Jeff Bezos’ space firm Blue Origin is reportedly planning to send Star Trek star William Shatner to space in October, apparently aboard its New Shephard craft. The news was first announced by TMZ, and it is not yet known who else will be joining the former Captain Kirk actor.
Oldest Man in Space?
Shatner has not yet confirmed the news, but it is said that the trip would probably be some 15 minutes long, and might be filmed for a documentary. If all goes well, the 90-year old actor might become the oldest person to be blasted off into space, aboard the second flight that will be launched by Blue Origin since Bezos himself took a trip to space in July this year.
The actor seems for have been interested in space travel for quite a while now. Just last year, he had asked Elon Musk’s company SpaceX to let him join the Crew Dragon Demo-2 commercial flight, while posting a photoshopped picture of him wearing a NASA spacesuit.
He had also said at a Comic-Con panel in San Diego back in July that there was a “possibility” that he could soon be going to space “for a brief moment” before touching back down on the earth. He was actually referring NASA’s Artemis mission, which will apparently be used to ferry people to space by 2024. Seems like his dream might come true earlier than he had expected, however.
Problems with Commercial Space Travel
Previously, Bezos had left Earth for a short period alongside hid brother, Mark. The two, along with a Dutch teen and an 82-year old aviator, got to witness the sights at a height of 66.5 miles above the Earth’s surface.
Just a few days back, the Inspiration4 mission, funded by business tycoon Jared Isaacman, and launched by SpaceX, splashed down into the Atlantic after a three-day long flight.
While these space flights, which are currently affordable only to billionaires, seem to be becoming the rage this year, the UN, during its recent General Assembly, called both Bezos and Musk’s companies out for spending billions on commercial space travel ay a time when millions of people still don’t have access to adequate food. Secretary General António Guterres jas also urged the biz tycoons to do their bit and contribute towards the protection of the Earth, even as Bezos has pledged $1 billion towards the cause after realizing just how “fragile” the planet looks from up in space.