Projected high winds, not the rapidly multiplying “Tribbles” of a famous “Star Trek” episode, will delay 90-year-old actor William Shatner’s first real-life space flight by a day, a Sunday announcement from the firm revealed.
The trip would make the legendary actor the oldest person to have flown to space, Blue Origin said.
“Due to forecasted winds on Tuesday, October 12, Blue Origin’s mission operations team has made the decision to delay the launch of NS-18 and is now targeting Wednesday, October 13,” the announcement on the firm’s website revealed.
The firm added, “Liftoff from Launch Site One is currently targeted for 8:30 am CDT / 13:30 UTC on Wednesday.”
Mr. Shatner, who created the role of Capt. James Tiberius Kirk on the classic TV series and reprised it in seven “Star Trek” movies, is slated as one of four crew members on the anticipated 10-minute New Shepard NS-18 flight.
He is expected to join Blue Origin’s mission and flight operations vice president, Audrey Powers, and paying-customer crewmates Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries on the flight, which will take off from the firm’s West Texas location.
In a news release from the space firm owned by Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos, Mr. Shatner was quoted saying, “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”
But the New York Post quoted Mr. Shatner last week as expressing fear during a rambling appearance at a New York Comic-Con panel.
“I’m going up. I’m scared,” the newspaper account noted. “Captain Kirk going … where? Where am I going?” Mr. Shatner reportedly added, with an audience member yelling back, “Space!”
Mr. Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, was a passenger on Blue Origin’s July 20 premiere voyage. Wally Funk, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer denied a place in the NASA astronaut program because of her sex, was also on the flight along with an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and Mr. Bezos’ brother, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Shatner’s flight will last no more than 10 minutes and reach an altitude of 66 miles above Earth’s surface.