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Blue Origin Launches Live Updates: William Shatner and Crew Prepare to Take Flight

PictureBlue Origin Launches Live Updates: William Shatner and Crew Prepare to Take Flight
Credit…Bennett Raglin / Getty Images

The star name of the four-person crew that Blue Origin will launch to the edge of space on Wednesday is William Shatner.

For those who haven’t paid attention since these Enterprise spaceship journeys began over 50 years ago: Mr. Shatner, now 90, played the indomitable Captain James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek”. television series which debuted in 1966. The show aired for three seasons, and Mr. Shatner returned as Kirk with the original cast members for six films from 1979 to 1991. Captain Kirk perished in 1994 in “Star Trek: Generations”.

As Trek’s media empire grew from the original series (it now encompasses a growing multiverse of movies and shows, as well as video games, merchandise, conventions and more), Mr. Shatner as a true sci-fi celebrity only got stronger. .

“Looks like there’s a lot of curiosity in this fictional character Captain Kirk going into space,” Shatner said in a promotional video posted to Twitter by Blue Origin. ” So let’s go. Enjoy the ride. “

But his life in the public eye is far from being limited to “Star Trek”.

For years, Mr. Shatner played a hyperbolized version of himself as “the negotiator” in commercials (some with a Trek twist) for the travel agency Priceline.

He won two Emmy Awards and landed nominations for his roles in the interconnected legal dramas “The Practice” and “Boston Legal” in the 1990s and 2000s (his work “Star Trek” never received an Emmy or Oscar). He also received an Outstanding Guest Actor nomination for a series of cameos like The Big Giant Head in “3rd Rock From the Sun”.

His age has not stopped his work. Earlier this year, he starred in the romantic comedy “Senior Moment” alongside Jean Smart, 20 years younger at 70.

Offscreen, Shatner has released several albums that straddle music and spoken poetry (a style that produced a particularly memorable performance of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards). In 2012, he came to Broadway with a one-man show that spanned his life and career. And even as a nineties he followed the kids and brought his distinct personality to Twitter, which served as an ideal platform to praise his latest adventure.

Mr Shatner, in an interview with CNN last week, said he took on his space trip a “little blue satchel” of memorabilia that included “three or four little knick-knacks” of family and friends. friends.

But during the flight, he intends to stay focused on planet Earth.

“I plan to look out the window with my nose resting against the window,” he said. during a chat last week with Blue Origin employees, of which the company posted clips on Twitter.

He then added, “The only thing I don’t want to see is a little gremlin looking at me. Are you sure this will not happen? “

Joey Roulette contributed reporting.

Blue Origin Launches Live Updates: William Shatner and Crew Prepare to Take Flight

Credit…Paul Ratje / Reuters

Liftoff is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST, and Blue Origin will be broadcasting it live on its YouTube channel. The video will start approximately 90 minutes before the flight.

The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday morning, but windy conditions over West Texas prompted Blue Origin to postpone the launch for 24 hours. If stronger winds arise on Wednesday, the company could choose to delay the flight an additional 24 hours, until Thursday.

Blue Origin Launches Live Updates: William Shatner and Crew Prepare to Take Flight

Credit…Blue Origin, via Associated Press

Three other passengers will join Mr Shatner on Wednesday’s flight:

  • Audrey Powers, vice president of Blue Origin who oversees New Shepard flight operations; like Mr. Shatner, she did not have to pay for her seat.

  • Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of Planet Labs, a company that builds small satellites, also known as CubeSats, which are used by various customers to monitor the Earth from orbit.

  • Glen de Vries, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Medidata Solutions, a company that has designed software for clinical trials.

Luckily for all three, none will be wearing a red Starfleet uniform.

Dr. Boshuizen or Mr. de Vries are the second and third paying passengers to travel on a Blue Origin flight. The first was Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old Dutchman. The company did not say how much those customers paid for their seats on the flights.

As ticket-buying customers, they’re much like the first investors in an industry that executives hope one day cheap enough for a wider audience to enjoy.

Ms Powers practically flew into space aboard New Shepard in April, when she and three other company executives were “backup astronauts” for Blue Origin’s 15th flight of the New Shepard rocket. She and her colleagues basically did a dress rehearsal for missions with astronauts on board. Leaders took all the legwork to prepare for a launch – climb the rocket tower, board the capsule, close its hatch, and test its communications system – until about 15 minutes before takeoff when ‘they got out of the capsule and left the pad.

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