USS Enterprise’s Captain Kirk to become oldest person in space, courtesy of Jeff Bezos
Wednesday’s suborbital launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard 4 is to set a new record for the oldest human to go into space. Among the four crew members is legendary actor William Shatner of ‘Star Trek’ fame.
The NS-18 is the second manned mission for Blue Origin’s budding space entertainment rides. Shatner, who is the ripe age of 90, is to beat the age record, which was ironically set just a few months ago. Renowned aviator Wally Funk was 82 when she flew the same reusable spaceship in July, alongside Blue Origin CEO, billionaire Jeff Bezos.
The automatic suborbital flight is scheduled to take off from the launchpad in Corn Ranch, West Texas at 9:00 CDT / 14:00 GMT. Shatner is taking it with three other passengers, Blue Origin executive Audrey Powers, Australian space exploration enthusiast Chris Boshuizen and geek entrepreneur Glen de Vries.
Special delivery: #NS18 astronauts put pen to postcard ahead of their flight. When they take to the skies, they’ll boldly go where no mail carrier has gone before. #postcardstospace 🚀 pic.twitter.com/FjG4TR42we
— Club for the Future (@clubforfuture) October 12, 2021
Among the four peer travelers, the Canadian-born actor is the best-known to the global public. His breakthrough role was that of James T. Kirk, the captain of the fictional USS Enterprise in the original 1960s Star Trek series, which sealed his legacy among generations of space-obsessed fans. He also had a successful music and media career. RT America is currently airing his show ‘I Don’t Understand’.
Blue Origin is competing in an emerging market for private space tourism, with strong rivalry posed by British businessman adventurer Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. This year, Branson managed to beat Bezos to become the first billionaire in space, though Blue Origin disagrees on whether a trip in the rocket plane VSS Unity counts as a ‘real’ space flight.
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