Star Trek actor William Shatner says he’s ready to hit space for real.
A new video from Blue Origin follows the 90-year-old man’s thoughts as he prepares for a suborbital adventure into space, which is expected to take place no earlier than Wednesday (October 13). The video also sounds like Shatner is not as “terrified” as he acknowledged he felt about the next flight, a few days ago.
“I’m going into space; I don’t know how many people can say that,” Shatner said, opening the video. (He is expected to be the oldest person to fly, after Mercury 13 aviator Wally Funk broke the record on another Blue Origin flight in July, at age 82.)
You can watch the launch live here and on the Space.com home page, courtesy of Blue Origin, or directly via the company’s YouTube. The webcast will begin at 8:30 am EDT (1230 GMT).
Live Updates: William Shatner’s Blue Origin Launch in New Shepard
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(Image credit: Blue Origin)
The actual number of people who have been in space is less than 600, the vast majority of them astronauts from professional agencies. But Shatner represents part of a small but growing population of non-professional space travelers, most of whom paid big bucks for the opportunity.
Blue Origin has yet to reveal how much one of its New Shepard flight seats costs, but that is likely quite a lot given that competitor Virgin Galactic has just reopened its own manifest for $ 450,000 per person.
“We are at the beginning, but how miraculous the beginning is.” @WilliamShatner is ready to go to space. # NS18 pic.twitter.com/u3MnOAbWtW October 12, 2021
Shatner said his 11-minute flight to the edge of space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft will be “life changing, not because of the aerial adventure, but because of the people I’m meeting and talking to.” He also acknowledged the number of people he has come across who are fascinated by his fictional counterpart, Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise.
“Star Trek” has had a notable influence on professional astronauts, and some have appeared on the show over the years. While the franchise that spawned the 1960s show spans futuristic spaceflight largely centuries today, Shatner himself said he’s pleased to be part of the beginning of what could be more space tourism, as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin just started manned flights this year. .
(Image credit: Blue Origin)
“We are just at the beginning, and how miraculous the beginning is and how extraordinary it is to be a part of this beginning,” Shatner said. He pointed out that there is a “mystique” of space and that he will await the view from his window.
“There is an adventure in my life that I would not have had if I had not done this,” says Shatner near the end of the video. Joining him on that spaceflight will be Audrey Powers of Blue Origin, Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen, and Glen de Vries, co-founder of the clinical research software platform Medidata Solutions (now Dassault Systèmes).
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
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