Blue Origin launch time delay extends wait for ‘terrified’ William Shatner

90-year-old ‘Star Trek’ actor will have to wait an extra day to launch into space

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 11 October 2021 21:47 BST
Blue Origin will launch 90-year-old ‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner into space on 11 October, 2021
Blue Origin will launch 90-year-old ‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner into space on 11 October, 2021 (Blue Origin)
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Jeff Bezos’s private space company Blue Origin has delayed its latest launch due to windy weather in Texas.

The setback means 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner will have to wait an extra day to fly into space, with the trip now scheduled for Wednesday.

Shatner is set to become the oldest person ever to go into space when he joins the New Shepard NS-18 mission this week as part of a four-person crew.

“Due to forecast winds in west Texas we are pushing NS18 launch target to Wednesday, October 13,” Blue Origin said in a statement.

“As part of today’s flight readiness review, the mission operations team confirmed the vehicle has met all mission requirements and astronauts began their training today. Weather is the only gating factor for the launch window.”

The lift-off is scheduled for 8.30am CDT (2.30pm BST). A live-stream of the mission will be broadcast starting 90 minutes before the launch, on Blue Origin’s website and official YouTube channel.

The trip comes less than three months after Bezos made the first space tourism trip aboard a Blue Origin rocket alongside three other passengers.

The 11-minute flight was successfully completed without any major problems, though Shatner has admitted to being “terrified” of making the same trip.

During a panel discussion at Comic Con in New York last week, Shatner recalled the 1986 Challenger disaster that killed every astronaut on board.

“I’m thinking, ‘I’m going up in a rocket and our best guess is it should be fine,” Shatner said.

“I’m terrified. I’m Captain Kirk and I’m terrified. I’m not really terrified – yes I am... It comes and goes like a summer cold. I’m planning on putting my nose against the window [once I’m in space], and my only hope is I won’t see someone else looking back.”

Flying alongside Shatner are Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice-president of mission and flight operations, Chris Boshuizen, a former Nasa engineer, and Glen de Vries, the co-founder of software firm Medidata.

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