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Watch: William Shatner, 90, becomes oldest person to go to space
Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, is finally due to travel to space for real on Wednesday after accepting an invitation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to make a journey with his Blue Origin aerospace venture.
The Canadian portrayed Captain James T Kirk of the USS Enterprise in Gene Roddenberry’s beloved sci-fi franchise, which originally ran from 1966 to 1969 before spawning multiple spin-off series and movies.
The actor will join Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, on board the vessel New Shepard NS-18, alongside crewmates Chris Bozsuhizen, an ex-Nasa engineer, and Medidata CEO Glen de Vries.
The rocket will take off from Launch Site One in Van Horn, West Texas, on 13 October, having been delayed a day due to desert winds.
Entering his ninth decade, Shatner will be the oldest person to fly to space, beating 82-year-old astronaut Wally Funk, who took part in Blue Origin’s maiden voyage 12 weeks ago in the company of Mr Bezos, his brother Mark and 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen.
Speaking to Blue Origin about the forthcoming flight, the actor said: “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”
Two incredible and inspirational people will join the #NS18 crew. Actor @WilliamShatner and Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations Audrey Powers @AudreyKPowers. pic.twitter.com/xqI9nw1KX8
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 4, 2021
The actor is currently the host and executive producer of The UnXplained, a non-fiction series on The History Channel that explores the world’s “inexplicable mysteries”, and remains well known for his appearances in the TV shows TJ Hooker (1982-86), 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001) and Boston Legal (2004-2008), as well for his eccentric pop career.
Live coverage of the Blue Origin launch will begin 90 minutes prior to take-off and will be stream and follow via The Independent’s dedicated liveblog.
Lift-off is currently targeted for 8.30am local time or 2.30pm GMT.
Watch: Prince William criticises billionaire space race after William Shatner's Blue Origin flight