienced space. >> warppe