Update: Star Trek‘s William Shatner is now the oldest person to leave Earth after the successful launch of the New Shepard NS-18 of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
The 90-year-old Star Trek actor made the historic trip while in the good company of Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers, and crew members Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.
“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, diverting myself in now & then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me,” Shatner said in a scheduled tweet that went live once he left the planet.
“I am so filled with emotion,” Shatner told Bezos while recounting what it was like to leave the planet. “I am overwhelmed. I had no idea.”
It sure sounds like Shatner’s trip to space was rather life-altering. I can’t begin to imagine what was going through his mind as he watched planet Earth reduced to a blip among the cosmos. I don’t if I’d have the stones to make the trip myself, but hearing Shatner’s emotional reaction to the trip makes me think I could pull it off. Now, all I have to do is save up $28 million dollars for a ticket.
Star Trek‘s William Shatner has traveled to the outer reaches of space on television, but now he’s about to do it for real. Shatner is partnering with Jeff Bezos’s space travel company, Blue Origin, for a 10-minute journey that will take him 66 miles above the Earth’s surface. The launch will take place in West Texas on October 12, with Shatner being Bezos’ guest.
“Yes, I’m going to be a rocket man,” said the 90-year-old actor. “It’s never too late to experience new things.”
At 90-years old, Shatner will be the oldest person to go to space. He’ll be joined by three other passengers, including two paying customers. Shatner’s voyage is scheduled not long after Russia is expected to shoot an actress and director into space for a two-week moviemaking mission.
After reaching an altitude of 66 miles (106 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface, the capsule will release a parachute and float back to the desert floor. This will be Blue Origin’s second launch of a crew for this type of event. The first launch happened on July 20, 2021. Bezos was aboard the vessel alongside his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer named Wally Funk – the duo were the youngest and oldest people on record to travel into space.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” Shatner said in a statement. Shatner will make the voyage alongside a former NASA engineer who founded a nanosatellite company, and the co-founder of a software company specializing in clinical research. While Shatner was personally invited by Bezos to attend, the other passengers paid $28 million a seat for their coveted spot. That’s a hell of a lot of money, but hey, that’s the price of saying you’ve been to space with Captain Kirk, but for real.
Forget the money, would you travel to space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin shuttle? I think this program needs a few more test flights before you’d find me strapping in for a there-and-back-again into the stratosphere. It would be cool, though. I wish Shatner and his fellow passengers a safe journey.
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