Michael Strahan, the Pro Football Hall of Famer turned “Good Morning America” host, became the latest celebrity to venture into outer space on Saturday (Dec. 11).
The former New York Giants defensive end was granted a ticket to take a ride on Jeff Bezos’ latest Blue Origin space mission. He took the trip to the edge of space alongside five others, including Laura Shepard Churchley, the oldest daughter of Alan Shepard — one of the first American astronauts to fly to space.
Ahead of his flight, Bezos presented Strahan with a football to take with him into space. “We can not send you, of all people, up into space without a football,” Bezos said during Fox’s broadcast of Thursday night football. “This football, when you bring it back down to earth, is going straight to the pro football Hall of Fame.” Strahan also took his Super Bowl ring and his retired New York Giants No. 92 jersey, the Associated Press reports.
According to Blue Origin, Strahan’s trip on their New Shepard rocket blasted off from West Texas at 9:00 a.m. CST. The crew spent a total of 10 minutes and 13 seconds in the air, reaching 347,580 feet above ground level. Saturday’s flight was the 20th consecutive successful crew capsule landing for the aerospace manufacturing company owned by Bezos.
“TOUCHDOWN has a new meaning now!!!” Strahan tweeted after landing. He seemed visibly giddy in the coinciding video he tweeted, saying that the flight was “surreal” and “unbelievable.”
“It’s going to take a little bit to process, but it couldn’t have gone better,” he said. “I can fly. I did today…Wow! That’s all I can say. Wow! Michael astronaut Strahan out.”
During ABC News’ live coverage, anchor T.J. Holmes reflected on the significance of Strahan and Churchley hugging each other. “This is how far we have come in our journey in space exploration, travel, innovation, that she and Strahan can end up on the same ship, same capsule, going into space now, coming from these two different backgrounds, two different journeys, that now it is making it possible for someone like Strahan and others to go through a week of training and still be able to explore, still be able to explore, to still be able to go to space,” he said.
As REVOLT reported, Bezos took the trip to space himself in July. His Blue Origin company hopes to send interested travelers 66 miles above Earth routinely in the near future. Tickets will reportedly be sold for at least $200,000 per seat.
Check out clips from Strahan’s voyage to space below:
— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) December 10, 2021
TOUCHDOWN has a new meaning now!!!
— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) December 11, 2021
— ABC News (@ABC) December 11, 2021