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William Shatner flies into space aboard the Blue Origin rocket

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When asked what she wanted to do the most during the flight, Powers said in a Blue Origin video posted to Twitter: “I plan to spend the majority of the time staring out the window.”

Shatner agreed, saying, “I plan to look out the window with my nose resting against the (glass). The only thing I don’t want to see is a little gremlin looking at me!”

He was referring to a now classic episode of “The Twilight Zone” titled “Nightmare at 20,000ft” in which Shatner, playing the role of an airline passenger, sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane. . Rather, his frantic efforts to convince his wife and fellow travelers that the gremlin is real convince them that he has suffered a breakdown.

William Shatner flies into space aboard the Blue Origin rocket
Blue Origin (LR) teammates: Former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, actor William Shatner, Audrey Powers, vice president of mission and flight operations at Blue Origin, and healthcare entrepreneur Glen de Vries.

CBS News


James T. Kirk is Shatner’s most famous role, and in the Blue Origin video, Powers was asked how excited she was to fly with the legendary spaceship captain.

“I don’t know if I’m more excited to go to space with Denny Crane or with Captain Kirk,” she said, referring to Shatner’s portrayal of a lawyer on the “Boston TV series” Legal”.

“But Denny Crane was on the verge of senility,” Shatner joked.

“That’s right!” Powers burst out laughing. “We probably want the Captain Kirk version.”

“I think you’re better off with this guy,” Shatner replied.

“Star Trek” debuted in 1966 when NASA still launched a two-man Gemini spacecraft. The series was canceled after three seasons, but dedicated fans made it a phenomenon. NASA named its prototype space shuttle “Enterprise”, spin-off series have been launched, and Shatner has starred in seven of the 13 “Star Trek” feature films released to date.

When filming the original “Star Trek” for television, Shatner said, people were just starting to think that astronauts would be flying to the moon soon.

“I would go down to Cape Kennedy from time to time during the series and I met all the astronauts and I was very impressed,” Shatner told CNN. “When they went to the moon, I had reached (my) nadir, they were at their peak. I was divorced, the show was canceled and I’m looking up there… and I’m lying in a taxi trying to get some sleep because I have to show up the next day and can’t afford a hotel room.

“So 55 years later, I wrote a song for this album which is now called ‘Bill’, and one of the songs is ‘So Far From the Moon.’ It was about that moment when I was looking at the sky, being so far away from the moon, and here I am all this time later, a few thousand feet closer to the moon than you are. “

As you might expect, Shatner is the “star” of New Shepard Flight 18, and that’s probably just fine with his teammates Boshuizen and de Vries. Despite their professional and financial success, neither man has a Wikipedia entry and both seem to be content to keep personal details personal.

Boshuizen, 44, is an Australian with a doctorate. in Physics from the University of Sydney. After a stint at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, he co-founded Planet Labs, a company that pioneered the use of small “nanosats” and now operates the world’s largest fleet of commercial Earth observation satellites. .

He is also a partner of DCVC, a deep tech investment firm in San Francisco, and is a musician in his spare time, performing under the name of Dr. Chrispy.

“I’m very excited,” he told King on “CBS Mornings”. “I’ve waited my whole life to do this. I think it’s pretty amazing that 2021 is the year when the human race really begins to go into space on a massive scale.

“I think we’re going to go back to that date in 50 years and go, wow, that was really a special time in history, just like the Wright brothers, when people started flying passenger planes. is really exciting to be a part of history and I can’t wait to fly. “

de Vries, a private pilot in his spare time, trained as a molecular biologist and co-founded Medidata Solutions, the world’s most widely used clinical research platform. The company’s software has managed more than 25,000 clinical trials involving more than seven million patients. Dassault Systèmes acquired the company in 1999 for $ 5.8 billion.

“I’m actually anxious to see Earth from a different perspective than I’ve ever had before,” he said in the interview with the “CBS Mornings” crew. “I can’t wait to look out of this window and experience humanity and our planet differently than I have ever had the chance before.”

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