Blue Origin has reportedly announced that its employee Gary Lai will replace Pete Davidson on an upcoming flight to space, days after the Comedian dropped out of the mission under unclear circumstances.
The chief architect of Blue Origin’s “New Shepard” shuttle program will be the sixth crew member on the March 29 mission – the 20th in the company’s history.
“Gary Lai is best known as the architect of the New Shepard system, including leading the team responsible for the design and development of many of the key safety systems on the Crew Capsule,” Blue Origin said in a release announcing the change.
Lai will join five other crew members who were previously announced – Investor Marty Allen; SpaceKids Global founder Sharon Hagle; her husband and Mark Hagle, CEO of Tricor International; entrepreneur Jim Kitchen and Commercial Space Technologies President George Nield.
Blue Origin added that Lai is an integral part of its operations, with the involvement of “in product development, strategic planning, and business development for all Blue Origin product lines, including the New Glenn orbital launch vehicle, Rocket engine programs, and Blue Moon.”
Pete Davidson and Blue Origin have yet to publicly explain why he is no longer participating in the mission. Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ firm announced the launch was delayed by six days at the same time it Revealed the Comedian would no longer participate.