Star Trek’s William Shatner to boldly go into space (for real) next week

by Natalie Kiser

William Shatner, Blue Origin, space travel, Jeff Bezos

Star Trek‘s William Shatner has traveled to the outer reaches of space on television, but now he’s about to do it for real. Shatner is partnering with Jeff Bezos’s space travel company, Blue Origin, for a 10-minute journey that will take him 66 miles above the Earth’s surface. The launch will take place in West Texas on October 12, with Shatner being Bezos’ guest.

“Yes, I’m going to be a rocket man,” said the 90-year-old actor. “It’s never too late to experience new things.”

At 90-years old, Shatner will be the oldest person to go to space. He’ll be joined by three other passengers, including two paying customers. Shatner’s voyage is scheduled not long after Russia is expected to shoot an actress and director into space for a two-week moviemaking mission.

After reaching an altitude of 66 miles (106 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface, the capsule will release a parachute and float back to the desert floor. This will be Blue Origin’s second launch of a crew for this type of event. The first launch happened on July 20, 2021. Bezos was aboard the vessel alongside his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer named Wally Funk – the duo were the youngest and oldest people on record to travel into space.

“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” Shatner said in a statement. Shatner will make the voyage alongside a former NASA engineer who founded a nanosatellite company, and the co-founder of a software company specializing in clinical research. While Shatner was personally invited by Bezos to attend, the other passengers paid $28 million a seat for their coveted spot. That’s a hell of a lot of money, but hey, that’s the price of saying you’ve been to space with Captain Kirk, but for real.

Forget the money, would you travel to space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin shuttle? I think this program needs a few more test flights before you’d find me strapping in for a there-and-back-again into the stratosphere. It would be cool, though. I wish Shatner and his fellow passengers a safe journey.