William Shatner is going where, well, where a few hundred have gone before — but it’s impressive nonetheless. At the age of 90, Shatner, famous for playing Captain Kirk in Star Trek, is headed to space.
Shatner will head toward the void aboard a Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin capsule New Shepard NS-18 after the founder offered him a seat as a guest of the company. Bezos, a long-time fan of the series (which may or may not make him a Trekkie), even had a cameo as a high-ranking alien in the 2016 film “Star Trek Beyond.”
Once he reaches space, Shatner will be the oldest person to pass the Karman line, the official boundary between Earth and space at 62 miles (100 kilometers). He will join three paying customers aboard the capsule. He would have been the first actor to make the trip to space, however, that honor will be taken by a Russian actress and film director who will go aboard the International Space Station for two weeks to film a movie; the launch is set for October 5th. While the moviemakers will be making a trip to orbit, Shatner will just reach official space when his capsule reaches 66 miles up (106 kilometers). Shatner’s flight will take 11 minutes.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself,” Shatner said in a statement.
Accompanying Shatner is a former NASA engineer who founded a nanosatellite company as well as co-creating a software company that specializes in clinical research and Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers. Reports in 2013 said he had turned down Sir Richard Branson’s offer to fly him into space with Virgin Galactic.
Shatner’s most famous role was that of Captain Kirk of the USS Starship Enterprise from 1966 to 1969. In addition to the series, he portrayed the commander in seven movies, directing one of them. Currently, he hosts the show “The UnXplained” on the History Channel.