- As “Captain Kirk”, William Shatner became a “Star Trek” icon. Now the Canadian actor really flew into space.
- At the age of 90, Shatner became the oldest person in space.
- The flight took place with a space capsule from the company Blue Origin owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
- After the rocket flight of around ten minutes, the space capsule landed safely in the Texas desert.
Due to the forecast of stronger winds, the flight originally planned for Tuesday was postponed to Wednesday. It was the second manned flight of the New Shepard capsule, named after the first American in space, Alan Shepard.
On the first short space flight in July, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was on board himself, along with his brother Mark, an 82-year-old former US pilot and an 18-year-old Dutchman.
The former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, the entrepreneur Glen de Vries and Audrey Powers also flew with Shatner alias “Captain Kirk”, she is the deputy head of the space company Blue Origin.
“Captain Kirk” flew with me for free
The participation of “Captain Kirk” as the fourth passenger is seen as an impressive advertising campaign for Bezos and his space company Blue Origin.
Unlike Boshuizen and De Vries, Shatner did not have to buy a plane ticket, but was invited as a guest by Blue Origin, reported the New York Times, citing the company.
In 1966 William Shatner first took on the role of “Captain James T. Kirk” in the science fiction series “Star Trek”. In the Blue Origin space capsule, however, he was not in command – it flies largely automatically.
In addition, the flight did not lead through the “endless expanses” of space and to “foreign galaxies”, but only for around ten minutes to about 100 kilometers above the western Texas desert, at times with weightlessness.
The International Aviation Association (FAI) and many experts see the distance of 100 kilometers above the earth as the limit to space. But there is no binding international regulation.
“Life Changing Adventure”
After the flight, the reusable space capsule was slowed down by large parachutes when it landed in the Texas desert. “Hello astronauts, welcome to Earth,” said Bezos as he opened the hatch of the landed capsule and was hugged by Shatner.
Before the flight, Blue Origin posted a photo of the crew on Twitter and a video showing William Shatner preparing for the flight together with Jeff Bezos.
The adventure is “life-changing” for him, says Shatner in it. “It seems like there is a lot of interest that the fictional character ‘Captain Kirk’ really flies into space – so let’s go with it and enjoy it all.”