Captain Kirk boldly plans to go where no Starfleet captain (or at least anyone pictured here) has gone before.
Space tourism company Blue Origin plans to make its second crewed flight on Wednesday, this time carrying William Shatner, the alter ego of one of the most iconic astronauts of all time.
NS First flight of New Shepard rocket
With Humans launched on July 20 and took company founder and mega-rich man Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk and student Oliver Damon on a quick trip to space. This time around the headline The captain of the Starship Enterprise in the Star Trek universe, James T. Best known for playing Kirk.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time,” Shatner said cheekily in a statement last week. “I’m taking this opportunity to see for myself. What a miracle.”
The mission, named NS18, is set to lift off on Wednesday, October 13 at 6:30 a.m. PT (8:30 a.m. CT). Live coverage from Blue Origin is set to begin 90 minutes in advance and will be streamed live. Nerdshala’s livestream coverage of the launch is below.
Shatner will be joined in the New Shepard capsule by Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of satellite imaging company Planet Labs; Glen de Vries, an entrepreneur and executive with the French software company Dassault Systems; and Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations.
The quartet will depart from Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Facility on Wednesday morning. A few minutes into the flight, the capsule will separate from the booster and continue on to suborbital space, where the crew will experience weightlessness and an epic view of Earth before re-entering the atmosphere for a parachute-assisted soft landing in the desert. The whole experience should last about 15 minutes.
After separation, the New Shepard booster returns for an autonomous landing on the ground for future reuse.
Shatner, who has released more than 10 albums as a recording artist, says he plans to write a song about the experience for his next album.
“I want to write about my love of the earth,”In an interview posted on Twitter.
The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday, October 12, but was bumped the next day due to winds in the forecast.
“The mission operations team confirmed that the vehicle has met all mission requirements and that the astronauts began their training today,” Blue Origin said in a statement Sunday morning. “Weather is the only gating factor for the launch window.”