The autonomous and reusable New Shepard capsule from the American company Blue Origin, with five more crew members, is due to take off today from the Texas desert, in the United States, with the launch "window" scheduled to start at 2:30 pm (Lisbon time).
This is the sixth suborbital flight with crew from Blue Origin, an aerospace company run by tycoon Jeff Bezos.
Alongside Mário Ferreira, president of the Pluris Investments group, through which he holds a stake in the capital of the TVI television station and the Douro Azul cruise company, will be Egyptian engineer Sara Sabry, Anglo-American mountaineer Vanessa O'Brien, co-founder of the YouTube sports channel "Dude Perfect" Coby Cotton, former telecoms executive Steve Young and technology expert Clint Kelly III.
If all goes well the six crew members will cross the barrier that separates the limit of the Earth's atmosphere and space and feel the microgravity, in a short trip of just over 10 minutes between take-off (driven by a thruster) and landing (smoothed by a parachute). None of the crew will have to pilot the spacecraft, as it is fully autonomous.
Mário Ferreira told Lusa that he is also considering investing in the aerospace industry.
"This is for me the first flight of what I believe will be the future of space travel. The companies that I have met, including this one, have very interesting ongoing programs that are not science fiction", said the businessman, adding that the training has been very intense.
Bottle of Port
Regarding the bottle of port he will take into space on the flight, he said he wanted his mission "to be more than a tourist experience", also having "an experimental area".
"We want to see what changes a 2003 vintage may undergo, let's see if with the G forces and the absence of gravity, it changes flavour, colour, and if there will be other chemical or molecular changes", he told Lusa.
In addition to the Taylor's port there are other items that he will also take on the trip, including a "tribute to the Douro, the river, the boats and art" so a "rabelo boat in filigree" will be sent up to space too.