Ninety-year-old William Shatner, who gained fame portraying Captain Kirk on the original “Star Trek,” just hitched a ride aboard a suborbital spacecraft that grazed the edge of outer space before parachuting to a landing, making Shatner the oldest person ever to travel to space.
Shatner took off aboard a New Shepard spacecraft — the one developed by Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, and the same vehicle that took Bezos himself to space this summer — just before 10:50 a.m. ET from Blue Origin’s West Texas launch site.
Bezos, a lifelong “Star Trek” fan, flew Shatner as a comped guest. With him were three crewmates: Chris Boshuizen, a co-founder of satellite company Planet Labs, and software executive Glen de Vries, who are both paying customers, and Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations.
The trip took just 10 minutes from takeoff to landing. The crew experienced about three minutes of weightlessness at the top of their flight path before their capsule deployed parachutes to slow their descent and touched back down near their Texas launch site.
Shanter’s new record as the oldest person to fly to space one-ups the record set just three months ago by 82-year-old Wally Funk, who was previously denied the opportunity to fly by NASA in the 1960s before she joined Bezos on his July flight.