Here are some things Michael Strahan finds scarier than going into outer space: playing in the Super Bowl, doing his job, and going to the beach. The NFL Hall of Fame defensive end isn’t nervous at all about what could go wrong after he boards a Blue Origin rocket on Dec. 9. Just don’t make him go into the ocean.
“I’m excited,” he told Extra. “I am more nervous talking about football today than I am about going to outer space. I’m looking forward to it. … It’s going to be epic, that’s how I describe it. It’s something you think about as a kid, but now it’s going to happen. It’s mind-blowing, to be honest with you.”
The Good Morning America co-host is the second celebrity to go to space aboard a Blue Origin rocket. William Shatner, Capt. Kirk of the starship Enterprise, did it last month. Michael Strahan was at the company’s first launch in July when owner Jeff Bezos lifted off from Van Horn, Texas, with three others on the New Shepard rocket.
When Blue Origin approached him about joining one of the flights, Strahan said yes “without hesitation.” Since then, he’s met his fellow astronauts on Zoom, and he’s spoken often with the crew throughout his training. He credits them with keeping him calm about the trip.
“Everyone involved is a lot smarter than I am,” Strahan said. “… I’m more nervous getting into the ocean because there are sharks there. I would never jump out of a plane and skydive. I’m not going to bungee jump, but I’m going go to space.”
Strahan makes going to space look easy. He thinks playing in the Super Bowl was harder. The 50-year-old played in two championship games — in 2000 and 2008 — with the Giants.
Critics Slam Space Tourism, Michael Strahan Sees Its Possibility
Space tourism is a growth market. Blue Origin may have been the first to take civilians into space, but others offer the experience. Companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic also want to ferry wannabe astronauts.
But the industry has its critics who think that money and energy would be best spent focusing on terrestrial problems.
“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live,” Britain’s Prince William told the BBC in July.
Michael Strahan, though, believes that the industry could lead to solutions for problems on the planet.
“I believe that this is the way of being innovative, creative, pioneers in aviation, now space travel,” Strahan said. “And it’s going to take a while, but I do believe that it will bring a lot of technological breakthroughs and also innovations to us here on Earth, and I just want to be a part of it.”