William Shatner, the actor who played the famous Captain Kirk of the sci-fi series Star Trek , broadcast from 1966, will fly into space this Wednesday, October 13, 2021 aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spaceship. Aged 90, he will occasionally become the oldest person to go into space.
Actor William Shatner, of Star Trek fame , Audrey Powers, vice president of missions and flight operations at Blue Origin, Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of the Earth observation company Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, from Dassault Systèmes, will form the crew of the second crewed flight of the company Blue Origin. The flight will take off from West Texas this Wednesday, October 13 at 3 p.m. (French time). The flight was originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday, but had to be postponed for weather reasons.
The new flight will make Shatner the oldest person to reach space, surpassing the record set in July by 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk. also invited by Jeff Bezos to fly aboard the New Shepard. The oldest person to reach orbital space remains John Glenn. On January 16, 1998, he joined the STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery mission at the age of 77.
"Captain Kirk" and his crew will depart a little less than three months after the New Shepard's first crewed flight, which carried Jeff Bezos and three other passengers to more 107 kilometers above sea level.
This theft will also come just days after the publication of a searing essay by some 20 current and former employees of the Blue Origin company, evoking sexist attitudes and a society's lack of commitment to the future of the planet.
In this essay, the authors also pointed out security issues with the New Shepard. “In the opinion of an engineer who signed this essay, Blue Origin has been lucky that nothing has happened so far” , could we read in particular. Many of the authors of this essay also stressed that they would never take the risk of flying in this vehicle.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has since responded to the publication of this test, claiming to take each of these allegations "very seriously". An investigation will soon be opened. For its part, the company assures, through one of its spokespersons, that the New Shepard "is the safest space vehicle ever designed or built" , can we read in Space.com.