Hamish Harding, second from the right, took a flight to space with Kent-based Blue Origin on June 4, 2022. Harding died on the Titan submersible. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Blue Origin

Hamish Harding, second from the right, took a flight to space with Kent-based Blue Origin on June 4, 2022. Harding died on the Titan submersible. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Blue Origin

British billionaire who died on Titan flew with Kent-based Blue Origin

Hamish Harding part of New Shepard rocket crew in 2022

British billionaire Hamish Harding, who died on the Titan submersible, took a flight to space with Kent-based Blue Origin in June 2022.

Harding was part of a Blue Origin crew on June 4, 2022 that successfully completed its fifth human spaceflight and the 21st flight for the New Shepard program. Blue Origin sells seats for people to take the New Shepard rocket on its 10-minute flight that goes up 62 miles and reaches speeds of about 2,230 mph. The company, which launches the rocket in West Texas, doesn’t reveal the costs. Harding also paid for his tourist trip on the Titan.

Harding, 58, was one of of five passengers on the Titan that went missing May 18 on its journey to see the Titantic shipwreck. The other passengers were Pakistani investor Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.

According to Newsweek, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that the Titan suffered a “catastrophic implosion” and those aboard had died. The Coast Guard also confirmed they had found debris from the submersible 1,600 feet away from the Titanic wreck.

Prior to his Blue Origin flight, the company described Harding as chairman of Action Aviation, a business jet brokerage company he founded in 2004, and also a business jet pilot. In 2019, he and former International Space Station Cmdr. Col. Terry Virts broke the Round-the-World record in a Gulfstream G650ER for any aircraft flying over the North and South poles. In addition to holding several aviation world records, Hamish has travelled to the South Pole twice, and in 2021 dived the Challenger Deep with Victor Vescovo to a depth of 36,000 ft in a two-person sub. Hamish lived in the United Arab Emirates with his wife, two teenage sons and two golden retrievers.

According to npr.com, Virts said his friend Harding “is an explorer by nature.”

Blue Origin, founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, opened in Kent in 2020.

Other crew members on the Blue Origin flight included Evan Dick, investor and NS-19 astronaut; Katya Echazarreta, electrical engineer and former NASA test lead; Victory Correa Hespanha, civil production engineer; Jaison Robinson, adventurer and Dream Variation Ventures co-founder; and Victor Vescovo, explorer and co-founder of private equity firm Insight Equity.

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