Science & Technology

Blue Origin is officially sending William Shatner to space

Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight enterprise Blue Origin is launching William Shatner — aka Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise — to space on the corporate’s New Shepard rocket. At 90 years previous, he’ll turn out to be the oldest individual to fly to space, surpassing legendary aviator Wally Funk, who flew on the primary crewed flight of New Shepard this summer season.

TMZ first broke the news that Shatner could be flying on the following New Shepard flight, which is at the moment scheduled for October twelfth out of Blue Origin’s launch facility in West Texas. The outlet claimed the Shatner’s flight will likely be filmed as a part of a documentary. Shatner will likely be joined by two different clients introduced earlier by Blue Origin: Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer who co-founded the small satellite tv for pc firm Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, the co-founder of software program firm Medidata and vice chair of life sciences at Dassault Systèmes, a French software program firm. Blue Origin additionally introduced right now that Audrey Powers, the corporate’s vice chairman of mission and flight operations, will turn out to be the fourth passenger on the flight.

This would be the second flight of New Shepard to carry folks to the sting of space and again, as Blue Origin transitions into common industrial flights of its suborbital rocket. After a few years of take a look at flights, the vehicle carried its first humans to space in July — a crew that consisted of Funk, Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and a Dutch teenager named Oliver Daemen, whose father paid an undisclosed sum for the ticket.

The New Shepard rocket is designed to launch vertically from Earth, carrying up to 4 passengers in a crew capsule on high. It then climbs above an altitude of roughly 62 miles (100 kilometers) over the Earth, the place the planet’s skinny ambiance offers means to the vacuum of space. Whereas within the sky, the capsule and the rocket separate, and the passengers inside really feel just a few temporary minutes of weightlessness. Each components of the automobile fall again to Earth; the rocket lands upright after reigniting its important engine and the capsule lands beneath three important parachutes. All in all, the flight lasts about 11 minutes, from liftoff to capsule landing.

Shatner’s announcement comes only a few days after present and former staff at Blue Origin published a public essay alleging systemic sexual harassment and an unsafe work tradition on the firm. The essay claimed that not less than one main govt had sexually harassed staff earlier than getting fired for groping a feminine employee. The staff additionally expressed concern over the security of Blue Origin’s New Shepard automobile, citing a tradition the place competitors was prioritized over security, by which staff feared retaliation for elevating issues.

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