Pete Davidson is going to space later this month on Blue Origin's fourth manned space flight. The company announced on Monday. Sources familiar with the mission told PEOPLE that Davidson was invited to take part in the flight after attending a dinner party at Jess Bezos' house back in January. He will take off on Wednesday, March 23 from Blue Origin's launch site in West Texas.
Davidson will take an 11-minute space flight with a crew of other wealthy guests, including Party America CEO Marty Allen, SpaceKids Global founder Sharon Hagle, Tricor International CEO Marc Hagle, traveler Jim Kitchen and Commercial Space Technologies president Dr. George Nield. Their craft will reach an altitude of about 65 miles above the earth and spend some time at the edge of outer space. They will experience four minutes of weightlessness before returning to the earth.
The flight is the fourth manned mission of Blue Origin's New Shepherd Program, which is intended to inspire more young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They will also carry postcards to space as a part of Blue Origin's Club for the Future. Students themselves will eventually be given the opportunity to fly with Blue Origin if all goes according to plan.
Davidson is reportedly ecstatic about this chance to visit space, having wanted to take that step since he was a child. The 28-year-old comedian found himself at Bezos' dinner party thanks to his girlfriend, reality star Kim Kardashian. Their relationship has been making headlines nonstop since November, but mostly for different reasons.
As for Blue Origin, it has already taken celebrities to space including news anchor Michael Strahan and Star Trek star William Shatner. However, the company is also heavily mocked as a wasteful vanity project by Bezos which wastes money and fossil fuel on recreational trips for the wealthy. Many critics feel it is a bad look for billionaires to buy private spacecraft while life on earth is still plagued by solvable economic issues like hunger and education disparity.
Back in December, those criticisms were especially harsh when an Amazon warehouse collapsed in Illinois during an historic storm. The following day, Blue Origin launched its third New Shepherd mission, and Bezos publicly celebrated the flight as a success. The contrast was hard to ignore, with six workers dead in one of Bezos' retail facilities.
In spite of these critiques, Blue Origin will launch Davidson and seven others into space with postcards on Wednesday, March 23. The flight will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET, and will be livestreamed on the Blue Origin website.