Science & Technology

William Shatner jumps into space on a Blue Origin rocket

Banhorn, Texas (AP) — Hollywood Captain Kirk, 90 William ShatnerExploded into space on Wednesday with the convergence of science fiction novels and science reality, reaching the final frontier on board a ship built by Jeff Bezos. Blue origin society.

The Star Trek hero has become the oldest rocket rider, eight years ahead of previous records set by passengers on a similar excursion on the Bezos spacecraft in July.

Shatner, dressed in a royal blue flightsuit, joins three 40-50 year young passengers in a fully automated capsule from western Texas for an up-and-down flight that will last just 10 minutes. I took off.

The spacecraft aimed at an altitude of 66 miles (106 km) at the edge of space, after which the capsule was set to parachute back to the desert floor.

Science fiction fans enjoyed the opportunity to see the man best known as Captain James T. Kirk of Spacecraft Enterprise boldly go to a place never before seen by an American television star.

Shatner said he would look down on Earth in zero gravity for about three minutes before the countdown and press his nose against the window of the capsule.

“The only thing I don’t want to see is a little gremlin looking back at me,” he joked, referring to the synopsis of the 1963 “Twilight Zone” episode “The Nightmare of 20,000 Feet.”

Bezos is a big fan of Star Trek — Amazon The founder made a cameo appearance as an alien in one of the later “Star Trek” films, and Shatner was free to ride as an invited guest.

The explosion has given Bezos spacecraft companies valuable star power, giving baby boomers, celebrity watchers, and space enthusiasts its built-in appeal. From 1966 to 1969, Shatner starred in the original “Star Trek” on television while the United States was chasing the moon, and starred in a series of “Star Trek” films.

Bezos himself drove the four to the pad, accompanied him on a high platform on the ground, boarded a 60-foot rocket, and then cranked the hatch. Capsule New Shepard is named after Alan Shepard, the first American in the universe.

“This is a pinch-me moment for all of us to see Captain James Tiberius Kirk go into space,” said Jackie Cortese, a launch commentator at Blue Origin, before takeoff. She said she, like many others, was attracted to the space business by shows like “Star Trek.”

The space travel industry is finally taking off, and passengers joy ride on ships built and operated by some of the wealthiest men in the world.

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson boarded the spacecraft on his rocket ship in July, followed by Bezos on his first flight with the Blue Origin crew nine days later. Elon Musk’s SpaceX made its first private voyage in mid-September, but Musk was not on board.

Last week, Russians launched actors and film directors on the International Space Station for filmmaking projects.

“We’re just getting started, but how miraculous it is, Shatner said in a Blue Origin video posted the night before the flight.

Audrey Powers, vice president of Blue Origin and former NASA space station flight controller, and two paying customers, former NASA engineer Chris Boschuisen and 3D software company Glendevries, who co-founded the satellite company. I was tied up together. .. Blue Origin did not reveal the cost of their tickets.

Shatner milked his next flight last week for a laugh at the New York Comic Con. The actor said Blue Origin informed him that he would be the oldest man in the universe.

“I don’t want to be known as the oldest man in the universe. I’m a bloody captain Kirk!” He exclaimed. Then he stuttered in a thirsty voice: “Captain Kirk, I’m going where no one is … what am I going to? Where are you going?”

He confessed: “I’m Captain Kirk. I’m scared.”

Joking aside, Blue Origin said Shatner and the rest of the crew meet all medical and physical requirements, including the ability to hustle up and down several stairs at the launch tower. When the capsule returns to Earth, passengers are exposed to nearly 6 G, or six times the force of Earth’s gravity.

Shatner’s dive into space is “the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” said bartender Joseph Bara, who flew from Los Angeles to meet the Blue Origin launch week celebrations. “William Shatner sets the standard for what a 90-year-old man can do.”

The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Dan reported from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Associated Press video journalist Cody Jackson contributed to the story.

William Shatner jumps into space on a Blue Origin rocket William Shatner jumps into space on a Blue Origin rocket

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