The actor who plays Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series embarks on a real-life journey into outer space with Jeff Bezos
Blue Origin, the aerospace company owned by US billionaire Jeff Bezos, has confirmed that Texas’ William Shatner will launch on October 12. At 90, the actor will become the oldest human to fly in space. “I’ve been listening for a long time. I saw the opportunity myself. It’s a miracle,” Shatner said in a statement.
Shatner joined three others on a New Shepard Blue Origin rocket for the company’s two-person spacecraft. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos boarded the first flight in July, with his brother, an 82-year-old space pioneer and an 18-year-old student. Like the previous flight, the October flight will take about 10 minutes and guide crew members across the Karman Line, a purported space 100 kilometers (60 miles) above Earth.
Blue Origin said its vice president and aviation personnel, Audrey Powers, would also join, along with former NASA engineers and founders of industry programs specializing in clinical research. Canadian filmmaker Shatner starred as Captain James T Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the first Star Trek TV series in 1960 and appeared in the film franchise.
A 2013 report stated that he refused to donate to Sir Richard Branson to take him into space on Virgin Galactic, a multi-billion dollar space company that brought Sir Richard to the brink of extinction in July. Sir Richard later told The Sun that Shatner was afraid of flying. But in 2011, the actor said he turned down the offer because the billionaire wanted him to pay for the trip. “He wanted me to come in and pay my bill and say, ‘Hey, you pay me, I’m going in. It’s going to put my life at risk for big money.’ But he didn’t accept my offer,” Shatner told reporters.
Star Trek isn’t the first to leave the world.
Last year, the Times revealed that James Doohan Ash, of Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, had been sent to the international airport in 2008, three years after Doohan’s death. The new Shepard, built by Blue Origin of Bezos, is designed to support the growing tourism market. “NewSpace”, also known as “Many entrepreneurs are getting into the race to create low-cost business opportunity travel.”
Blue Origin Bezos emerged over the past few days when 21 employees and former staff members said they ignored safety concerns to take advantage of open spaces and complained about gender stereotypes. Blue Origin denies the allegations and says it protects its safety.