Fifty-five years after he first donned his multicolored Captain Kirk costume to embark, in 2266, aboard theUSS Enterprise, William Shatner, 90 years on the clock, is finally preparing to travel in space, for real.
The Canadian actor who played Kirk in the saga Star Trek, first broadcast on September 8, 1966 on NBC, will participate in Blue Origin’s next space flight on October 12, the company said.
“I have heard about space for a long time, I take the opportunity to see it with my own eyes”, said William Shatner in the Blue Origin press release. ” What a miracle “, added the actor who will become the oldest person to travel to space. ” Yes, it’s true ; i will be a “rocket man” ! », he further commented on Twitter, referring to his covers of famous songs.
So now I can say something. Yes, it’s true; I’m going to be a “rocket man!” 😝🤣 https://t.co/B2jFeXrr6L
A less revolutionary cast than in the series
The cast of the mission will be less revolutionary than the one that accompanied William Shatner in the 1960s: Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), pointy-eared alien, Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), Japanese pilot of theEnterprise and Lieutenant Uhura, a surname which, in Swahili, means “freedom”. Actress Nichelle Nichols, who plays the latter, is the first African-American to land a major role in a series. His character will even share with Captain Kirk the first interethnic kiss on American TV.
When the series begins to air, the United States is poisoned by racism and launched, in the midst of the Cold War, in the race to the stars with the Soviet Union. To these heartbreaks, Star Trek responds with humanist stories that advocate tolerance and integration. The series relies on an internationalized crew (foreshadowing what will be cooperation for the International Space Station project) and even includes in the last thirty-six episodes a Russian officer, Lieutenant Chekov (Walter Koenig).
For the 2021 getaway, William Shatner will be joined by Audrey Powers, Vice President of Blue Origin. There will be two other passengers: Chris Boshuizen, former NASA engineer and co-founder of Planet Labs, an American company that photographs the Earth in high resolution every day using satellites, and Glen de Vries, co-founder of Medidata Solutions, company specializing in clinical trial monitoring software for the pharmaceutical industry, acquired in 2019 by Dassault Systèmes. This flight will take place less than three months after the mission during which Blue Origin carried its first four passengers, including its founder Jeff Bezos.
A few minutes above the Karman line
This trip will also be less original than that of the 1960s: the experience offered by Blue Origin resembles the pilot of a series in progress. It is about flying a few minutes above the Karman line which marks, at an altitude of 100 kilometers, the border between the Earth’s atmosphere and space, according to the International Aeronautical Federation. Light years from the original adventures of Captain Kirk.
Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the universe of Star Trek, had seen a bit bigger: he had undertaken to send a handful of men and women aboard a spaceship “Where no one has ever been”. The credits summed up the ambition of the series: “Space, frontier of infinity, towards which our spaceship travels theEnterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, discover new lives, other civilizations and, in defiance of danger, advance into the unknown. “ Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk or Richard Branson still have their work cut out for them.
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Captain Kirk from “Star Trek” soon in space