Confirmed: William Shatner Is Going To Space

Today the previous report that Star Trek’s William Shatner is heading into space was confirmed.

The captain in space

Today, Blue Origin officially announced William Shatner will fly on board New Shepard NS-18, which lifts off from Launch Site One in Texas on October 12. This is the second manned flight for New Shepard, following the July launch with founder Jeff Bezos. Blue Origin also announced today that Audrey Powers, their VP of Flight Operations, will be joining NS-18. Shatner and Powers join the previously announced crewmates Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries for the flight.

William Shatner with Audrey Powers (Blue Origin)

This flight will make Shatner, who turned 90 in March, the oldest person to fly into space. “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” he said in a statement.

New Shepard pressurized crew capsule (Blue Origin)

UPDATE: Bill is a rocket man

After a couple of weeks of keeping quiet on the whole space thing, Shatner finally started talking about it today on Twitter, including, “yes, it’s true; I’m going to be a “rocket man!”

Notes of congratulations are coming in across social media to Shatner, and he has responded to a few from some celebrities and notable people, including this tweet exchange with Wonder Woman actress Linda Carter.

 

Watch it live

Live launch coverage begins on BlueOrigin.com at T-90 minutes. Liftoff is currently targeted for 8:30 am CDT / 13:30 UTC on October 12.

New Shepard lifts off from Launch Site One in West Texas with four humans on board, July 20, 2021 (Blue Origin)


Keep up with Star Trek celebrity news.

Subscribe
Notify me of
95 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This is very cool news. Bill sure knows how to enjoy life.
If he doesn’t utter “Space… the final frontier…” when is up there I’m going to be very disappointed.

…to boldly go where I’ve never gone before

Or “where almost everyone has gone before.”

He should utter the lines while lifting off.

Now THAT is a opportunity once in a lifetime which should not be missed. (And he should sing “rocket man”). Fun fact: that would fit to the intro of ENT! Or for a possible new Star Trek show, set in the near future! Shatner in space? Make it canon in Star Trek!

You know what? I’ll wager a dozen quatloos (or credits, or whatever) that SOMEONE who writes for one or more of the new shows will figure out a way to mention or show this IN that series …. for a legitimate reason, and will do so. Imagine if Brad Boimler and his friends stumble upon that bit of trivia and state it outright on Lower Decks, or even if the fact of Shatner’s flight comes up in a piece of on-screen computer readout on Spock’s station on the bridge of Pike’s Enterprise. Alex Kurtzman: that’s a REALLY BIG HINT on my part to do just that, and is also a “kick in your complacency” (as Picard said to Guinan at the end of “Q Who?”) for the same reason. Here’s hoping you will “make it so.”

If he doesn’t come back with an Orion slave girl, the mission will be called a fake.

If he also doesn’t come back with a tribble, the mission will be called a fake.

Don’t worry the tribble will be on his head……

This is awesome news. I’m sure Gene would love this.

Gene Roddenberry would be grinning from ear to ear without ceasing…. and I suspect he would very likely ask to go on the mission with him!

Of course, Shatner isn’t the first Star Trek cast member to go into space — just the first one to do so while still alive. (I think James Doohan’s ashes are still out there somewhere.)

Dr. Mae Jemmison was the first astronaut to appear in trek as a tng transporter chief. (I interviewed her in the 90s about he time in Trek)

What do you know, some of his ashes were smuggled aboard the ISS and hidden under a floor panel.

Wasn’t Bezos, himself, in STAR TREK BEYOND?

Yes, he was.

Godspeed, My Captain.

His vitality and lust for life is just incredible.

Finally, somebody I want to see travel to space.

I don’t care what anyone says about him, this guy is a legend. Always will be and he deserves to go to space.

Why?? He’s an actor who portrayed a fictional TV spaceship captain. I’d definitely count myself as a fan of that portrayal, but what has he done in the decades since other than advance the interests of William Shatner? If anyone deserves this opportunity it’s Nichelle Nichols (sadly too ill these days to make the trip), whose NASA recruitment efforts actually got people into space who were qualified to be there and make a contribution, as opposed to this joyride/stunt.

