William Shatner Is Headed to Outer Space Next Week
At last, Captain Kirk will truly explore the final frontier.
Blue Origin — better known as the space travel company owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — has announced that none other than Star Trek legend William Shatner, will be aboard the company’s next flight. At 90 years old, Shatner will become the oldest man ever to boldly go into outer space. Joining him on the trip will be three others, including a former NASA engineer, and a software company founder.
This is no five-year mission, however. Shatner’s flight will supposedly last about 10 minutes at a maximum altitude of 66 miles above the Earth. (Outer space officially begins 62 miles above the planet’s surface. So no trips to strange new worlds this time for Captain Kirk.)
Here was Shatner’s statement on the news, via the Associated Press:
I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.
Although he had a long career in film and television, Shatner remains best known for his tenure as Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise. He first played the role on three seasons of Star Trek in the late 1960s, and then again on the Star Trek animated series, and then in seven big-screen films, culminating in 1994’s Star Trek Generations. Since then, he’s remained busy as an actor, author, and television host — and, of course, by appearing at various Star Trek and science-fiction conventions. (He even does Star Trek cruises now.)
I hope everything goes smoothly on the flight. Not just because Shatner is an international treasure, but because if something does go wrong, it’s going to be super awkward when he tries to take command of the ship from the actual pilots and screams for help from Scotty.