William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk, to become oldest person to fly to space
William Shatner to fly to space during the 11-minute tourist spaceflight by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin on October 12.
October 05, 2021 / 07:52 AM IST
Blue Origin on Monday confirmed William Shatner will fly to space. Image source: AFP.
William Shatner, who starred as Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series, will fly aboard the Jeff Bezos-founded Blue Origin's next crewed rocket on October 12. “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” said Shatner.
“Yes, it’s true; I’m going to be a 'rocket man!'” the 90-year-old tweeted. He added: “It’s never too late to experience new things.”
Shatner will become the oldest person to go to space. Shatner's flight, by comparison, will last just 10 minutes and reach no higher than about 66 miles (106 kilometers). The capsule will parachute back to the desert floor, not far from where it took off.
The company also announced the identity of the remaining passenger, Audrey Powers, the company's vice president of mission and flight operations. “I’m so proud and humbled to fly on behalf of Team Blue, and I’m excited to continue writing Blue’s human spaceflight history,” she said.
They will join Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, a co-founder of clinical research platform Medidata Solutions, on the sub-orbital flight.
Blue Origin will host a live webcast of the mission, called NS-18, with coverage set to begin at 8 am ET on October 12.
This will be Blue Origin’s second launch of a crew. Bezos was on the debut flight on July 20. He took along his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk — the youngest and oldest to fly in space. Shatner will break that upper threshold by eight years.
The voyage, that lasted for 11 minutes, was a key moment for a fledgling industry seeking to make the final frontier accessible to elite tourists.