Watch William Shatner Blast Off Into Outer Space
Today, October 13, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is taking just its second crewed flight to outer space. And among the four people on board will be William Shatner, Star Trek’s iconic Captain James T. Kirk.
Yes, Captain Kirk is boldly going into the final frontier for real this time.
The entire launch and mission is being streamed on YouTube by Blue Origin, the space travel company owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. The program begins 90 minutes before liftoff at 10AM ET/9AM CT.
The New Shepard rocket — named after pioneering astronaut Alan Shepard — will launch from a pad in West Texas. The ship will be blasted into space by a booster that will then separate from the capsule holding Shatner and the rest of the crew. The entire flight is expected to last only about 10 minutes, with a maximum altitude of 66 miles above the Earth’s surface. (Outer space officially begins 62 miles above the surface.) The other members of the crew include a former NASA engineer, and a software company founder. They should all be weightless for about four minutes before returning back to Earth.
The live feed of the New Shepard launch can be watched below:
Although he had a long career in film and television, Shatner remains best known for his tenure as Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise. He first played the role on three seasons of Star Trek in the late 1960s, and then again on the Star Trek animated series, and then in seven big-screen films, culminating in 1994’s Star Trek Generations. Since then, he’s remained busy as an actor, author, and television host — and, of course, by appearing at various Star Trek and science-fiction conventions. (He even does Star Trek cruises now.)
When asked about the mission, Shatner replied:
I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.
Godspeed William Shatner. Let’s hope the ten minute trip goes smoothly, with no detours to strange new worlds full of new life and new civilizations.
UPDATE: Shatner’s trip to space went off without a hitch; he is now, at 90, the oldest man ever to travel into outer space. Afterwards, he was deeply moved and in tears when speaking about the experience with Jeff Bezos. You can watch him talk about his journey below: