‘With stupid money you can do stupid things’: Brevard County businessman to fly on Blue Origin
BREVARD COUNTY, Florida. – Walk down the stairwell from the second-floor Moon Room at Pineapples in Eau Gallie, and you’ll come across an MTV-themed mural of an astronaut holding a flag on the lunar surface in a backdrop cosmic.
Take a good look: The astronaut’s spacesuit bears the name “S. Young” — and he sports a distinctive goatee behind his helmet visor.
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Life imitates art for Pineapples owner Steve Young, who opened the three-story Highland Avenue restaurant-bar-music in April 2021.
The longtime Indianantic resident, who recently sold telecommunications installation giant Y-Com, has been selected for a seat on a future blue origin capsule rocket travel in space, according to Partner of News 6, Florida Today.
“With the sale of the business, there’s been a lot of stupid money. And with stupid money, you can do stupid things,” Steve Young said during an interview at his restaurant, Pineapples, at Eau Gallie.
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“I’ve always been a bit of a braggart. And what’s better than being able to say you’ve been to space when your buddies can’t? he asked, laughing.
Young, 59, has been confirmed as a customer aboard a future flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, said company spokeswoman Sara Blask.
New Shepard is a reusable suborbital rocket that launches from a spaceport outside the countryside of Van Horn, Texas, and soars 100 km above the Earth’s surface beyond the Kármán line, offering its passengers several minutes of weightlessness. Next, the fully autonomous, parachute-equipped capsule descends into the West Texas desert.
Previous New Shepard space tourism passengers include Amazon-Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, “Star Trek” icon William Shatner and “Good Morning America” co-anchor Michael Strahan.
Blue Origin successfully completed its fifth manned spaceflight on June 4. The six-person crew included former NASA test manager Katya Echazarreta, who became the first Mexican-born woman to fly in space.
Young’s flight date has not been announced. Nor the identities of Young’s five other crew members, Blask said.
He did not disclose the price of his seat on the rocket.
Young designed Pineapples, a three-story entertainment and dining venue with a rooftop terrace, as a modern take on the long-defunct intra-coastal Dr. Joe’s next door. The company employs around 120 people as an economic anchor in the town center of Eau Gallie.
His father, Gene, and his uncle Bill founded Young’s TV Cable in 1972 in Melbourne. After graduating from Melbourne High in 1981, Steve Young went into business and rose to the highest management position in the early 1990s, developing and growing Y-Com into an IT giant. installing fiber optics.
“I took a million dollar annual business and turned it into $100 million,” Young said.
“We are the largest telecommunications contractor in the state of Florida. And the new owners are taking it to new heights,” he said.
Young completed the sale of Y-Com last year. He applied for an astronaut seat with Blue Origin in September, then learned he had been approved in November.
Since finalizing the paperwork in December, he’s been waiting for his launch date to be announced – and he’s sworn to secrecy until he announces the news on Facebook on Monday.
“I have been officially told that I can now share some EXCITING news. I am taking a real rocket ride in space,” Young said in his post.
In March, Winter Park residents Sharon and Marc Hagle became the first married couple to complete a commercial spaceflight aboard Blue Origin’s fourth crewed mission.
Young’s wife, Melodie, will accompany him to West Texas, but she will not fly on the rocket. He will first attend the New Shepard briefings, followed by two days of astronaut training.
“Most of that is spent in the capsule, letting you know what to do in case of this and in case of that. These are all safety features,” Young said.
“The launch takes place very early in the morning. And then land — and they have a party,” he said.
Young said he was “not nervous at all” about his upcoming launch.
“With all the great minds and all the safety precautions, I feel safer than driving in Miami,” he said.