William Shatner, actor in Star Trek: The Next Generation, says he's ready to go to space.
Blue Origin has released a new video that shows the thoughts of Shatner, 90 years old, as he prepares for his suborbital space mission. It is expected to occur no later than Wednesday (Oct.13). It also seems like Shatner isn’t as scared as he admitted to being about the flight, just a few days before.
Shatner stated in the opening of the video, "I'm going to space; I don’t know how many people could say that." He is expected to become the oldest person to fly after Wally Funk, a Mercury 13 pilot, broke the record in July on another Blue Origin flight, at the age of 82.
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Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket will launch William Shatner (Star Trek) into space on October 13, 2021. Blue Origin image credit
There are only 600 people who have ever been to space, with the majority of them being professional astronauts. Shatner is part of a growing number of non-professional spaceflyers who paid a lot of money to have the chance.
Blue Origin has not yet revealed the price of one of its New Shepard flights seats, but it is likely to be quite high considering that Virgin Galactic recently reopened its manifest at $450,000 per person.
We are only at the beginning of this journey, but it is amazing how incredible the end result is. #NS18 pic.twitter.com/u3MnOAbWtWOctober 12, 2021 See more
Shatner stated that his 11-minute flight on Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft to the edge of space will be life-changing. It is not due to the aerial adventure but because of the people he's meeting and talking with. He acknowledged how many people have been fascinated by Captain James T. Kirk, the fictional U.S.S.S. Enterprise.
Star Trek has had a significant influence on professional astronauts. Many have appeared on the show throughout the years. Although the 1960s franchise covers futuristic spaceflight that is largely centuries away from today, Shatner said he was happy to be part of the beginning of space tourism. Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic just launched crewed flights this past year.
William Shatner (second right) will be flying with three private citizens in a Blue Origin suborbital flight. From left: Glen de Vries (Vice Chair for Life Sciences and Healthcare at French Software Company Dassault Systmes); Audrey Powers (Blue Origin vice president of Mission and Flight Operations); and Chris Boshuizen (Co-founder of Planet Earth-observation Company). Blue Origin image credit
Shatner stated, "We're just starting, and how miraculous and extraordinary the beginning is and how extraordinary it feels to be part of that beginning," He said that space has a "mystique", and that he looks forward to seeing the view from his window.
Shatner states, "There is an adventure I wouldn't have had in my life if I hadn't done this," near the end of the video. Blue Origin's Audrey Powers (Planet Labs cofounder Chris Boshuizen) and Glen de Vries (co-founder of Medidata Solutions, a clinical research software platform now called Dassault Systmes), will join him on the spaceflight.
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