WEST TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas Southern University grad and New York Giants great Michael Strahan is headed back to his home state of Texas to prepare to blast into space next month.

Strahan, a Houston native who just turned 50, will join Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard, on the December 9 mission aboard the New Shepard, a spacecraft named after her father and the first American in space.

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The Blue Origin flight, the company headed by Jeff Bezos, will also carry four paying customers and will be the third by the New Shepard craft this year to shuttle humans to space.

Blue Origin has not disclosed the ticket price for paying customers.

The 10-minute flight, five minutes less than Alan Shepard’s 1961 Mercury flight, will launch from the Van Horn, Texas-area carrying six people, two more than the previous two flights this year with humans aboard.

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Similar to previous jaunts, Strahan’s flight is likely to include about three minutes of weightlessness and a view of the curvature of the Earth. Passengers are subjected to nearly 6 G’s, or six times the force of Earth’s gravity, as the capsule descends.

Strahan reported on the first Blue Origin flight for “Good Morning America.”

“I want to go to space,” Strahan told “GMA.” “I think being there at the first launch, it really was mind-blowing.”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Star Trek star William Shatner flew to space on separate New Shepard flights this year. Shatner became the oldest person in space, eclipsing the previous record — set by Texas female aviator Wally Funk on Bezos’ flight in July — by eight years.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBSDFW.com Staff