The Blue Origin capsule with four passengers on board, including William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on the ‘Star Trek’ series, landed in West Texas on Wednesday after spending a few minutes in space.
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The Canadian actor became, at 90, the oldest person to reach space. This is the second manned flight for the company of billionaire Jeff Bezos, which aims to establish itself as a major player in the coveted space tourism sector.
“I will be surprised to see the space. I want to look at the globe and appreciate its beauty and toughness “William Shatner anticipated Tuesday in a video posted by Blue Origin.
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Takeoff took place at 09:50 GMT (09:50, in Peru) from West Texas.
Relive William Shatner’s flight into space
The fully automated and reusable New Shepard rocket took off vertically and is comprised of an ultramodern designed launcher and capsule that detaches in flight.
Propelled that way, it goes beyond the call Karman Line, at an altitude of 100 km, that marks the limit of space according to the international convention.
Passengers can be separated from their seats and float for a few moments in zero gravity.
The capsule then falls back to Earth, braked by three parachutes and a rear thruster. The launcher returns apart to automatically land not far from its take-off point.
Total, the experience lasts only eleven minutes.
In addition to the Canadian actor, three other passengers were on board Wednesday.
Chris Boshuizen is a former NASA engineer and co-founder of Planet Labs, an American company that photographs the Earth in high resolution every day using satellites.
Glen de Vries is a co-founder of Medidata Solutions, a company specializing in clinical trial monitoring software for the pharmaceutical industry.
And finally, Audrey Powers, manager of Blue Origin, particularly in charge of flight operations and rocket maintenance.
Less than three months after Jeff Bezos’ flight into space, this new takeoff clearly shows the Your company’s determination to establish itself in the coveted space tourism industry.
Bezos’s company is in furious competition with Virgin Galactic, which offers a similar experience in a few minutes. In July, British billionaire Richard Branson also flew into space aboard a ship of the company he founded.
And for its part, in September, SpaceX kept four space tourists for three days in orbit around the Earth, a much more ambitious (and expensive) mission.
“We are only at the beginning, but what a miraculous beginning and how amazing it is to be a part of it.”William Shatner acknowledged in the Blue Origin video.
Star Trek, broadcast since 1966 for only three seasons, recounted the adventures of the USS Enterprise, launched on an interstellar exploration mission.
Sci-fi enthusiasts, including Bezos, have turned it into a cult series. The Amazon founder even appeared in one of the series’ many spinoff movies, unrecognizable under alien makeup.
“Captain Kirk, played by Shatner, is perhaps more than anyone ‘the last frontier’ for a couple of generations in the United States and the world “American screenwriter Marc Cushman told AFP.
The actor and his fictional character “They were symbols of the growing interest of the nation – and of the world – in space exploration”, continuous.
Long led by government agencies, this conquest of space now has the growing support of private companies. And William Shatner is part of that promotion.
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