Blue Origin confirmed Monday that William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk, the company’s crew will fly to space on October 12 aboard a rocket, becoming the oldest astronaut ever.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time. I’m taking this opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” the 90-year-old actor said in a statement to Jeff Bezos’ space company.
The science fiction television show aired for only three seasons beginning in 1966, but was hugely influential in popular culture and spawned several films and spin-off series.
It was notable for the utopian vision of its creator, Gene Roddenberry, who envisioned a society where humanity had set aside its divisions and united with other peaceful space-oriented civilizations.
Shatner as Kirk orders the USS Enterprise on a five-year mission to “explore strange new worlds, seek new life and new civilizations, boldly go where no man has gone before”.
Their actual journey into space would be very short – about 10 minutes, in a flight that would take the crew 60 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth, beyond the Line of Karman.
Blue Origin also announced the identity of the remaining passenger, Audrey Powers, the company’s vice president of mission and flight operations.
They will be joined by former NASA engineer and Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Glenn de Vries, co-founder of clinical research platform Medidata Solutions, in the suborbital flight.
The news comes as Bezos’s company is being clouded by allegations of sexual harassment as well as a “toxic” work culture.
The claims strongly dismissed by Blue Origin were outlined last week in a lengthy blog post signed by the company’s former employee communications chief Alexandra Abrams.
The Post said it also represented the views of 20 other workers and former workers in different divisions who wished to remain anonymous.
Abrams and his co-authors further alleged that the company had a pattern of decision-making that prioritized rapid rocket development over safety, and that many of them would not feel safe in the company’s New Shepard rocket.
Bezos, the world’s richest man, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk and paying customer Oliver Damon flew into space on July 20 on Blue Origin’s first crewed flight.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)