Science

Meet William Shatner’s real-life space crew for the Blue Origin launch

The original “Star Trek” captain, a vice president of Blue Origin, co-founder of Planet Labs, and co-founder of a medical research platform will launch into space on a Blue Origin flight no earlier than October 12.

Actor William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in “Star Trek: The Original Series,” which premiered in 1966, now 90, will fly to the true final frontier with the next manned space flight from Blue Origin aboard the company. New Shepard spaceship.

This will be the second manned space flight for Blue Origin after its maiden manned flight launched founder Jeff Bezos and three other passengers on a 10-minute trip to space and back on July 20, it will be streamed live on BlueOrigin.com. , starting in 90 minutes. before launch.

Currently, liftoff is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. local time (9:30 a.m. EDT or 1:30 p.m. GMT) from launch site one in West Texas. That said, the Federal Aviation Administration may release a review of Blue Origin’s culture and safety practices after criticism emerged in media reports a few days ago.

Live Updates: Follow William Shatner’s Blue Origin Release Here
Related: Star Trek Movies, Ranked Worst To Best

Find out more about Shatner and the rest of his New Shepard NS-18 crew:

William shatner

William Shatner will launch into space with an upcoming Blue Origin suborbital mission on October 12, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin / Gary Marschka)

Shatner has been acting for 60 years and, in addition to his “Star Trek” fame, is known for his singing and horseback riding accomplishments.

In his most famous role as Captain Kirk on “Star Trek,” he has made seven big-screen appearances in feature films in addition to three seasons on the television network. At 90, Shatner will be the oldest person ever to reach space, breaking the record set by 82-year-old aviator and Mercury 13 member Wally Funk, who set his record as part of Blue Origin’s debut flight in July. . (The oldest person to reach orbit is still 77-year-old John Glenn, a former NASA astronaut who joined NASA’s STS-95 shuttle mission working on aging research in 1998).

Some of Shatner’s other space-related appearances over the years include cameos in various “Star Trek” documentaries, a recurring role in “The Twilight Zone” before “Star Trek,” an appearance in an episode of 1964 of “The Outer Limits” and a recurring role on “3rd Rock from the Sun” from 1999 to 2000. Shatner is also known for his recurring and leading roles on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal” in the 2000s, like Denny Crane. Shatner has also published several books and released a variety of music over the years.

“I have heard about space for a long time. I take the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” Shatner said in a statement from Blue Origin on October 4.

Audrey powers

Audrey Powers, vice president of flight and mission operations for Blue Origin. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

Audrey Powers is the vice president of missions and flight operations for Blue Origin and has been with the company since 2013. She is responsible for all of New Shepard’s flight operations, vehicle maintenance and infrastructure for launch, landing and support in land, according to his Blue Origin bio.

Powers was also one of the leaders in New Shepard’s flight certification. Unlike the other passengers, who are paying for their seats, Powers appears to be joining the crew in his official companion capacity as part of New Shepard’s preparation for other flight opportunities.

Previously at Blue Origin, Powers held the positions of Deputy General Counsel and Vice President of Legal and Compliance. She has also worked in the space industry as an engineer and lawyer. Powers is a former NASA flight controller and served at the console for 2,000 hours in Mission Control for the International Space Station program. In addition to his work at Blue Origin, Powers is a pilot and chairs the board of directors for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

“I am very proud and honored to fly on behalf of Team Blue, and I am excited to continue writing the history of space flight manned by Blue,” Powers said in the same Blue Origin statement on October 4. “As an engineer and attorney with more than two decades of experience in the aerospace industry, I have great confidence in our New Shepard team and the vehicle we have developed,” he added.

Chris Boshuizen

Planet Co-Founder Chris Boshuizen. (Image credit: Planet Labs)

Chris Boshuizen co-founded Planet Labs (now known as Planet) in 2010 and served as the company’s chief technology officer for five years. Planet has now launched more than 450 satellites to map Earth from space. Between 2008 and 2012, Boshuizen was a space mission architect at NASA’s Ames Research Center, where he co-invented an orbital satellite adapted from a smartphone, called NASA Phonesat.

His other work includes establishing the Singularity University (which examines technological development and its consequences), organizing several international space conferences, and serving as the first executive director of the Space Generation Advisory Council.

“This is the fulfillment of my biggest childhood dream,” Boshuizen said on September 27 in a statement from Blue Origin, when he was announced as a member of the crew. “Most importantly, however, I see this flight as an opportunity to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. [science, technology, engineering and math] and catalyze the next generation of space explorers. After all, our future of life in space is in his very capable hands. ”

Glen de vries

Glen de Vries, co-founder of Medidata. (Image credit: Medidata)

Glen de Vries is a co-founder of Medidata Solutions, which creates software that has been used in more than 25,000 clinical trials for items ranging from vaccines to rare diseases. De Vries is also vice president of life sciences and healthcare at Dassault Systèmes, which Medidata acquired in 2019, and a trustee of Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a private pilot.

“Taking part in advancing the space industry and one day making those resources and understanding available to all is an incredible opportunity,” De Vries said in a statement from Blue Origin on September 27, when he was announced as a member of crew. “I have been passionate about aviation and space for as long as I can remember, so this flight is truly a dream come true.”

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

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