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William Shatner, Star Trek's Captain Kirk, rocketing into space next week

Monday, October 4, 2021

The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. -- Captain Kirk is rocketing into space next week -- boldly going where no other sci-fi actors have gone.

Jeff Bezos' space travel company, Blue Origin, announced Monday that "Star Trek" actor William Shatner will blast off from West Texas on Oct. 12.

"Yes, it's true; I'm going to be a 'rocket man!"' the 90-year-old tweeted. He added: "It's never too late to experience new things."

Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is a huge fan of the sci-fi series and even had a cameo as a high-ranking alien in the 2016 film “Star Trek Beyond.” His rocket company invited Shatner to fly as its guest.

Shatner will become the oldest person to go to space. He'll join three others - two of them paying customers - aboard a Blue Origin capsule. He'll wind up being the second actor to reach space this month: Russia is launching an actress and a film director to the International Space Station on Tuesday for almost two weeks of moviemaking.

Shatner's flight, by comparison, will last just 10 minutes and reach no higher than about 66 miles (106 kilometers). The capsule will parachute back to the desert floor, not far from where it took off.

With flights short or long, space tourism is picking up steam fast.

Virgin Galactic carried founder Richard Branson to the edge of space with five others in July, followed nine days later by Bezos' space hop. Elon Musk's SpaceX, meanwhile, launched its first private crew last month - a Pennsylvania entrepreneur who bought the three-day flight and took along two contest winners and a cancer survivor.

Virgin Galactic's ship launches from an airplane and requires two pilots. Blue Origin and SpaceX's capsules are fully automated, but the passengers must pass medical screenings and, among other things, be able to quickly climb several flights of steps at the launch tower to get to the capsule - or out of it in an emergency.

This will be Blue Origin's second launch of a crew.

Bezos was on the debut flight on July 20. He took along his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk - the youngest and oldest to fly in space. Shatner will break that upper threshold by eight years.

“I've heard about space for a long time now. I'm taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” Shatner said in a statement.

Shatner played the role of the USS Starship Enterprise's commander for three seasons, from 1966 to 1969. He also portrayed Captain James T. Kirk in seven movies, directing one of them. He's currently the host and executive producer of a History Channel show, “The UnXplained.”

The ashes of two other “Star Trek” powerhouses - creator Gene Roddenberry and actor James Doohan, who played Scotty - rocketed into space years ago following their deaths.

Also launching with Shatner: a former NASA engineer who founded a nanosatellite company and the co-founder of a software company specializing in clinical research. The two took part in the auction for a seat on the first flight. That seat cost $28 million; Blue Origin isn't divulging any other ticket prices.

A fourth seat on the flight is going to Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations, who used to work for NASA as a space station flight controller.

A Blue Origin spokeswoman said Shatner, like the others, met all the company's health and physical requirements.

Last week, more than 20 current and former Blue Origin employees accused the Kent, Washington-based company of having a toxic work environment and not adhering to proper safety protocols. Blue Origin said it doesn't tolerate harassment or discrimination and stood by its safety record.

Bezos' company is also challenging a NASA contract award to SpaceX for providing a lunar lander that will return astronauts to the moon in a few years. Blue Origin was unsuccessful in its bid for the job.

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by Anonymousreply 51October 14, 2021 5:54 PM

If only we had a thread on William Shatner...

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by Anonymousreply 1October 5, 2021 9:10 AM

R1, a search brought up no threads on this specific new story.

by Anonymousreply 2October 5, 2021 9:16 AM

An excuse to pull out this old chestnut

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by Anonymousreply 3October 5, 2021 9:21 AM

Shatner? I hardly knew her!

by Anonymousreply 4October 9, 2021 10:23 PM

Hysterical, good for him.

Maybe he'll find Leonard Nimoy floating out there like in the original series.

by Anonymousreply 5October 9, 2021 10:31 PM

I hope everything goes well and he comes back in one piece.

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by Anonymousreply 6October 13, 2021 11:37 AM

He's too fat and old.

by Anonymousreply 7October 13, 2021 11:39 AM

Is it "space...space" or is it "upper atmosphere...space"?

by Anonymousreply 8October 13, 2021 11:39 AM

Considering the hateful asshole he's become (or, if you listen to some of his former co-workers, has always been) I find myself not caring much, beyond the possibility that this might kill him, which would be hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 9October 13, 2021 11:40 AM


A person's death please you? What a douche

by Anonymousreply 10October 13, 2021 11:54 AM

Spacewashing is the new Greenwashing.

by Anonymousreply 11October 13, 2021 11:55 AM

YOU just said he was "too fat and old," r10. What do you think might happen to someone like that who goes through something too strenuous for them?

Your comment doesn't even make sense, considering you've spent all morning telling people off. You know where you are, you know what DL is about. Don't start complaining about it now.

by Anonymousreply 12October 13, 2021 11:57 AM

R9, Shatner admits he's a bit of an egomaniac, and he and James Doohan did not get along. But Shatner seems to have mellowed over the years. One way or another he is still a legend.

by Anonymousreply 13October 13, 2021 11:58 AM

Even Leonard Nimoy had to cut Shatner off, despite being one of the few people who could endure him for decades. Then Shatner wrote a poor-me book about it after Nimoy died, to profit off the drama.

by Anonymousreply 14October 13, 2021 12:08 PM
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by Anonymousreply 15October 13, 2021 1:48 PM

It took me to figure out, R15. Forgot about the Star Trek redshirt meme.

by Anonymousreply 16October 13, 2021 1:53 PM

[quote]The capsule will parachute back to the desert floor, not far from where it took off.

