Beam him up, Scotty! William Shatner is heading to space. On Monday, Blue Origin, the company founded by Jeff Bezos, announced that the 90-year-old actor will be one of four passengers on board New Shepard NS-18 on Oct. 12.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time now,” Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series, said. “I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”
He also reacted to the news on Twitter, writing, “So now I can say something. Yes, it’s true; I’m going to be a ‘rocket man!'”
Shatner will be joined on the flight by Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations, Chris Boshuizen, the co-founder of Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, the co-founder of Medidata.
“I’m so proud and humbled to fly on behalf of Team Blue, and I’m excited to continue writing Blue’s human spaceflight history,” Powers said. “I was part of the amazing effort we assembled for New Shepard’s Human Flight Certification Review, a years-long initiative completed in July 2021. As an engineer and lawyer with more than two decades of experience in the aerospace industry, I have great confidence in our New Shepard team and the vehicle we’ve developed.”
The flight is scheduled for lift off from Launch Site One in West Texas on Oct. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET. Live launch coverage will begin 90 minutes before take off.
The news follows the company’s successful first human flight in July. On board for that inaugural flight was Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos, along with Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, the oldest and youngest people to ever fly in space, respectively. Shatner will break Funk’s record for the oldest person in space with his flight later this month.
“When you get into space and you can see the Earth’s atmosphere, it’s so thin and fragile looking. So we do have to take care of this planet. And right now it’s just true that our civilization is — we pollute the planet,” Bezos told CBS Sunday Morning following his flight. “This sounds fantastical, what I’m about to tell you, but it will happen. We can move all heavy industry and all polluting industry off of Earth and operate it in space.”
“What Blue Origin can do,” he added, “is build a space vehicle that is so operable and commercial and inexpensive that it becomes the infrastructure that the next generation can use to take those big steps.”