Actor William Shatner, who famously played Captain Kirk in the “Star Trek” series, is preparing to launch into space Wednesday on New Shepherd mission NS18, operated by Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, Blue Origin.
“I’m going up into space. I don’t know how many people can say that. It’s life changing, in its way. Not because of the aerial adventure, but because of the people I’m meeting and talking with,” Shatner said in a video posted on Blue Origin’s Twitter account. “Jeff Bezos’ concept, to make living and building in space, and to make pollution a thing of the past, I mean, what noble ambitions those are, and somebody has to start it.”
“We’re just at the beginning, but how miraculous that beginning is,” the 90-year-old actor continued. “How extraordinary it is to be a part of that beginning.”
“There is this mystique about being in space and being that much closer to the stars and being weightless,” Shatner added. “I shall be entranced by the view of space. I want to look at that orb and appreciate its beauty. Its tenacity is sustaining this life of ours, which allows us to look with awe and wonder at the miracle of space.”
Shatner also acknowledged Star Trek fans’ excitement that his character, Captain Kirk, is going into space.
“And it looks like there’s a great deal of curiosity about this fictional character Captain Kirk going into space, so let’s go along with it and enjoy the ride,” he said.
In another post featuring a photo of the crew, Blue Origin tweeted that the team is “go for launch.”
“The mission team has completed the Flight Readiness Evaluation prior to #NS18,” the company tweeted. “This is our final meeting with the engineers and Mission Control team to ensure all systems are go for launch.”
Joining Shatner on the launch will be Audrey Powers, the vice president of missions and operations for Blue Origin. Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer, and Glen de Vries, founder of the clinical research group Medidata Solutions, will also be on the flight, which was originally scheduled to launch on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
On Sunday, Blue Origin announced that the launch of New Shepherd mission NS18 would be delayed until Wednesday due to “forecasted winds in West Texas.” Liftoff is expected to take place at 8:30 am CDT, with a live broadcast beginning at T-90 minutes on here.
Blue Origin’s second passenger flight comes almost three months after the company successfully launched its first rocket into space, carrying Bezos, his brother and several others. After the trip, CNBC reported that the billionaire former Amazon CEO announced Blue Origin had sold nearly $100 million in tickets for future passenger flights.
After returning to earth, Bezos exclaimed, “Best day ever! My expectations were high and they were dramatically exceeded.”