Uhhhhh, no.

by Anonymousreply 17October 13, 2021 2:26 PM

Actually I think he looks rather amazing for 90

by Anonymousreply 18October 13, 2021 2:51 PM

I love Star Trek, and I liked Shatner as Kirk, but I am so tired of this story. We get it, Capt. Kirk is going into space.

by Anonymousreply 19October 13, 2021 2:55 PM

Aww. How come we didn’t get to see inside the capsule like we did before?

by Anonymousreply 20October 13, 2021 2:59 PM

Well, they made it! Pretty cool!

by Anonymousreply 21October 13, 2021 3:00 PM

He had a hot ass and he's living forever.

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by Anonymousreply 22October 13, 2021 3:01 PM

“He’s gonna live forever if the good die young”

by Anonymousreply 23October 13, 2021 3:03 PM

I have a feeling he won't be alive if and when the rocket returns.

by Anonymousreply 24October 13, 2021 3:03 PM

Well, your feeling is wrong!

by Anonymousreply 25October 13, 2021 3:05 PM

besides the paunch, he's looking pretty good for 90...

by Anonymousreply 26October 13, 2021 3:13 PM

Let's not forget about his wigs.

by Anonymousreply 27October 13, 2021 3:17 PM

I love his comments about the flight…it must be wild to be 90 and healthy enough to take this trip……

by Anonymousreply 28October 13, 2021 3:17 PM

If it explodes, will his toupee orbit the Earth forever?

by Anonymousreply 29October 13, 2021 3:19 PM

I feel sorry for Shatner's wife, he isn't going to stop talking about this for the rest of his life.

by Anonymousreply 30October 13, 2021 3:21 PM

I don’t think he’s currently married.

by Anonymousreply 31October 13, 2021 3:23 PM

He divorced her a while back, sent her divorce papers the day of her brother's funeral I think. But then she was hanging around with him on his 90th birthday per one of the entertainment websites, so I guess she doesn't mind putting up with that kind of stuff.

by Anonymousreply 32October 13, 2021 3:26 PM

Oh, he’ll be all over TV telling us all about it for awhile.

by Anonymousreply 33October 13, 2021 3:26 PM

He'll write another book called Me: The Final Frontier.

by Anonymousreply 34October 13, 2021 3:30 PM

Captain Kirk went boldly into space for real. Seriously, even though people talk about billionaires and their toys, I think this is an amazing contribution to the world. It will keep getting better and cheaper like airplanes did. 90 yo Shatner making the trip and being so enthusiastic will go a long way to interest and reassure the public. We’re watching history being made.

by Anonymousreply 35October 13, 2021 3:39 PM

I think its great. The only way they could get me on a stupid rocket would be IF I WERE 90. Good on him !!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 36October 13, 2021 5:31 PM

[quote] Shatner admits he's a bit of an egomaniac, and he and James Doohan did not get along.

Shatner has had “issues” with many. He has “Shat” on people throughout his life.

[quote] But Shatner seems to have mellowed over the years. One way or another he is still a legend.

Yeah, no, disagree.

He’s still a bloated egomaniac. His association with the bloated billionaire-club-dipping into space is par for the course.

They’re all egomaniacs bragging about a few minutes of experience high in the sky.

Whereas there are others working quietly, compassionately down-to-earth here.

I know which group I prefer.

by Anonymousreply 37October 13, 2021 6:03 PM

I guess it's slightly more interesting to send Shatner, an actor who has actual accomplishments to his credit, into space than Elon Musk or Richard Branson, who are essentially just people who are good at taking other people's money with no added value.

by Anonymousreply 38October 13, 2021 6:07 PM

[quote] Shatner, an actor who has actual accomplishments to his credit

He PRETENDED to be a space captain.

He’s not a neurosurgeon.

by Anonymousreply 39October 13, 2021 6:11 PM

I wanted to watch but completely forgot. What I want to know is how his toupee handled weightlessness. Did it stay on? Was it floating around the cabin? Did they give him extra time when they landed to adjust his rug before he got out? This would make a great ad campaign for whatever "hair system" he's using.

by Anonymousreply 40October 13, 2021 6:18 PM

He was actually pretty articulate about how profound the experience was and he was grateful for the opportunity. He seemed to be fine except maybe a little bit off balance. His hair seemed to be firmly in place, but he had a hat on. Lol

by Anonymousreply 41October 13, 2021 6:27 PM

It would be interesting to see the environmental impact of sending 4 tourist into space for a grand total of 10 minutes. Why only 10 minutes, most the cost is getting up there, they should at least have stayed an hour or two.

by Anonymousreply 42October 13, 2021 9:05 PM

Bill is an institution.

by Anonymousreply 43October 14, 2021 1:05 AM

I thought he gave a wonderful testimony for other billionaires to make the trip. It had to be worth every penny to Bezos to get that kind of endorsement

by Anonymousreply 44October 14, 2021 1:14 AM

R43 Bill belongs in an institution.

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by Anonymousreply 45October 14, 2021 1:20 AM

Shatner looked like he was avoiding getting near any of the champagne being uncorked around him, ducking a couple of times. I wonder if he's that strict with his sobriety?

by Anonymousreply 46October 14, 2021 7:17 AM

He's going to be a guest on CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday night.

by Anonymousreply 47October 14, 2021 9:53 AM

Lucky bitch.

by Anonymousreply 48October 14, 2021 1:58 PM

Noticed that when he was first out of capsule he was sort of dazed. Then Mr Penis Head backed into him and almost knocked the Shat over.

by Anonymousreply 49October 14, 2021 4:44 PM

I didn't know he was an alcoholic. If so, why did he marry that wife who allegedly was an alkie and got drunk and drowned in the pool?

by Anonymousreply 50October 14, 2021 4:46 PM

Who in the fuck needs to be sober, when you're 90 years old?

I'd say fuck it.

by Anonymousreply 51October 14, 2021 5:54 PM
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