Space: the final frontier and playground of billionaires. Soon William Shatner, the actor who played the original Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek in the 1960s, will be spending a little (a very little) time in space thanks to Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
Blue Origin announced the planned space flight in a press release on October 4. Shatner, who is 90, will be the oldest person ever to fly in space, though there is quite a bit of controversy about whether Blue Origin’s flights actually go to space. “I’ve heard about space for a long time now,” Shatner said in the press release. “I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.” On a flight in July, Blue Origin broke that same record when it sent 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, who entered NASAs astronaut program in the 1960s, to the edge of space.
The flight, which is currently scheduled to leave on October 12, will be the second for Bezos’ dick-shaped New Shepard rocket. The flight is suborbital, meaning it doesn’t quite go into space but more the liminal space between the Earth and space. The last flight was an 11 minute ride to the Kármán Line 100 kilometers above sea level, almost exactly at the boundary of space itself.
It’ll still be closer than Shatner has ever gotten to actual star stuff despite an entire career tied to extraterrestrial exploration. After rooting Star Trek into public consciousness through the TV and film series, Shatner’s long career frequently took him to space. Like the previous launch, Blue Origin will broadcast Shatner’s journey to the stars live on its website starting at 8:30 AM CST on October 11.
Finally. He’ll be a real rocket man. Burning up his fuse. Up there.
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