Actor William Shatner, known for the role of Captain Kirk in the series “Star Trek – Star Trek”, finally goes into space, aboard a rocket of the magnate Jeff Bezos, which is due to take off this Wednesday.
The protagonist of the popular science fiction series, which began with the phrase “Space, the final frontier”, is expected to be the oldest person to reach space, at the age of 90.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time,” joked the Canadian actor, quoted in a statement by Blue Origin. “I will take the opportunity to see it with my own eyes. What a miracle,” he added.
The take-off is scheduled for 9:00 am (3:00 pm in Lisbon), from the base of Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, in West Texas.
Shatner will travel aboard the fully automated and reusable New Shepard rocket, which takes off vertically, with a capsule that detaches during flight.
During the journey, the actor will cross the so-called Karman line, the internationally recognized boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space, at an altitude of 100 kilometers.
In total, the experience should only last 11 minutes.
In addition to the actor, three other passengers will be on board: Chris Boshuizen, former NASA engineer and co-founder of the American company Planet Labs, which takes high-resolution photographs of the Earth using satellites; Glen de Vries, co-founder of Medidata Solutions, a software company for the pharmaceutical industry, and Audrey Powers, responsible for flight operations and rocket maintenance at Blue Origin.
The “Star Trek” saga, created in 1966, has become a cult series for science fiction fans, including Jeff Bezos, who even appeared in one of the series’ many offshoots in 2016, with alien makeup.
“Captain Kirk, played by Shatner, represents the ‘final frontier’ more than anyone else for several generations,” being considered a “symbol of the growing interest” in space exploration, American screenwriter Marc Cushman told the agency -Presse news release.
This is the second trip with Blue Origin passengers, after the flight carried out in July with Jeff Bezos on board, the founder of the company and the e-commerce multinational Amazon.
Shatner’s trip should help promote the American tycoon’s space company, in a sector where competition is fierce, with British multimillionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic proposing a similar experiment.
In the summer Branson, founder of Virgin, was the first to go into space through private means, followed a few days later by Jeff Bezos aboard the New Shepard rocket. Both flights lasted just a few minutes.
In September, tycoon Elon Musk’s SpaceX company sent four space tourists into space on a three-day trip around the Earth.