William Shatner says he is “a little scared” about Wednesday’s rocket ride, which will see the 90-year-old Star Trek legend become the oldest person to travel to the edge of space.
His Captain Kirk character is boldly in place, but Shatner’s admission in a recent interview reveals some nerves when it comes to this particular mission.
“I’m thrilled and anxious and a little nervous and a little scared about this whole new adventure,” Shatner said Before blasting off on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
“But I think once it’s done, once I go into space and look at the universe and see the difference between our Earth and that hostility and this heat, and how important it is to keep the Earth alive so that We don’t waste it, we humans don’t waste it, it’s all so dramatic to me.
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) 12 October 2021
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000, and engineers have been testing its suborbital New Shepard rocket since 2015. In July, the billionaire businessman took a successful test flight aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed voyage to the edge of space. Which opens the door to a commercial space tourism service.
A devoted Star Trek fan, and no doubt aware of the huge hype it generated, Bezos recently invited Shatner to fly on a second crew trip with three other crew members. . The Canadian entertainer jumped at the chance.
Wednesday’s flight will take the New Shepard crew capsule just above the Carmen line, about 62 miles above Earth that is widely regarded as the edge of space. Before returning to Earth, Shatner and his companions will have several minutes to enjoy the scenery and float around the capsule in weightless conditions.
He may be nervous, but Shatner certainly hasn’t lost his sense of humor on launch day. In a recent interview on the NBC Today show, the actor asked what astronauts do when they need to use the bathroom. When the interviewer said he should be fine because the experience from launch to landing only lasts 11 minutes, Shatner quipped: “Yeah, I know, but when you’re 90, 11 minutes is a long time.” It might be time.” The Blue Origin capsule doesn’t have a bathroom, so hopefully that’ll be fine.
The entirety of the flight will be livestreamed by Blue Origin. Nerdshala has all the details you need to watch it online.
Wednesday’s launch comes just weeks after more than 20 current and former Blue Origin employees described the company’s workplace as “ridden with sexism.” A Blue Origin spokesperson said the company does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind and promised to investigate any claims of misconduct.