Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos, has been on the frontier of the commercial space race and now plans to make only its second-ever crew flight on Wednesday. On July 20, Bezos was launched to space along with his brother Mark, aviator Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, a teenage student of Utrecht University. Now, the fledgling space company is ready for another crewed mission. The Blue Origin NS-18 mission will carry four civilian crew members to the edge of the stratosphere, and this time, it only makes sense that a pop-culture legend tags along to scout the place like an expert.
The Blue Origin NS-18 Mission will liftoff at 6:30 am (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, and there will be a live coverage stream.
Where to Watch the Blue Origin NS-18 Mission Live
Blue Origin NS-18 Mission Timeline
The four-person crew will be launched from Blue Origin’s launch facility in Van Horn, west Texas. They will then embark on a 15-minute space mission that will see them enter suborbital space and grab a view of the Earth from above before plummeting into the atmosphere at breakneck speed and slowly parachuting to the surface of the Texas desert.
The Crew Members
- William Shatner, the actor best known for portraying Captain James T. Kirk on “Star Trek.”
- Audrey Powers, the Vice President of New Shepard Mission & Flight Operations.
- Chris Boshuizen, who co-founded Planet Labs and is currently a partner at venture capital firm DCVC.
- Glen de Vries, a co-founder of the clinical trial software company Medidata Solutions, and the Vice Chairman of life sciences and healthcare at Dassault Systèmes.
Although the three front-running companies cornering the market for commercial space travel have had civilian flights, Bezos’ move to get Captain Kirk to climb aboard the Blue Origin NS-18 mission to space makes for wholesome content for space enthusiasts and movie watchers alike.
These are glorious times for space travel, and by tomorrow, the iconic actor, 90, will have his name written in the record books for being the oldest person to date to travel to space. Just months ago, Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk was the oldest ever to travel to space when she went alongside Bezos and four other crew members on Blue Origin’s NS-16 mission in July. She was 82 years old.
Shatner, speaking on NBC’s Today program, expressed his enthusiasm for the trip.
“I’m going to see the vastness of space and the extraordinary miracle of our Earth and how fragile it is compared to the forces at work in the universe. I’m thrilled and anxious – and a little nervous and a little frightened – about this whole new adventure,” he said.