VAN HORN, Texas — Hollywood’s Captain Kirk, 90-year-old William Shatner, has blasted into space and safely returned to Earth in a convergence of science fiction and science reality.
He set out Wednesday morning for the final frontier aboard a ship built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company.
The “Star Trek” hero becomes the oldest person to ride a rocket.
The fully automatic spacecraft reached an estimated altitude of 66 miles over the West Texas desert.
The up-and-down flight lasted about 10 minutes, with Shatner and his three fellow passengers parachuting back to Earth in the capsule.
Oldest person in space
At age 90, Shatner will become the oldest person in space. He'd also be the first actor in space if the Russians weren't launching an actress and a film director Tuesday to the International Space Station.
Shatner's up-and-down space hop will last just 10 minutes and reach no higher than about 66 miles.
In July's first Blue Origin passenger launch, Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos was on board, along with his brother, Mark Bezos, 82-year-old Willie "Wally" Funk, and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.
The successful flight was the company's first attempt at launching humans into space. This is video of that July launch.
Blue Origin is based near Van Horn, Texas, which is about an eight-hour drive from Houston.
How to watch Blue Origin with William Shatner launch
What: Launch of Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft
When: 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Where: Blue Origin's launch site near Van Horn, Texas
Online stream: Live in the player above and on the 12NewsNow YouTube channel
Who is flying with William Shatner?
Joining actor William Shatner on board New Shepard NS-18 will be Audrey Powers. Powers is the Blue Origin’s vice president of Mission & Flight Operations. She joined Blue Origin in 2013 and oversees all New Shepard flight operations, vehicle maintenance, and launch, landing, and ground support infrastructure.
“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,” said Audrey Powers. “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.”
They will join crewmates Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.