Re: joyride/stunt

I think you answered your own question, as to why Nichols, if she had her health, shouldn’t go into space on one of these rich boy play things. It should be on one of their commercial launches proving some NASA tech, if it has to be on one of their launch vehicles.

How does that answer my question about Bill Shatner’s getting an incredibly rare opportunity that he objectively doesn’t merit — here’s a quote for you — in terms temperament or training?

Of course, it’s Bezos’ money to spend any way he likes. (And hey, thanks for the extra seasons of The Expanse!) And I get that he, like so many, was inspired by TOS in his youth and that he sees this as his way of paying that back. Fair enough. But I don’t think it will do the cause of space exploration any favors in the long run if the public comes to see it as the exclusive preserve of the rich and well-connected. If Bezos truly wishes to bring about a hopeful future he could start by working his people less and paying them more.

That’s been my push back when Branson/Bezos/Musk, and the media, gush endlessly about these launches making space available to “the masses”. Currently, it does no such thing, in the next fifty years there will only be two types of people going into orbit (or a bit further), those who actually have business there, or people with connections, like Shatner. I don’t actually take much exception to that, but the exuberance that space is now open to everyone is just nonsense.

You aren’t making this any easier on me. I obviously agree with you and Phil that, so far, these launches have been little more than publicity stunts.

But I have to bristle at the suggestion that previous NASA launches have all been fair and staffed with flight personnel with the most merit. Decades ago, women (Wally Funk) and minorities demonstrated the right stuff, but were denied their opportunities despite their merits.

I’m also a little lost on how you are arriving at the conclusion that Shatner’s flight is absolutely completely without merit? If a 3 day orbital flight with no qualified flight personnel has merit as a charitable fund raiser for St. Jude, well Shatner has demonstrated some skill in regards to that. Although, it’s not exactly clear what is on his itinerary.

Also, wouldn’t you agree that Bill has demonstrated some skill as a credible documentarian? It’s reported he will be filming this, so I’ll give him a little more time before determining if he totally wasted this precious opportunity

Isn’t every Blue Origin flight a joyride/stunt?

If we are going to split hairs, it’s much more proof of concept. While NASA will keep doing it’s research and aerospace work, it’ll be the private sector that builds the moon base, mines asteroids and cleans up all the space junk orbiting the planet. These launches are showing that we can reliably and (relatively) inexpensively get people into orbit. From there, if a buck can actually be made, it’ll be what it will be.

Hey, if he wants to advance his own interests than that is his own business and you can’t fault anyone for doing that. But considering the amount of entertainment this guy has given us over the years I think he at least deserves a shot at the real thing. I wish everyone could get an opportunity to go to space but that is something that’ll not happen until the sector is in the hands of others than rich conglomerates but until that time comes, more power to Shatner I say. Like I said, I don’t care what anyone say or any kind of agenda, if the guy has the means to do it then yeah he absolutely deserves it.

This is amazing. Can’t wait to watch the launch.

which phaser should he take? – TOS Type 1, TOS Type 2, Trek II disintegrator, Trek III TOS style update, Trek V/VI heavy duty

WNMHGB phaser rifle

too cumbersome. although perhaps he could use just for promotional photographs prior to the launch

the cage laser cannon!

They should make that cannon canon in Strange New Worlds! ;-) THE CANNON-CANON!

Nope the coal, sulphur, diamonds canon from The Arena…

Good luck…

There was a physical exam for Bezos’ spaceflights and he passed it.

Gotta wonder just how through that was – no one is looking at Shatner and declaring he’s just as fit and spry as Wally Funk.

Impressive. I’m in my early 40’s and I’m quite sure I wouldn’t pass it.

To Boldly Go Where No 90 Year Old Has Gone Before

Literally. He’ll be the oldest once he goes up!

I just feel sorry for the poor guy wearing the red shirt

At first I thought that woman was Marina Sirtis.

