William Shatner to fly into space aboard the Blue Origin rocket – San Bernardino Sun

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By MARCIA DUNN

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Captain Kirk soars into space next week – boldly going where no other sci-fi actor has gone.

Jeff Bezos’ space travel company Blue Origin announced Monday that “Star Trek” actor William Shatner will take off from West Texas on October 12.

“Yes that’s right; I’m going to be a ‘rocket man!’ The 90-year-old tweeted. He added: “It’s never too late to discover new things.”

Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is a huge fan of the sci-fi series and even made an appearance as a high-ranking alien in the 2016 film “Star Trek Beyond”. His rocket company invited Shatner to fly as a guest.

Shatner will become the oldest person to go to space. He will join three others, including two paying customers, aboard a Blue Origin capsule. He would have been the first actor in space if Russia had not sent an actress and director to the International Space Station on Tuesday for nearly two weeks of filming.

Shatner’s flight, by comparison, will only last 10 minutes and reach no more than about 66 miles (106 kilometers). The capsule will return by parachute to the desert floor, not far from where it took off.

With short or long flights, space tourism is gaining momentum.

Virgin Galactic transported founder Richard Branson to edge of space with five other people in July, followed nine days later by the Bezos space jump. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, meanwhile, launched its first private crew last month – a Pennsylvania contractor who bought the three-day flight and took two competition winners and a cancer survivor.

Virgin Galactic’s starship is launched from an airplane and requires two pilots. Blue Origin and SpaceX’s capsules are fully automated, but passengers must pass medical exams and, among other things, be able to quickly climb several flights of stairs to the launch tower to get to the capsule – or exit it in case of a problem. emergency.

This will be the second crew launch by Blue Origin.

Bezos made its first flight on July 20. He was taking his brother, an 18-year-old Dutchman and aviation pioneer Wally Funk, 82, the youngest and oldest to fly in space. Shatner will cross that eight-year upper threshold.

“I’ve been hearing about space for a long time now. I take this opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle, ”Shatner said in a statement.

Shatner played the role of the Commanding Officer of the USS Starship Enterprise for three seasons, from 1966 to 1969. He also played Captain Kirk in seven films, including one. He is currently the host and executive producer of a History Channel show, “The UnXplained”.

Also flying with Shatner: a former NASA engineer who founded a nanosatellite company and co-founder of a software company specializing in clinical research. The two participated in the auction for a seat on the first flight. This siege cost $ 28 million; Blue Origin does not disclose any other ticket prices.

A fourth seat on the flight goes to Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations.

Last week, more than 20 current and former Blue Origin employees accused the Kent, Wash., Based company of having a toxic work environment and failing to adhere to proper safety protocols. Blue Origin said it does not tolerate harassment or discrimination and maintains its safety record.

Bezos’ company is also contesting a contract awarded by NASA to SpaceX for supplying a lunar lander that will bring astronauts back to the moon in a few years. Blue Origin was not selected in its offer for the position.

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

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This story has been corrected to show that Shatner will be the oldest to go in the space of eight years, not six.


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