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Blue Origin launch – as it happened: William Shatner launched into space on historic flight

Anthony Cuthbertson
Thursday 14 October 2021 07:30 BST
Watch live as Star Trek actor William Shatner blasts into space in New Shepard

Blue Origin has launched William Shatner into space aboard its New Shepard rocket.

The Star Trek actor has gone where no 90-year-old has gone before, becoming the oldest person to ever fly to space.

According to a live stream of the historic event, Shatner reached an altitude of roughly 350,000ft and a velocity of about 2,000mph.

The trip lasted about 10 minutes, when the capsule fell back to Earth with a parachute.

The New Shepard NS-18 flight was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was delayed due to windy weather at the Texas launch site.

Shatner is joined on the flight by Blue Origin Vice President Audrey Powers, former Nasa engineer Chris Boshuizen and Medidata CEO Glen de Vries.

It comes less than three months after Jeff Bezos made the same 11-minute trip aboard the first ever crewed New Shepard rocket.

You can read how the launch played out in our live blog below, as well as watch a video of the event at the top of this page.


Blue Origin shares footage from inside capsule

Blue Origin has shared footage from inside the New Shepard capsule while it was at its apogee and the crew members were experiencing micro gravity.

While everyone else was floating around and playing with their zero-G indicators, William Shatner remained by the window looking out at the blackness of space and the curvature of the Earth.

“Oh Jesus,” he said. “Oh God.”

After getting back to Earth, one of the first things he said was “everyone on Earth needs to see this”.

You can read the full round-up of the launch, and watch it all again, right here.

Blue Origin launches William Shatner into space

‘Everyone on Earth needs to see this,’ says 90-year-old ‘Star Trek’ actor, who became oldest person ever to travel to space

Anthony Cuthbertson14 October 2021 07:28

Key stats from Blue Origin launch

Blue Origin has shared the key mission stats from today’s New Shepard NS-18 launch.

Here’s a round-up of the best ones:

• The crew capsule reached an apogee of 347,539 ft. above ground level (AGL) / 351,186 ft. mean sea level (MSL) (106 km AGL/107 km MSL)

• The mission elapsed time was 10 min 17 sec; the max ascent velocity was 2,235 mph / 3,597 km/h

• 19th consecutive successful crew capsule landing (every flight in the program, including a pad escape test in 2012)

Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 17:44

William Shatner tweets from space

As promised, William Shatner tweeted while in space - sort of.

The prolific Twitter user had told his followers ahead of the mission that he had “prearranged a little something” for when he was on the flight.

This is what was posted:

Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 16:36

Blue Origin launch video

If you’re only just joining us, you can see the full live stream video of the launch right here.

Blue Origin launch live stream: Watch as Star Trek actor William Shatner blasts into space

Blue Origin is preparing to launch William Shatner into space today on-board its New Shepard rocket.The Hollywood icon, who played Captain Kirk in the Star Trek films and TV series, will be one of a four-person crew sent into orbit.At 90-years-old, he will also be the oldest person to ever fly to space.The New Shepard NS-18 flight was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was delayed due to windy weather at the Texas launch site.It is now expected to launch at 8.30am local time (2.30pm BST).Sign up to our US evening newsletter here.

Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 16:24

William Shatner returns to Earth

William Shatner is out the capsule and he’s emotional. He tries to tell Jeff Bezos what the experience was like but the billionaire interrupts him to call over a champagne bottle and pop it.

“The impression I had, as you’re shooting up,” Shatner said before the interruption.

Finally the 90-year-old is able to continue: “Everyone on Earth needs to see this,” he says. “It’s unbelievable... I hope I never recover from this. I hope I maintain what I feel now. It’s so much larger than me and life.”

(Blue Origin)
Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 16:17

Blue Origin crew emerge from capsule

With the capsule safely strapped down and stairs in place, the crew of New Shepard NS-18 are ready to emerge from the second-ever crewed Blue Origin flight.

Jeff Bezos is among the friends and family waiting on the ground to greet them.

“Welcome to Earth,” the billionaire screams through the hatch.

(Blue Origin)
Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 16:11

Blue Origin recovery crew on their way

All four crew members appear to have given the thumbs up signal from their window seats, as the Blue Origin recovery crew make their way to help them out.

Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 16:05

Blue Origin capsule touchdown

In a big puff of dust, the Blue Origin capsule has touched down safely in the Texas desert.

(Blue Origin)
Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 16:02

Blue Origin rocket lands back on Earth

It still looks like CGI each time these reusable rockets land but the New Shepard NS-18 has successfully returned to Earth.

(Blue Origin)
Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 15:59

Blue Origin launch is ‘nominal'

Having reached apogee, the New Shepard capsule and rocket booster are on their way back to Earth.

Blue Origin has described the flight so far as “nominal”, meaning everything has gone exactly according to plan.

Anthony Cuthbertson13 October 2021 15:56

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