Science

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket ‘goes’ to launch William Shatner and his crew into space

The crew of Blue Origin’s NS-18, starring “Star Trek” captain William Shatner, is officially “ready” for a real-life space flight on Wednesday (October 13).

The private space flight company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos authorized its New Shepard suborbital rocket and capsule to launch Shatner and three other passengers on a suborbital journey over Texas. Liftoff is now scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT (9 a.m. CDT / 1400 GMT) from Blue Origin Launch Site One near the West Texas town of Van Horn.

“New Shepard is ready to launch!” Blue Origin announced via Twitter today (Oct 12). The mission team has completed the Flight Readiness Assessment prior to # NS18. This is our last meeting with the Mission Control engineers and team to ensure that all systems are ready for launch. “

Live Updates: Follow William Shatner’s Blue Origin Release Here
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“Star Trek” actor William Shatner (second from left) poses for a crew photo with his NS-18 crewmates and their Blue Origin New Shepard rocket ahead of launch scheduled for October 13, 2021. His crewmates are: (from left) Audrey Powers of Blue Origin; Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, co-founder of Medidata Solutions. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

The mission will launch about 30 minutes later than previously planned due to wind concerns, the company said.

“Today, astronauts are becoming familiar with the launch tower, redundant safety features of the #NewShepard crew capsule, as well as entry and exit procedures. Astronaut training will be completed at the end of the day,” continued the thread.

Related: Blue Origin William Shatner’s Launch Explained

A short YouTube interview on Tuesday (October 12) with Nick Patrick, chief flight director and former NASA space shuttle astronaut, indicated that there were no major changes in recent days other than the weather, which has already delayed two attempts. launch.

“We had a little meeting this morning to review any changes, and there is really nothing to report from that meeting other than things that will still be released tomorrow,” Patrick said in the status update.

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Patrick also explained that the training the astronauts are receiving will do three things: train them in security systems, accustom them to “unexpected aspects” of space flight such as noise or accelerations, and teach the crew “how to behave in zero gravity.” , how to avoid kicking yourself while floating.

Even though the training only lasts a few hours, Patrick said the experts “give a great training presentation” and that it will be enough to get the crew, all non-professional astronauts, ready for space.

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Several crew members shared their excitement on Twitter. Shatner, a prolific Twitter user in his 90s, said he won’t be able to take his phone with him, but has other arrangements planned.

We also heard from Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, co-founder of the clinical research software platform Medidata Solutions, whose tweets paid tribute to the four members of the team (which also includes Audrey Powers, senior executive at Blue Origin).

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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