Santa Barbara resident Marty Allen
Marty Allen of Santa Barbara talks about his flight to the edge of space on Thursday during a post-landing interview on the Blue Origin livestream of the New Shepard-20 mission.

A trip to the edge of space Thursday morning left a Santa Barbara man nearly speechless. 

Marty Allen, who divides his time between Santa Barbara and Idaho, was one of six space tourists aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital flight from West Texas. 

Upon returning to Earth, Allen said he was stunned by the “unreal” view he deemed “fabulous.”

“I wanted to do somersaults and all that, and I was just taken aback by the view. You can’t put it into words, you just have to see it. You can’t put it into words,” said Allen, a turnaround CEO and angel investor.

The New Shepard rocket, a mission dubbed NS-20, lifted off at 6:57:55 a.m. (PDT) from Launch Site One in the Texas desert with the booster returning to Earth before the capsule touched down at 7:07:59 a.m., sending up a dust cloud.

“Coming down, that’s where you really felt the Gs coming down,” he added. “When we separated, the capsule almost felt like it was starting to fall right then. And then you realize you’re there and you can’t describe it. It’s just unbelievable.”

It was Blue Origin’s fourth flight taking humans to the edge of space, with customers paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the quick trip with a few minutes in weightlessness.

Blue Origin launch of the New Shepard in West Texas

A screenshot shows the Blue Origin launch of the New Shepard in West Texas with six people on board, including Santa Barbara’s Marty Allen.

“All of America’s got to get caught up in this, and we need a lot of people up here,” Allen said. “I’m still stunned for words. The weightless was great. We weren’t up there long enough to really, really enjoy the weightlessness to where you could eat and play with objects.”

The mission also included husband-and-wife duo Sharon and Marc Hagle, Jim Kitchen, Dr. George Nield, and the final passenger announced Monday, Gary Lai.

While commercial companies have started launching their own satellites for space-based phone and Internet systems, Blue Origin is fueling a space tourism industry.

Preparations began hours ahead of the planned launch time, with the vehicle rolled out from the barn to the launch pad.

“It feels like spaceflight at Blue Origin is becoming routine, and that’s the dream here at Blue,” said lead flight director Nicholas Patrick, a former NASA astronaut.

The crew included a member especially close to the hearts of the Blue Origin team. Lai, the architect of New Shepard, took the seat after comedian Pete Davidson had to back out of the flight following the delay.

“None of us can wait to hear from his lips what the spaceflight was like for him and how it has changed him,” Patrick said.

After exiting the capsule, Lai called the ride intense and said he had vertigo and nausea.

“I don’t know that words can do that justice. You just have to feel it,” Lai said.

Blue Origin’s capsule boasts plenty of windows to let passengers capture the view.

“It was like being outside. It was a beautiful, clear day,” he said, adding that he was “so overcome.”

A short trip to space for Allen shouldn’t come as a surprise since he has had a lifelong love for various modes of transportation, including cars, boats and planes. A taste of space apparently whetted Allen’s appetite for adventure.

“When are we going again?” he asked after Kathy Powers, New Shepard’s vice president, presented Allen with his astronaut pin.

A video replaying the space launch and landing can be seen on YouTube by clicking here.

With its headquarters in Washington state, Blue Origin was started by Jeff Bezos, also the founder of Amazon

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Janene Scully | Noozhawk North County Editor

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at