[Oct 4, 2021: The Brighter Side of News]
Confirmed by The New York Times, William Shatner, the iconic actor who played Captain Kirk on "Star Trek, will launch to the edge of space this month on New Shepard, a tourist rocket built by Blue Origin, the company owned by Jeff Bezos.
Earlier this month, TMZ reported that the 90-year-old Shatner would be on the October 12 voyage, making him the oldest person ever to go to space however, until yesterday, Blue Origin had not confirmed that reporting.
"I've heard about space for a long time now, " said Shatner. "I'm taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle."
Shatner will join the three other members of the four-person crew on Blue Origin's second commercial flight to space.
The other members of the crew are:
Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of Planet Labs,
Audrey Powers, Blue Origin's Vice President of Mission and Flight Operations,
Glen de Vries, a co-founder of clinical research platform Medidata Solutions.
Blue Origin said the New Shepard rocket would blast off from the company's launch site in west Texas at 8:30 am Central time (1330 GMT) on October 12.
Bezos, the world's wealthiest man, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and paying customer, Oliver Daemen, flew into space on Blue Origin's first crewed flight on July 20.
Funk, at 82, and Daemen, 18, were the oldest and youngest persons ever to go into space.
The 10-minute trip took them beyond the Karman line—the internationally recognized boundary marking the start of space—and back again to Earth.
The October 12 flight will replicate that trip.
Blue Origin quoted Boshuizen as saying that the upcoming flight would be the "fulfillment of my greatest childhood dream."
De Vries, a vice chair at Dassault Systemes, which acquired Medidata in 2019, said the trip "is truly a dream come true."
Blue Origin's first crewed flight came just days after one by Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, who crossed the final frontier on July 11, narrowly beating the Amazon magnate in their space battle of the billionaires.
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