'Star Trek' Icon William Shatner Will Be the Oldest Person to Fly to Space
In 1966, William Shatner traveled through space as Captain James T. Kirk on the iconic television series Star Trek. Back then, space travel was practically still science fiction —humankind had only touched space for the first time a few years prior, but we hadn't even landed on the moon yet.
But 55 years after donning the uniform of a USS Enterprise officer, the actor is going to space in real life on a Blue Origin spacecraft.
"I've heard about space for a long time now. I'm taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle," Shatner said in a statement.
Shatner is joining the crew of NS-18, the second crewed Blue Origin mission after Jeff Bezos' ride in July, flying alongside businessmen Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, as well as Blue Origin's Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations. The flight is scheduled to lift off from the company's launch facility in West Texas at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 12.
At 90 years old, Shatner will become the oldest person to fly in space, beating the record set by 82-year-old Wally Funk, who flew with Jeff Bezos in July.
He and his fellow passengers will launch vertically in a capsule atop a New Shepard rocket and reach an altitude of roughly 65 miles above the Earth's surface. There, they'll float in microgravity for a few minutes before landing back on the ground beneath parachutes. All in, the flight will take about 10 minutes — just a tad shorter than a mission on the Enterprise.
For Trekkies and space enthusiasts interested in tuning into the mission, Blue Origin will stream coverage beginning 90 minutes before launch.