Blue Origin: Jeff Bezos and crew float around in capsule

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90-year-old actor William Shatner will boldly go where few people have dared to go before. This will make Shatner, who is famed for his role as Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, the oldest person ever to go into space.

Shatner seemed delighted by the prospect of space travel after playing a spaceship captain for decades. 

He said:  “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. 

“I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”

The rocket launch is planned for October 12 and a live webcast of the NS-18 mission will be broadcast from 8am ET (1pm BST) on the day. 

Shatner also took to Twitter to share the news: “So now I can say something. 

“Yes, it’s true; I’m going to be a ‘rocket man!’”

The grandfather-of-five’s momentous voyage will mark the second human spaceflight for Blue Origin’s tourism and research rocket, New Shepard.

Blue Origin released a statement earlier today that announced the actor’s participation, also naming the company’s Vice President of Mission and Flight operations Audrey Powers as another crew member to fly on board New Shepard NS-18.

Other astronauts on the crew include Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen, and Glen de Vries, the co-founder of Medidata Solutions.

Shatner’s record-breaking feat will break the record set by aerospace pioneer Wally Funk, 82, who was one of four crew members to travel on Blue Origin’s inaugural flight.

The rocket also successfully launched Blue Origin’s founder, Jeff Bezos, into space back in July. 

The billionaire and founder of Amazon reached an altitude of 66.5 miles and even played with a few ping pong balls while floating in zero gravity for a few minutes during his flight. 

The trip’s total flight time is surprisingly short, lasting only 10 minutes from liftoff to landing, which means the elderly actor will not be stuck up in space for too long. 

The rocket is designed to carry a capsule up past the US boundary of space, where the crew can have a blast floating around at 80km altitude for a few minutes before they land safely back on earth, with parachutes to soften the blow. 

These Blue Origin space trips could usher in a whole new era of tourism, with Bezoz claiming that his company has already sold almost $100 million worth of tickets to future passengers.  

This idea of space tourism was solidified in the Amazon founder’s debut expedition, which saw the 18-year-old son of a Dutch hedge fund manager, Oliver Daemen, take to the stars.

This year, Bezos faced criticism for spending billions on his space travel, but he fired back, insisting that Blue Origin was set up to “build a road to space” that would take pressure off terrestrial development. 

Bezos continued: “We need to do that to solve the problems here on Earth. 

“This is not about escaping Earth.”

He also thanked all of his Amazon employees and customers for their help, saying “you guys paid for all this”.

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