Blue Origin New Shepard rocket blasts off carrying Star Trek actor William Shatner on suborbital flight

Blue Origin's rocket New Shepard blasts off carrying Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, on billionaire Jeff Bezos's company's second suborbital tourism flight as part of a four-person crew near Van Horn, Texas, U.S., October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake SPACE-EXPLORATION/BLUEORIGIN

13-10-2021MIKE BLAKE

As the 60-foot tall rocket thundered the launch site one in Texas, four passengers strapped in the capsule waited with bated breath for the first glimpse of the big blue marble. Onboard was a man who had lived this moment hundreds of times, over four decades, but only on the big screen. This afternoon, William Shatner helped Captain Kirk conquer the final frontier - Space.

Blue Origin launched famed actor William Shatner, Glen de Vries co-founder of Medidata Solutions, Dr Chris Boshuizen founder of PlanetLabs, and Audrey Powers on a short trip beyond Earth to experience what it feels to be weightless in space. The second crewed mission that lasted just over ten minutes, from launch to landing, made history as 90-year-old Shatner returned to Earth and became the oldest man to go into space, breaking the record set by 82-year-old Wally Funk just months ago.

"That was unlike anything they had described, unlike anything I had ever seen," Shatner was heard saying on his way back.

Blue Origin New Shepard rocket blasts off carrying Star Trek actor William Shatner on suborbital flight

The mission marked the second successful crewed launch and landing for billionaire Jeff Bezos-led company, which is fighting hard to get a share of the emerging space transportation sector, largely dominated by SpaceX and his falcon-9 rockets. The system previously launched and landed Jeff Bezos in a picture-perfect mission in July alongside three others in its maiden flight.

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