Star Trek legend William Shatner will be the oldest person to ever reach space when Jeff Bezos gives the actor a ride up there this month.
William Shatner and Blue Origin have officially confirmed the rumors that the 90-year-old actor is heading to outer space. As someone very well known for playing a character who liked to boldly go where no man has gone before, it’s only fitting that the Star Trek legend will be the person to set this record. The announcement follows previous rumors that William Shatner was planning to head up to the stars as part of a civilian flight with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin on Oct. 12.
In a press release confirming the news, Shatner said, “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”
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For the flight, William Shatner will be boarding Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket with the company’s VP of missing and flight operations, Audrey Powers, along with Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries. The plan is for the occupants to spend 11 minutes in space before heading back down to Earth. People will be able to watch the event when it’s livestreamed on BlueOrigin.com. Per TMZ, a film crew will also be on hand to record the launch for a documentary, which should give fans a better look.
For decades, Shatner played the role of Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise. He debuted in the role in the original Star Trek series, which spanned from 1966 to 1969. In the 1970s, Shatner voiced the character for the animated series, but he wasn’t done just yet. Shatner reprised the role for a series of Star Trek movies, even meeting Patrick Stewart’s Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek: Generations. As a result, William Shatner’s name has become a bit synonymous with space travel.
The actor previously teased his desire to actually go to space. Last year, Shatner tweeted that he’d hop aboard the NASA-Space X flight to the International Space Station if either of the two astronauts on hand for the mission, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, couldn’t make it. He also included an image of himself in an astronaut suit to further prove the point. He was clearly just having fun at the time, and probably had no idea he’d be heading to space himself soon enough.
Technically, Shatner won’t be the first Star Trek alum to reach outer space. Apparently, a friend of late Star Trek star James Doohan had previously smuggled the late actor’s ashes aboard the International Space Station where he says he left them behind. If no one else has taken out the ashes since, they’re still up there floating around on the ISS.
“His family were very pleased that the ashes made it up there but we were all disappointed we didn’t get to talk about it publicly for so long,” said Doohan’s friend Richard Garriott, who served as a private astronaut for a 12-day mission in 2008. “Now enough time has passed that we can. As far as I know, no one has ever seen it there and no one has moved it. James Doohan got his resting place among the stars.”
Blue Origin previously completed a trip to space in July, when Jeff Bezos personally went up for the company’s first human flight. You can check out William Shatner heading to space when the event is livestreamed on Oct. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET (6:30 a.m. PT). It will be broadcast on the official website at BlueOrigin.com.
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