Billionaire Jeff Bezos, as Chief Executive Officer of Blue Origin, has recently made the decision that he will send out William Shatner, better known as Captain James T. Kirk from Star Trek, out to space on the New Shepard rocket. Shatner, at 90 years of age, will be the eldest individual to fly to space, going beyond even the age of latest spaceflight sensation, Wally Funk, who flew aboard the New Shepard this past summer.
This particular New Shepard flight is scheduled to launch on October 12 out of the Blue Origin facility in Texas. Audrey Powers, Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations, will also be going along with Shatner on the ride. The other two individuals who aim to join Shatner will be Planet Labs co-founder, Chris Boshuizen, and Medidata co-founder, Glen de Vries.
Intended and designed to take off vertically from Earth, the New Shepard can potentially hold up to four passengers. It can also go above altitudes of around 62 miles past the Earth, where space vacuums are located. The capsule and the rocket come apart from one another while in the sky, and the passengers within the rocket may experience a few moments during which they feel weightless. After that, both the capsule and the rocket will naturally go back to Earth.
The space flight will, in total, run for about eleven minutes, from the time that it goes off the Earth until its return.
"We talk about space and what weightless conditions are, the enormity of the universe and the absolute jewel of a little thing we call the Earth by comparison," Shatner informed NBC's today show regarding this experience. "I'm going to feel that with the same enormity that I felt this electrical storm last night."
William Shatner, aboard the New Shepard, will surely bring a great deal of attention to the spaceflight that is to come. Beginning on October 12, the New Shepard rocket will launch out of the Blue Origin in West Texas, which will mark the time during which the oldest individual will ever fly into space. These milestones will create strong memories for space advocates, which will help them to further understand exactly what it takes to enter into space, especially for the first time.