This past summer, Blue Origin made history with their first crewed flight aboard their New Shepard rocket. Just a few months later, they’re shattering the record for the oldest person in space yet again. Or, is that Shatnering the record? Yes, William Shatner, Star Trek‘s first captain of the sharship Enterprise, is joining the second Blue Origin crew to fly to space.
Meet the NS18 Crew
In addition to actor William Shatner, Dr. Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries and Audrey Powers, complete the NS18 crew. All are tourists; as with the first crewed flight, there will not be any pilots on board!
William Shatner starred as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series in the 1960s. He has spent the past 60 years on various projects, from acting to producing to writing. At 90 years old, Shatner will break the record set by Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk on Blue Origin’s NS16 as the oldest person to fly in space. Glen de Vries is a co-founder of a clinical trial software company and an author. Currently the Vice Chair of Life Sciences and Healthcare at Dassault Systèmes, de Vries is fulfilling a dream with his seat on the New Shepard.
There are also two NASA veterans on NS18! Dr. Chris Boshuizen is a former NASA Space Mission Architect and an inventor. His resume includes organizing conferences for youth as well as work with nanosatellites. Audrey Powers is a Blue Origin employee and worked to get New Shepard certified for human flight. In addition to being an engineer, she is a lawyer and former NASA flight controller with experience working in Mission Control for the International Space Station Program.
There is special bonus cargo aboard the New Shepard: thousands of postcards! Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, was designed to inspire children to follow STEM careers. In addition to space-themed lessons, they have the Postcards To Space program where postcards are received, carried aboard the rocket and mailed upon re-entry!
Initially scheduled for Tuesday, New Shepard was postponed due to high winds. Lift-off is set for Wednesday, October 13, at 8:30 am CT. Coverage begins at T-90 minutes. The west Texas launch site is ready, the launch vehicle is cleared for flight and the crew is prepared. Follow Blue Origin on Twitter for detailed updates!
What to expect on launch day:
T-7.5 hrs: Rocket rolls out to launch pad
T-3 hrs: Propellant load begins
T-45 mins: Go for astronaut load & proceed to the launch tower
T-35 mins: Astronauts begin load into the crew capsule
T-24 mins: Crew Capsule hatch closed
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 12, 2021
Watch the Blue Origin Launch Broadcast
The flight will be streamed live on Blue Origin’s site and we have linked it here as well! Below is the live-stream link, which will become available before launch. Will you be watching?