Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin announced that William Shatner will be launching into space along with three others on October 12th. Shatner, best known as the actor who played Captain Kirk on Star Trek, is 90-years-old and will be the oldest person to reach space.
This will be Blue Origin’s second human spaceflight. The other people aboard will be a former NASA engineer, a co-founder of a clinical research company, and Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers. The first two mentioned are paying customers.
“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.
Funnily enough, Shatner will technically not be the first Star Trek cast member to reach space. Back in 2008, the ashes of James Doohan, who played ‘Scotty’ on the show, were smuggled into the International Space Station.
Just like the first flight, it will be on the New Shepard rocket and will only last about 10 minutes. The crew will be going to about 100km above Earth, at the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
Blue Origin has also come under fire recently, with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reviewing safety concerns and sexism claims raised by 21 whistleblowers. There have allegedly been more than 1,000 reports of issues concerning the engines. An essay written by Blue Origin staff and former staff says that many of them would not fly on a Blue Origin vehicle, and “Blue Origin has been lucky that nothing has happened so far.” The company has denied all charges and stands by its safety record.