William Shatner Blasts Into Space Aboard Blue Origin Rocket

VAN HORN, Texas (AP) — Hollywood’s Captain Kirk, 90-year-old William Shatner, blasted into house Wednesday in a convergence of science fiction and science actuality, reaching the ultimate frontier aboard a ship constructed by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin firm.

The “Star Trek” hero and three fellow passengers soared to an estimated 66 miles (106 kilometers) over the West Texas desert within the absolutely automated capsule after which safely parachuted to the desert flooring in a flight that lasted simply over 10 minutes.

Shatner grew to become the oldest particular person in house, eclipsing the earlier report — set by a passenger on the same jaunt on a Bezos spaceship in July — by eight years.

“That was unlike anything they described,” Shatner stated on the capsule descended towards Earth.

Sci-fi followers reveled within the alternative to see the person greatest generally known as the stalwart Capt. James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise boldly go the place no star of American TV has gone earlier than.

Shatner stated forward of the countdown that he deliberate to spend his approximately three minutes of weightlessness gazing down at Earth, his nostril pressed in opposition to the capsule’s home windows.

“The only thing I don’t want to see is a little gremlin looking back at me,” he joked, referring to the plot of his 1963 “Twilight Zone” episode titled “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

Bezos is a large “Star Trek” fan — the Amazon founder had a cameo as an alien in one of many later “Star Trek” motion pictures — and Shatner rode free as his invited visitor.

The blastoff introduced priceless star energy to Bezos’ spaceship firm, given its built-in enchantment to child boomers, movie star watchers and house fans. Shatner starred in TV’s unique “Star Trek” from 1966 to 1969, again when the U.S. was racing for the moon, and went on to look in a string of “Star Trek” motion pictures.

Bezos himself drove the 4 to the pad, accompanied them to the platform excessive above the bottom and cranked the hatch shut after they climbed aboard the 60-foot rocket. The capsule, New Shepard, was named for first American in house, Alan Shepard.

“This is a pinch-me moment for all of us to see Capt. James Tiberius Kirk go to space,” Blue Origin launch commentator Jacki Cortese stated earlier than liftoff. She stated she, like so many others, was drawn to the house enterprise by exhibits like “Star Trek.”

The flight comes because the house tourism business lastly takes off, with passengers joyriding aboard ships constructed and operated by a number of the richest males on the planet.

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson led the way in which by driving into house in his personal rocket ship in July, adopted by Bezos 9 days afterward Blue Origin’s first flight with a crew. Elon Musk’s SpaceX made its first personal voyage in mid-September, although with out Musk aboard.

Last week, the Russians launched an actor and a movie director to the International Space Station for a movie-making venture.

“We’re just at the beginning, but how miraculous that beginning is. How extraordinary it is to be part of that beginning,” Shatner stated in a Blue Origin video posted on the eve of his flight.

Shatner strapped in alongside Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin vp and former house station flight controller for NASA, and two paying prospects: Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer who co-founded a satellite tv for pc firm, and Glen de Vries of a 3D software program firm. Blue Origin wouldn’t expose the price of their tickets.

Shatner milked his upcoming flight for laughs final week at New York Comic Con. The actor stated Blue Origin knowledgeable him he could be the oldest man in house.

“I don’t want to be known as the oldest guy in space. I’m bloody Captain Kirk!” he exclaimed. Then he stammered in a faux-panicky voice: “Captain Kirk, going where no man … I’m going what? Where am I going?”

He confessed: “I’m Captain Kirk and I’m terrified.”

Jokes apart, Blue Origin stated Shatner and the remainder of the crew met all of the medical and bodily necessities, together with the flexibility to hustle up and down a number of flights of steps on the launch tower. Passengers are subjected to nearly 6 G’s, or six occasions the power of Earth’s gravity, because the capsule returns to Earth.

Shatner taking pictures into house is “the most badass thing I think I’ve ever seen,” stated Joseph Barra, a bartender flown in from Los Angeles to assist cater Blue Origin’s launch week festivities. “William Shatner is setting the bar for what a 90-year-old man can do.”

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives help from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely accountable for all content material.

Dunn reported from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Associated Press video journalist Cody Jackson contributed to this story.

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