Michael Strahan Flies to Space Alongside Crew — Including Daughter of History-Making Astronaut

Michael Strahan traveled to space on Saturday in the latest crewed mission from Jeff Bezos' aerospace company Blue Origin

Michael Strahan
Michael Strahan. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Michael Strahan is embarking on the trip of a lifetime.

The Good Morning America anchor, 50, traveled to space on Saturday, becoming the first American news anchor to leave Earth.

Strahan is one of six crew members who took flight on the third crewed mission from Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, whose 11-minute flights let ticket holders "travel over 3X the speed of sound to pass the Kármán Line at 100 km (62 mi), float weightless for several minutes, and witness life-changing views of Earth before descending gently under parachutes," Blue Origin's website reads.

The aerospace company's latest launch takes place just under a month after William Shatner's space trip with the company, which made him the oldest human to ever travel to space.

Strahan and the rest of his fellow crew's New Shepard rocket took off from Launch Site One in West Texas at 9:01 a.m. CST for the NS-19 mission.

Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of Alan Shepard — who became the first American to ever fly to space in May 1961 — was also among the mission crew. (Blue Origin's New Shepard rockets are also named after the astronaut.)

Joining Strahan and Churchley were space philanthropist Dylan Taylor and inventor Evan Dick, as well as Lane and Cameron Bess — who are making history of their own by becoming the first parent-child pair to travel to space together.

The patches that the NS-19 crew wore for their mission paid tribute to tech mogul Glen de Vries, who died in a plane crash last month, just weeks after traveling to space with Shatner.

In addition to including the name and likeness of the entire NS-19 crew, the initials "GDV" appear on the base of the crew capsule situated between the group.

Ahead of the launch, Strahan shared that he would be taking a number of sentimental items up to space with him, revealing the full list exclusively with PEOPLE.

Having to choose carefully due to a 3-lb. weight limit, Strahan chose to take along his Super Bowl XLII Ring, his Pro Football Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence, and two watches — one of which belonged to his maternal grandfather.

Also making the trip were the 12 shell casings from the 12-gun salute performed at his father Gene's funeral, a pearl necklace from his girlfriend Kayla Quick's late grandmother, his ABC and FOX employee ID cards as well as a lucky $2 bill.

Lane Bess, Cameron Bess, Evan Dick, Dylan Taylor, Laura Shepard Churchley, Michael Strahan
From left top: Lane Bess, Cameron Bess, Evan Dick; from bottom left: Dylan Taylor, Laura Shepard Churchley, Michael Strahan. Blue Origin

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In a video recorded days before take off, Strahan admitted that he was feeling "a little nervous" about the space flight.

"I mean you always get nervous," he said in a video diary posted on his Twitter account Tuesday, before noting that going through all the safety protocols in place helped ease his mind.

Just days before the launch, the Bezos Earth Fund announced on Monday that it awarded $443 million in grants to organizations fighting for climate justice as well as nature conservation and restoration.

The grants are part of the fund's $10 billion commitment to fight climate change.

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