The company’s New Shepard spacecraft took William Shatner and three people into space on a short suborbital journey on October 13, the company’s second crewed flight. At 10:49 a.m. Eastern, New Shepard took off from the company’s Launch Site One in West Texas. Before the scheduled crew capsule, RSS First Step, arriving 10 minutes and 15 seconds following liftoff, the craft reached an estimated max height of 107 kilometers. Three minutes ago, the booster had landed under rocket power.
Shatner, widely known for his portrayal as James T. Kirk on the inaugural Star Trek tv series and subsequent films, was among the four passengers in the vehicle. Shatner, who is 90 years old, has become the oldest individual to fly to space, surpassing 82-year-old Wally Funk, who set the record on the very first crewed New Shepard voyage on July 20.
After his journey, Shatner was ecstatic, giving a detailed account of his encounter with Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos over the company’s webcast. “I’m hoping I’ll never be able to recover from this.” “I hope I can keep what I’m feeling right now,” he remarked. “This is something that everyone in the world really needs to do.”
Shatner is not reimbursing for his seat, but 2 others are paying unknown sums. Chris Boshuizen, who is the co-founder of Planet, Earth observation company, and a partner at DCVC, a venture capital firm. He was the third Australian to travel to the moon. Glen de Vries is the co-founder of the Medidata Solutions company, which is a clinical research firm, and after Dassault Systèmes bought Medidata in 2019, he became vice-chairperson of the life sciences and healthcare at Dassault Systèmes.
Audrey Powers, who works as the vice president in charge of the mission and flight operations at the Blue Origin company and chairperson of Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s board of directors, was the fourth passenger on the flight. She was a driving force behind New Shepard’s approval to fly humans. She stated in a Blue Origin film that she was chosen “to serve Team Blue and travel as the 4th astronaut” on the trip by firm founder Jeff Bezos as well as senior leadership.
The launch was originally set for October 12, but the business had to postpone it due to high winds. In a video released October 12, Nick Patrick, who is the NS-18 lead flight director at the Blue Origin as well as an ex-NASA astronaut, said, “The projections two days ago advised us this would be a tough day, from both the viewpoint of surface winds, that impact the personnel getting ready the vehicle for launch, as well as the winds aloft.”
The launch was pushed back from its initial timing of 9:30 a.m. Eastern on October 13 due to the “tail end of today’s winds affecting the rollout,” he said. The spacecraft itself was ready to go on the scheduled launch day. On October 10, the vehicle completed a flight readiness inspection, according to Patrick. He stated, “Everything is in terrific form for launch.”