Star Trek actor William Shatner is reportedly set to become the oldest man launched into space, thanks to Jeff Bezos’s company Blue Origin.
Bezos successfully made his first journey to space as part of the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard, which blasted off from Earth in July and touched back down after 10 minutes and 10 seconds.
The mission came as part of the Amazon founder’s efforts to make space a place for tourists, with Blue Origin hoping to transport members of the public – or at least those who can afford it – beyond the atmosphere.
With Bezos having described the experience of going into space as the ‘best day ever’, the founder is now looking ahead to the second crewed flight.
Reportedly set to take place in October, the mission will once again see the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket carry crew members on a 15-minute flight.
Shatner is reportedly set to be part of the crew, according to sources with direct knowledge of the proceedings cited by TMZ. If all goes to plan, the 90-year-old actor would be the oldest person ever to launch into space, breaking a record set by 82-year-old Wally Funk on Bezos’s mission in July.
It will not be lost on Star Trek fans that Shatner being blasted into space would take him one step closer to bringing the character of Captain Kirk to life, and the experience could even make it on to TV as sources claim the flight will be filmed for a documentary.
Shatner’s team are said to have been talking to Discovery about airing the special, but after negotiations fell through they have taken the project elsewhere, TMZ reports.
It currently remains unclear who else may be boarding the New Shepard rocket in October, with the first flight having involved Bezos alongside just three other amateur astronauts: his brother, Mark Bezos; test pilot Funk; and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.
Shatner’s trip to space would appear to fulfil a dream of the actor’s, with him expressing his desires to travel beyond the atmosphere online as he tweeted NASA a photoshopped image of himself in a spacesuit.
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