William Shatner‘s Captain Kirk is about as iconic as sci-fi gets. He’s faced down all manner of strange interstellar beasts, philosophized with countless alien races, and punched several of them in the face. But last week we learned that Shatner is finally going to space for real.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin aerospace company has announced that the 91-year-old Shatner will become the oldest person to go into space when he rides one of their rockets beyond the Karman Line, the internationally recognized boundary of space about 62 miles above the Earth’s surface.
This flight was due to take place tomorrow, but a bad weather forecast has delayed it until Wednesday. As the press release, per Deadline, explained:
“Due to forecasted winds on Tuesday, October 12, Blue Origin’s mission operations team has made the decision to delay the launch of NS-18 and is now targeting Wednesday, October 13. Liftoff from Launch Site One is currently targeted for 8:30 am CDT / 13:30 UTC on Wednesday.”
Blue Origin also posted a picture of Shatner at their Astronaut Village, where he’s looking pretty damn spry for a man in his nineties:
Shatner put on a brave face when the trip was announced, but admitted in a recent appearance at New York Comic-Con that he’s “terrified” of the trip:
“I’m thinking, ‘I’m going up in a rocket and our best guess is it should be fine? I’m terrified. I’m Captain Kirk, and I’m terrified. I’m not really terrified — yes I am. It comes and goes like a summer cold. I’m planning on putting my nose against the window [once I’m in space], and my only hope is I won’t see someone else looking back.”
The jury is still out on whether it’s a good idea to blast a 91-year-old man into space, but I’m sure they’ve gone a full physical on Shatner to make sure he’s up to the task. Jeff Bezos will be feeling the pressure on this particular flight, as his space tourism company being responsible for the death of Captain Kirk would be a gigantic PR own goal.
I guess we’ll find out on Wednesday. Let’s hope we get to see some cool photos of William Shatner exploring the stars.