Pete Davidson must have really nailed his role as an astronaut in SNL’s “Chad on Mars” SNL skit last year, because he’s officially going to space, for real this time. The actor-comedian will be one of several crew members aboard a flight from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin commercial space travel company, leaving from Texas in late March.
Bezos founded Blue Origin back in 2000, making it one of an increasing number of prominent private spaceflight companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and the French business Arianespace SA. Davidson is not the first entertainer who Blue Origin has sent into orbit—the company had William Shatner and Michael Strahan aboard past trips. Bezos himself went to space in July 2021; Blue Origin has done 19 flights overall.
“[It’s] almost like an out-of-body experience. It’s hard to even believe it happened,” Strahan told ABC after his trip. “It’s a crazy feeling, like the feeling of weightlessness, the feeling when the booster goes off, the rocket goes off, and it detaches and you don’t know what’s up from down.”
This specific flight is part of Blue Origin’s New Shepard initiative, which, per the company’s website, sends “astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space” for a total of 11 minutes. (Commercial space travel has been the subject of significant criticism both for its potential environmental impact and the general not-great optics of something so ostentatious that doesn’t seem to serve a clear scientific purpose.)
Per People, Davidson joined the flight after he and girlfriend Kim Kardashian had dinner with Jeff Bezos at his home in Los Angeles this January. The trip will surely be a welcome break for Davidson, who, in addition to being a Saturday Night Live cast member and starring in a new TV show based on his life, is embroiled in a grueling public feud with Kanye West. This is the second time he’s made headlines this year for his surprising involvement with a major vessel–in January, Davidson and Colin Jost purchased a decommissioned Staten Island Ferry boat with the intention to turn it into a floating comedy club.
Davidson and his fellow passengers will all carry postcards to help promote Blue Origin’s Club for the Future foundation, which encourages young people to work in STEM, as well as their Postcards to Space program.
Judging by the list of fellow voyagers, it seems Davidson will be tasked with providing most of the entertainment. Other passengers include angel investors, entrepreneurs, and various CEOs. Let’s hope they’re all big fans of the comedic mind behind “Tucci Gang.”