After decades of pretending to explore the universe in TV shows and movies, William Shatner is actually going to space!
Per Engadget, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has scheduled its second tourist spaceflight for October 12th, where the Star Trek actor will be one of New Shepard’s passengers and the oldest person to fly to space at 90 years old. Shatner will take the record from 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk, who was a passenger on New Shepard’s first crewed flight in July.
Two incredible and inspirational people will join the #NS18 crew. Actor @WilliamShatner and Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations Audrey Powers @AudreyKPowers. pic.twitter.com/xqI9nw1KX8— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 4, 2021
Joining Shatner on the flight is Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers. The company previously announced Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Medidata co-founder Glen de Vries will be the other passengers. It’s the second of three launches Blue Origin has planned for this year.
Shatner told Today, “We talk about space and what weightless conditions are, the enormity of the universe and the absolute jewel of a little thing we call the Earth by comparison. I’m going to feel that with the same enormity that I felt this electrical storm last night.”
He said expects the experience to give him a perspective he couldn’t get any other way. “I’m going to see the vastness of space and the extraordinary miracle of our Earth and how fragile it is compared to the forces at work in the universe. That’s really what I’m looking for.”
“I’m thrilled and anxious and a little nervous and a little frightened about this whole new adventure,” Shatner said of the upcoming trip. “I really want to tell you the message that I get firsthand from seeing things that we’ve only heard about — things I’ve only played as an actor, I’m going to see firsthand. I want to come back and tell you about how I really felt when I saw these things that we’ve only learned about secondhand or thirdhand.”
On Twitter, Shatner answered some fun questions about the trip, including his toilet worries:
I’m 90! Knowing where the nearest toilet is at all times is de rigueur for life! 😑 https://t.co/TGmiEVXigP— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) October 5, 2021
On how he’s physically preparing for the trip, Shatner attributes it to apple pie.