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Star Trek's 'Captain Kirk' set to blast off as oldest space traveler ever

Actor William Shatner will ride aboard Star Trek fan Jeff Bezos' space capsule

Andy Roesgen   | 04.10.2021
Star Trek's 'Captain Kirk' set to blast off as oldest space traveler ever File Photo- Actor William Shatner (Anadolu Agency archive- 2007)

CHICAGO, United States

90-year-old iconic "Star Trek" actor William Shatner confirmed on Monday that he will be blasting off into space next week, becoming the oldest space traveler ever.

"Yes, it's true; I'm going to be a 'rocket man!'" Shatner tweeted, adding, "It's never too late to experience new things."

Rumors surfaced last month that billionaire Jeff Bezos had invited Shatner for a seat on the next launch of Bezos' Blue Origin capsule, after Bezos' successful, groundbreaking launch last July.

In confirming the rumors, Shatner said in a statement, "I've heard about space for a long time now. I'm taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle."

Shatner starred as Captain James T. Kirk in the original "Star Trek" series, which saw him and his crew going on daring adventures across the universe, and, for the audience, aiming to bridge racial and cultural divides. The series only lasted three seasons, from 1966 to 1969, but it turned into a cultural phenomenon, spawning eight more television series, 13 movies and countless books, toys and games.

Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is a big "Star Trek" fan and once made a cameo appearance on one of the show's spin-off movies.

Shatner's ride on the Blue Original capsule will be short, just about 10 minutes. And, as with Bezos' first space flight in July, it will just touch the edge of space at about 106 kilometers above the earth, before parachuting back down in Texas brush country.

Shatner will be joined by three others on the flight, including two paying customers, another step forward in Bezos' goal of turning space tourism into a viable industry.

Shatner, however, will just miss out on being the first actor to reach space.

Russia is launching an actress and a film director on Tuesday, who will be on board the International Space Station for almost two weeks of movie making.

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