What happened now? William Shatner officially became the oldest person to reach space since the successful launch and landing of New Shepard NS-18 just minutes ago. The historic flight was originally scheduled a day earlier, October 12, but has been delayed until today due to strong winds expected in the area. There were no such winds at the start on Wednesday.
Today’s launch was broadcast live on the Internet and has witnessed hundreds of thousands of viewers. NS-18 lifted off from Launch Pad # 1 in West Texas, and just over four minutes later, all four astronauts – Audrey Powers, Chris Boschuisen, Glen de Vries and William Shatner – were able to unfasten their seat belts and experience weightlessness.
The Blue Origin New Shepard rocket successfully completed its fourth mission, landing safely in an upright position without incident. The crew capsule followed after a few minutes, safely delivering the passengers to solid ground. We didn’t have any internal shots of the production crew as they experienced zero gravity, but with luck, Blue Origin will be posting footage or photos soon.
This was Blue Origin’s second manned space flight. The first took place back in July, when Blue Origin sent founder Jeff Bezos into space along with the youngest astronaut in history (Oliver Daeman, aged 18) and the oldest at the time (Wally Funk, 82). Shatner, 90, has adopted this distinction from Funk through today’s successful flight.
Friends and family were there to welcome the team back to Earth, as was Bezos himself.