Captain Kirk will blast out into space next week, taking a risk that no other sci-fi hero has dared to take before him.
Blue Origin, the space travel firm founded by Jeff Bezos, said Monday that “Star Trek” star William Shatner will launch into space from West Texas on October 12.
In a tweet, the 90-year-old said, “Yes, it is real; I am going to be a ‘rocket man!'” The author went on to say, “It’s never too late to try new activities.”
Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is a big fan of the science-fiction series and even appeared in the 2016 film “Star Trek Beyond” as a high-ranking alien. His rocket business extended an invitation to Shatner to fly as a guest.
Shatner’s flight, on the other hand, will take just 10 minutes and will only reach a height of about 66 miles (106 kilometers). Following its return to earth through parachutes, it will land on the desert floor not far from where it took off.
Despite the fact that he is officially scheduled to be sent into space next week aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, the Star Trek actor spoke with Today on Tuesday, less than a week before the launch. He expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of witnessing things “I’ve only played as an actor,” while also admitting to a mixture of excitement and nervousness about the experience.
It is his hope that the journey will highlight “how important it is to keep the Earth alive so that we do not wreck it.” “I’m thrilled and anxious and a little nervous and a little scared about this whole new adventure,” says the explorer, who also expects it to highlight “how important it is to keep the Earth alive so that we do not wreck it.”
Shatner has said that he is looking forward to witnessing “the immensity of space and the amazing marvel of our Earth, as well as the fragility of our planet.” As the oldest person to ever go to space, the Captain Kirk star will be 90 years old when he takes to the skies. However, he did have one crucial concern before the trip, playfully wondering, “What does the space men do if they have to go to the bathroom?” In response to Al Roker’s observation that Shatner would probably be OK given the fact that his journey will only last 11 minutes, Shatner said, “When you’re 90, 11 minutes may seem like a long time!”
Space tourism is rapidly gaining popularity, whether for short or lengthy trips.
In July, Virgin Galactic sent creator Richard Branson and five other passengers to the edge of space, followed nine days later by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ space flight. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, on the other hand, successfully launched its first private crew last month, consisting of a Pennsylvania entrepreneur who purchased the three-day trip and brought along two contest winners and a cancer survivor.
The spacecraft of Virgin Galactic is launched from an aircraft and needs two pilots to operate. Although Blue Origin and SpaceX’s capsules are fully automated, passengers must still pass medical screenings and, among other things, be able to quickly climb several flights of stairs at the launch tower in order to get to the capsule — or out of it in an emergency — before boarding the spacecraft.
This will be Blue Origin’s second crewed launch, after the first in 2015.
On July 20, Bezos was a passenger on the first flight. He traveled with his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, and aviation pioneer Wally Funk, who was 82 at the time of the flight, making him the youngest and oldest person to fly in space. Shatner will be eight years younger than the previous record holder.
“I’ve been hearing about space travel for quite some time now. I’m going to take advantage of the chance to see it for myself. “What a miracle,” Shatner said in a press release.
From 1966 until 1969, Shatner starred as the captain of the USS Starship Enterprise in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also starred as Captain James T. Kirk in seven films, with one of them serving as a directorial debut. “The UnXplained,” a History Channel program in which he serves as host and executive producer, is presently airing.
Following their deaths, the ashes of two additional “Star Trek” legends — inventor Gene Roddenberry and actor James Doohan, who portrayed Scotty — were sent into space many years after they passed away.
With Shatner on the launch pad will be two other entrepreneurs: an ex-NASA engineer who started a nanosatellite business, and the co-founder of a software company focusing on clinical research. The two of them took part in an auction for a ticket on the first aircraft out of the country. Blue Origin is not disclosing the price of any additional tickets, including the $28 million for the first seat.
A fourth seat on the trip will be taken by Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, who formerly worked for NASA as a flight controller for the International Space Station.
According to a Blue Origin spokesperson, Shatner, like the other candidates, fulfilled all of the company’s health and physical standards.
More than 20 current and former Blue Origin workers came out last week to accuse the Kent, Washington-based business of creating a hazardous workplace and failing to follow appropriate safety procedures. As for harassment or discrimination, Blue Origin said that it does not allow such behavior and that it stands by its safety record.
A NASA contract awarded to Bezos’ business for the provision of a lunar lander that would send humans to the moon in a few years is also being challenged by the company of Jeff Bezos. It was determined that Blue Origin was unsuccessful in its application for the assignment.