High Winds Delay William Shatner’s Trip To Space Aboard Blue Origin

by Jennifer Shea

William Shatner is set to become the oldest person in space. But first he’ll have to wait until the weather clears up.

The 90-year-old’s planned space voyage with Jeff Bezos’s company Blue Origin is experiencing a delay thanks to high winds. On Sunday, Blue Origin announced that it was moving back the launch date of its New Shepard spacecraft by a day.

“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,” the company said in a statement, per Reuters.

William Shatner’s Trip Will Be Historic

Shatner is most famous for his role as Capt. James T. Kirk on “Star Trek.” And after making television history with that show, now he’ll get to make space travel history with his voyage this upcoming week.

“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” the actor said in a statement, per NBC News.

Shatner will be one of four passengers on the spacecraft Wednesday. Joining him are former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, software company co-founder Glen de Vries and Blue Origin vice president of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers, according to The Verge.

It is the second journey for the New Shepard, which made its maiden manned voyage in July, ferrying Bezos, his brother and two other passengers to the edge of space.

The spacecraft launches from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas.

Shatner’s Glimpse of Space Will Be Brief

New Shepard flights last for about 11 minutes. So Shatner will be spending less time in space than a typical episode of “Star Trek” ran for.

Still, judging by its inaugural flight, the vehicle should be able to make it past the Karman line, the internationally-recognized 62-mile boundary of space, according to Live Science. Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin’s competitor, is a little more conservative, staying closer to Earth on its voyages.

After their journey, the passengers will likely participate in a live broadcast about their trip.

Most of the New Shepard’s 17 previous flights have been unmanned tests or research flights, the most recent one being on Aug. 26, when the spacecraft launched a research mission to suborbital space in concert with a NASA lunar landing technology effort.