Maybe she should go with him – Generations’21

Imagine something goes wrong and have Shatner saving the mission…Shatner becomes Kirk in real life.

He seemed to know his way around a firehose in the 1980s.

I’m sort of surprised Bill’s going into space right now. I seem to remember him saying when asked about the possibility some years ago something like “I’m concerned I’ll be able to land safely again” or something like that (maybe I’m misremembering the quote, or it was a different Trek actor; regardless I can’t seem to find it now).

Astronauts have to go through all sorts of rigorous health checks and training to launch. I know he’s not going long term to a space station or whatever and that Bill’s in very good health for his age, but again he is aged 90. And even being inside the rocket, I imagine the takeoff will be loud and Bill still suffers from severe tinnitus.

Well, it seems like it’s a done deal so let’s just hope Shatner has a safe trip and comes back safely to tell us all about it.

Well, you could also look at it from the point of view that he is 90 years old now and doesn’t have much to lose anymore in life so he might think this is a risk worth taking.

It probably isn’t particularly loud. New Shepard is powered by one liquid hydrogen engine, which tend to run pretty smoothly as rockets go. It puts out 110,000 lbs of thrust. Its not like Saturn V with five big kerosene F1 engines putting out 1.5 million pounds of thrust each, or Space Shuttle with two big noisy Solid Rocket Boosters at 2.5 million pounds thrust each.

I’d hope that all the passengers launch and return safely.

My thoughts exactly.

I’m not disregarding anyone else on the flight at all, but obviously Shatner’s quite a bit older than the other passengers.

No one is comparing him to Wally Funk, either, who is only eight years his junior.

But NOT that much older than Wally Funk, the last citizen of much experience that Bezos took up.

About the loud noise, to spare them several million in research — try earplugs.

The oldest person in space at the age of 90. Before it was Wally Funk at age 82.

True, very cool news for sure! Would probably give an arm to be able to do the same thing, but let my jealousy hang out for a second… I certainly wouldn’t call my going into space a “miracle”, jezus man, it’s just low earth orbit for the love of god ;)

I won’t quibble over the choice of the word miracle, but any rocket powered flight is inherently risky. If something goes wrong, any ending that isn’t catastrophic would be miraculous.

You probably wouldn’t have to give an arm to do the same. A lot of money should suffice. I mean Bezos’, Musk’s and Branson’s goal is to turn this into a tourism business.

Boldly go Shatner!

I just hope he’s wearing a TOS captains tunic.

a starfleet ‘A’ pin badge would turn his spacesuit into a star trek uniform

I want to for next!

That would be great!!

Let’s face it, we’ll all likely be watching on 10/12…..

What a legend!

William Shatner aka Capt.Kirk becoming the Rocket Man. If it wasn’t real, this could have been a story in the Big Bang Theory! Shatner arguing with Wolowitz: ” I AM the rocket man” – “but I HAVE BEEN in space before you, Bill!” – “I already sung Rocket Man, when you were in diapers!”.

Blue Origin hasn’t announce ticket price yet, but it’s got to more than Virgin. I’m sure Bill gets the Starfleet discount.

Apparently Bezos’ is picking up the tab for Shatner. It’s good to have connections….

Boldly going where no 90 year old has gone before!

An inspiration to us all.

The manliest captain on the most phallic rocket! The way it should be!

this is now fully in the mainstream news and on tv news etc the world is obsessed with Shatner! see the publicity this guy brings to a project.. like couldve been for Trek Beyond (which was getting abit of that when it was initially announced hed be in it). i wonder if any of the footage filmed of him will be used in the new star trek movie (like Cruise is going to be doing). its not every day you have captain kirk in space for real

This will certainly bring a lot of attention to Star Trek and the entire franchise, and I’ll bet CBS-Paramount is excited as a Klingon with a new pet targ about it!

I hope his wig doesn’t float-away…

Shatner looks pretty good for 90. But he doesn’t look anything like he did in “The Deadly Years.”

Long live the Shat!!!

