Science

William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk role in ‘Star Trek,’ will travel to space on a Blue Origin launch on Oct 12

Blue Origin affirmed that actor William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on “Star Trek,” will fly into space on a suborbital launch on Oct 12 from West Texas. Blue Origin, the space travel organization owned by Jeff Bezos, reported on Monday that William Shatner, a Canadian actor who played Captain Kirk in the popular science fiction series Star Trek, will rocket into space on 12 October.

The declaration Monday followed a report last month by TMZ that sci-fi actors will travel to space on a Blue Origin launch.

“Yes, it’s true,” Shatner tweeted Monday. “I’m going to be a ‘rocket man!’”

Shatner will fly on the second launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard supporter with human travelers — and the 18th New Shepard launches overall — following a first crewed mission in July. On that flight, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk and Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen rocketed to an altitude of 66 miles (107 kilometers), simply over the globally recognized boundary of space.

William Shatner is officially space-bound. Shatner, the 90-year-old actor who plate Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise in the Star Trek: The Original Series and seven resulting films, will board the New Shepard NS-18’s crew for its October 12th launch. Blue Origin affirmed Shatner’s contribution today after rumors started coursing last week, as well as that of Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission and Flight Operations. They join Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries as the ship’s crew. Shatner has previously expressed some interest in space travel, however, he envisioned flying close by Elon Musk.

“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” Shatner says in a press release.

Funk, 82, became the oldest person to travel to space on the July 20 launch. Shatner, 90, will break that record.

“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 will join three others on the New Shepard rocket. Blue Origin declared the first two travelers last week, and the organization said Monday one of its executives, Audrey Powers, will likewise strap in for the ride to space next week.

Powers, an engineer, and a lawyer is Blue Origin’s VP of mission and flight operations. She served as an International Space Station flight controller for NASA before joining Blue Origin in 2013.

“As an engineer and lawyer with more than two decades of experience in the aerospace industry, I have great confidence in our New Shepard team and the vehicle we’ve developed,” Powers said.

The flight on Oct. 12 is Blue Origin’s first since 21 current and previous employees released an open letter claiming sexism and a culture of smothering dispute at the private space organization. The employees additionally raised worries about the safety of the New Shepard system.

Blue Origin said in a statement it doesn’t tolerate discrimination or harassment, yet a representative didn’t explicitly address security issues brought up in the open letter.

The other two travelers on the NS-18 mission are paying clients.

Chris Boshuizen co-founded Planet Labs, presently known as Planet, in 2010 and served as the San Francisco-based organization’s chief technology officer for five years. Planet assembles small spacecraft and works a fleet of more than 100 Earth-imaging satellites to gather daily remote sensing imagery.

Glen de Vries co-founded Medidata Solutions in 1999, a software organization generally used in clinical trials. He is presently vice-chair of life science and health care at Dassault Systèmes, which gained Medidata for $5.8 billion in 2019. Blue Origin said de Vries is additionally a trustee of Carnegie Mellon University, an author, and a private pilot.

Blue Origin didn’t uncover how much the customers paid for their seats. Both took an interest in a charity auction in June for a seat on the first New Shepard trip with human travelers. The triumphant bid for that seat, which eventually went to Daemen through his father, was $28 million.

Shatner is a long-term space enthusiast and advocates for space exploration. He played the role of Captain Kirk on the “Star Trek” TV series during the 1960s, and in seven films, one of which he directed.

However most popular for playing Captain Kirk in Star Trek, Shatner has acted in T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal. He’s likewise a director, recording artist, and horseman. As indicated by the press release, Shatner “has long wanted to travel to space.” He will become the oldest person to wander into outer space.

Right now, Shatner hosts and executive produces The UnXplained on The History Channel. From the producers of Ancient Aliens and The Curse of Oak Island, The UnXplained is a one-hour non-fiction series that investigates the world’s most fascinating, bizarre, and mysterious secrets.

Blue Origin is a privately funded aerospace manufacturer that behaviors sub-orbital spaceflights. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos established Blue Origin in 2000. In July, the organization had its first crewed mission with Bezos himself part of the New Shepard’s crew. Saturday Night Live made fun of Bezos’ interstellar aspirations with a well-timed Star Trek parody during its season premiere.

The trip to space will go on around 10 minutes after launch from Blue Origin’s launch site close to Van Horn, Texas. Shatner and his co-passengers will go through a few minutes in microgravity, offering them the chance to unstrap from their seats and float in the cabin of Blue Origin’s crew module.

The reusable New Shepard booster will get back to Earth for a propulsive landing, and the crew capsule will descend under three main parachutes, landing a few miles from the launch site in West Texas.

Shatner’s journey into space comes amid a boom in private human spaceflight.

Virgin Galactic, established by tycoon Richard Branson, is contending with Blue Origin in the suborbital spaceflight realm. Branson and five other Virgin Galactic workers traveled to the edge of space in July over New Mexico in the organization’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane.

SpaceX launched four private citizens into orbit on a three-day mission last month, and a Russian actress and movie director are planning to launch to the International Space Station Tuesday. They will film scenes on the space station for a Russian feature-length film before getting back to Earth later this month.

Powers was a NASA flight controller with 2,000 hours of console time working with the International Space Station Program. She’s presently the executive sponsor of Blue Origin’s New Mercury gender diversity business resource group, a pilot, and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

“I’m so proud and humbled to fly on behalf of Team Blue, and I’m excited to continue writing Blue’s human spaceflight history,” Powers says. “I was part of the amazing effort we assembled for New Shepard’s Human Flight Certification Review, a years-long initiative completed in July 2021. As an engineer and lawyer with more than two decades of experience in the aerospace industry, I have great confidence in our New Shepard team and the vehicle we’ve developed.”

Shatner, as Kirk, told the USS Enterprise on a five-year mission “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

His actual journey to space will be far more limited, around 10 minutes, in a flight that will take the crew just beyond the Karman Line, 100 kilometers above the Earth.

Blue Origin likewise declared the identity of the remaining traveler, Audrey Powers, the organization’s VP of mission and flight operations.

They will join Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, a co-founder of clinical research platform Medidata Solutions, on the sub-orbital flight.

The news comes as Bezos’ organization is under a cloud of allegations identifying with a “toxic” work culture with rampant harassment.

The cases, firmly rejected by Blue Origin, were laid out in an extensive blog post signed by Alexandra Abrams, the organization’s former head of employee communications, last week.

The post said it additionally represented the perspectives of 20 different laborers and ex-workers in different divisions who wanted to stay mysterious.

Abrams and her co-authors further claimed the organization had a pattern of decision-making that prioritized speedy rocket development over security, and that few of them would not have a feel safe in the organization’s New Shepard rocket.

Bezos, the world’s richest man, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and paying client Oliver Daemen flew into space on Blue Origin’s first crewed flight on 20 July.

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