The all-civilian SpaceX Inspiration4 crew’s safe launch, orbits, and landing were thrilling and significant moments in space history. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has been riding high on a string of recent accomplishments. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, is clearly envious of Musk’s attention and recognition. As a result, his team has persuaded William Shatner (the renowned Captain James T. Kirk of the original Star Trek series) to launch into space with Bezos’ New Shepard rocket for the first time.
Bezos’ galaxy rider is made by his space-travel company, Blue Origin.
Shatner would be the oldest person ever to travel to space with this historic ride, TMZ reported.
The Canada native’s 15-minute flight will occur sometime in October. The outlet also reported that the mission will be filmed for an upcoming documentary featuring the actor who played Capt. James T. Kirk on the iconic series.
Shatner commented on the Blue Origin launch back in July, which was a short suborbital flight.
‘I know there is an argument to be made about popularizing space travel, and I’ve talked to a lot of travelers to space who are excited to get to Mars,’ he told NBC.
The actor mentioned Bezos’ mission to Mars but called it ‘ridiculous.’
‘It takes a year and a half to get there. People will think it’s like we’re on a trip, on a cruise line. No, man! You’re in zero gravity and it’s hotter than hell and the air is putrid. ‘Help me, I’m dying, but I’m dying slowly!’ What a terrible fate.’
He also noted the danger of space travel.
‘If you basically have a flat tire in space, it means you die. It seems to me you’re more likely to die there than on the Hollywood Freeway.’
But Shatner ended discussing his perspective on morality [sic].
‘You know, at my age, you’re constantly aware of mortality. Any moment of, ‘Oh, I’m a little dizzy. Am I dying?’ It’s an interesting question.’
Shatner has previously shown a keen interest in going in traveling in space before, most recently at a Comic-Con discussion panel entitled “Back to the Moon and Beyond With NASA”:
Shatner also hinted at the possibility of going on a commercial suborbital spaceflight in the future.
“There’s a possibility that I’m going to go up for a brief moment and come back down,” Shatner said. However, he cited a history of terrible accidents like the “O-ring thing” as his main apprehension holding him back from fulfilling his astronaut aspirations. The “O-Ring” is a rocket booster seal which was found to have failed during the 1986 Challenger mission, which resulted in a fiery explosion that killed seven astronauts.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who was also on the Comic-Con panel, assured Shatner that the agency takes safety very seriously, and has applied the lessons learned from previous mishaps to future missions.
“Our systems are much safer and much more technologically advanced than in the past,” NASA astronaut Nicole Mann added.
We wish Mr. Shatner great success, a comfortable flight, and a safe voyage.