Though, I hope Blue Origin has tight security. Seems like every time Shatner’s in space some miscreant has to give him a hard time over one thing or another.

I much as I would love to go to space ever since I saw the Mercury rockets take off…. I could not think of a better person to represent all us Trek fans. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Smooth sailing Bill, we will be waiting on your return.

I SOOOO WISH Mr. Shatner would hold out for an offer from Elon, for a truly safe orbital space experience. Seriously. I am a worried Trek and Shatner fan here. Sorry. Every time I see Bozos’ rocket, staff, and engineering designs, it just makes me think it is all just an amateur effort.

PLEASE,… MR. SHATNER! PLEASE DON’T GO!!!!!!

You may not like Bezos’, but it’s hardly an amateur effort. Musk is a bit further along with the Dragon, but any rocket ride is inherently dangerous, Elon’s rockets included.

So true. I do wish Mr. Shatner all the best. What a brave man! And soon to be true ASTRONAUT!

New Shepard has flown 17 times and the only failure was in landing the rocket at the end of the first flight (the capsule landed safely, however) Bringing a new design reusable rocket into service is no amateur effort. Bringing a new manned spacecraft into service is no amateur effort (Blue Origin’s rivals SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have both accidentally destroyed one of theirs, the Virgin accident at the cost of one life.) Bringing a new design Liquid Hydrogen rocket engine into service is no amateur effort.

I detest Mr. Bezos, but Blue Origin is actually rather impressive. Slow, but impressive.

I appreciate that, Thorny. The Blue Origin rocket is certainly impressive. But it is 2021, and in my opinion, Elon has demonstrated vastly superior designs and accomplishments with his SpaceX Dragon and Starship development.

Look how Bezos lunar lander appears in the mockup shown on this page…
Blue Origin ‘gambled’ with its Moon lander pricing, NASA says in legal documents – The Verge
Pretty bad. What’s up with the purple lights?
That design does NOT look functional.

I’m telling you, Bezos team and efforts still look college level. What his company should do is approach SpaceX and offer to team up!

And with that understanding, I would not risk my life for 4 minutes of weightlessness with a limited view of the planet. That’s why I was shocked to hear Mr. Shatner, a personal hero of mine, would take this risk with a company that has recently had a run of bad news. And I hate to even delve further into that with next week soo close.

Live Longer and Prosper Further, Mr. Shatner!

You too, Thorny.

I did reply, Thorny. Guess my reasonable comments are hung up in the TM bureaucracy again. : |

Ya know what, who cares? Inspiration 4 put civilians in space for days and raised millions of dollars for St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. All this is, is a glorified amusement park ride to someplace where lots of people have gone before to raise money for who – Jeff Bezos? What a joke.

Heh, “crew” capsule. Crew generally are those who can actually do something to affect the spacecraft. They’re about as much crew as the Ham the chimp – and even Ham did more useful things on his flight than they will be. Spam in a can indeed.

If any human could affect a New Shepard vessel from onboard after launch, it would be Audrey Powers and she’s going to be in it.

Okay, Shatners interview with Anderson Cooper is one for the ages…

Is it NOT Space, its just skirting along the rim or something.

According to the US Military and NASA, the US definition of the boundary of space is above 50 miles from mean sea level. The New Shepard vessel atop the Blue Origin’s booster is more than capable of exceeding that height even with your estimation of Shatner’s additional weight.

https://www.aftc.af.mil/News/On-This-Day-in-Test-History/Article-Display-Test-History/Article/2232890/july-19-1963-north-american-x-15-flight-records/

Oh, no you didn’t! (LOL) That’s funny, and another bit that Mr. Shatner would also most likely get a great big belly laugh out of, considering his well-known sense of humor.

Exploring space the old fashioned way – joystick and analog flight.

It’s close enough. A lot closer then any of us will ever a chance at.

his flight has been delayed 24hrs

Trek fans, the world over, clutch their chests and hope against hope that another 24hr delay does not occur.

That should be another 72hr delay