William Shatner has been a household name for the past several decades. Although he is best known for playing Captain Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise in “Star Trek: The Original Series” from 1966-1969, Shatner has become an actor, author, producer, director, screenwriter, and even a singer.
Most recently starring in the 2021 film, “Senior Moment,” Shatner’s impressive list of credits include “Boston Legal,” “T.J. Hooker,” “Gunsmoke,” and cameos in comedies like “Dodgeball” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
Born in March 1931, the 90-year-old Canadian-born entertainer is now adding one more impressive feat to his legendary career: he’s going into space. For real.
It’s true. Captain Kirk is ready to head off into the final frontier.
On Tuesday, October 12, Shatner is set to join the crew of Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceflight.
Earlier today, Blue Origin’s Twitter account posted a statement, saying, “Two incredible and inspirational people will join the #NS18 crew. Actor @WilliamShatnerand Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations Audrey Powers @AudreyKPowers.”
Shatner immediately retweeted the news, writing, “So now I can say something. Yes, it’s true; I’m going to be a ‘rocket man!’”
They will also be joined by Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Medidata co-found Glen de Vries.
A Groundbreaking Achievement
At 90 years old, Shatner is more than double the average age of one of NASA’s astronauts.
Although some fans expressed concern for his health on the trip, most of the comments were filled with fans who couldn’t pass up a chance to provide some appropriately-timed “Star Trek” memes.
“U got to wear a Starfleet badge on your spacesuit,” one fan wrote alongside a photo of the iconic “Star Trek” badge that has worked its way into pop culture history.
“Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander also jumped at the news, joking, “@WilliamShatner is going to space? My man! I guess this means I have to become a marine biologist.”
“It’s never too late to experience new things, my friend,” Shatner tweeted back. “Hope you are well.”
This is not the first launch that consists of both astronauts and “customers,” as they are now called, as the race to commercialize the space industry gets underway.
In July, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson traveled to the edge of space with five others. Nine days later, Jeff Bezos followed with a small crew of his own. He brought along his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, and 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk. Although the trip marked the youngest and oldest person to enter space, respectively, Shatner’s voyage will break that record.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk recently launched his first crew into space last month. The people on board consisted of a Pennsylvania entrepreneur and pilot Jared Isaacman who brought along two contest winners and cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, who is also a physician assistant at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time now,” Shatner said in a statement. “I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”