Meet William Shatner’s real-life space crew for Blue Origin launch

The original “Star Trek” captain, a vice president of Blue Origin, a co-founder of Planet Labs and a co-founder of a medical research platform will all fly into space on a Blue Origin flight no earlier than October 12.

Actor William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in “Star Trek: The Original Series”, premiered in 1966, today 90, will fly to the true final frontier with the next space flight in Blue Origin crew aboard the company. New Shepard spaceship.

This will be the second crewed space flight for Blue Origin after its inaugural crewed flight launched founder Jeff Bezos and three other passengers on a 10-minute trip to space and back. July 20, will be broadcast live on, starting 90 minutes before launch.

Liftoff is currently scheduled for 8:30 a.m. local time (9:30 a.m. EDT or 1:30 p.m. GMT) from Launch Site One in West Texas. That said, the Federal Aviation Administration may launch a review of Blue Origin’s safety and cultural practices after criticisms emerged in media reports A few days ago.

Live Updates: Follow William Shatner’s Blue Origin launch here
Related: Star Trek movies, ranked from worst to best

Learn more about Shatner and the rest of his New Shepard NS-18 crew:

William shatner

William Shatner will launch into space with an upcoming Blue Origin suborbital mission on October 12, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin / Gary Marschka)

Shatner has been playing for 60 years and, in addition to his fame in “Star Trek”, is known for his singing and achievements in horseback riding.

In his most famous role as Captain Kirk in “Star Trek,” he made seven big screen appearances in feature films in addition to three seasons on network television. At 90, Shatner will be the oldest person to reach space, breaking the record set by 82-year-old aviator and Mercury 13 member Wally Funk, who set his record on Blue Origin’s first flight in July. (The oldest person to reach orbit is John Glenn, 77, a former NASA astronaut who joined NASA’s STS-95 shuttle mission working on research on aging in 1998.)

Some of Shatner’s other space appearances over the years include cameos in several “Star Trek” documentaries, a recurring role in “The Twilight Zone” before “Star Trek”, an appearance in a 1964 episode of “The Outer Limits” and a recurring role in “3rd Rock from the Sun” from 1999 to 2000. Shatner is also well known for his recurring and lead role in “The Practice” and “Boston Legal” in the 2000s, as Denny Crane. Shatner has also published a number of books and released an assortment of music over the years.

“I’ve been hearing about space for a long time now. I take this opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” Shatner said in a Blue Origin statement from October 4.

Audrey Powers

Audrey Powers, Vice President of Mission and Flight Operations at Blue Origin. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

Audrey Powers is the Vice President of Mission and Flight Operations for Blue Origin and has been with the company since 2013. She is responsible for all New Shepard flight operations, vehicle maintenance and infrastructure for the launch. , landing and ground support, according to his Blue Origin biography.

Powers was also one of the leaders in New Shepard certification for flight. Unlike other passengers, who pay for their seat, Powers seems to join the crew as an official company in preparation for New Shepard for further flight opportunities.

Previously at Blue Origin, Powers served as Deputy General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs and Compliance. She has also worked in the space industry as an engineer and lawyer. Powers is a former NASA flight controller and served at the console for 2,000 hours in the mission control program for the International Space Station. In addition to her work at Blue Origin, Powers is a pilot and chair of the board of directors of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

“I am so proud and honored to fly on behalf of Team Blue, and I am delighted to continue to write the history of Blue manned spaceflight,” said Powers in the same Blue Origin statement from October 4. “As an engineer and lawyer with over two decades of experience in the aerospace industry, I have great confidence in our New Shepard team and the vehicle we have developed,” she added.

Chris Boshuizen

Planet co-founder Chris Boshuizen. (Image credit: Planet Labs)

Chris Boshuizen co-founded Planet Labs (now known as Planet) in 2010 and was the company’s chief technology officer for five years. Planet has now launched more than 450 satellites to map Earth from space. Between 2008 and 2012, Boshuizen was a space mission architect at NASA’s Ames Research Center, where he co-invented an orbital satellite adapted from a smartphone, called NASA Phonesat.

His other work includes the establishment of Singularity University (which examines technological development and its consequences), the organization of several international space conferences and the function of the first executive director of the Space Generation Advisory Council.

“This is the fulfillment of my biggest childhood dream”, Boshuizen said on September 27 in a statement from Blue Origin, when announced as a crew member. “Most importantly, I see this flight as an opportunity to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. [science, technology, engineering and math] and catalyze the next generation of space explorers. After all, the future of our life in space is in their very capable hands. ”

Glen de Vries

Glen de Vries, co-founder of Medidata. (Image credit: Medidata)

Glen de Vries is co-founder of Medidata Solutions, which creates software that has been used for over 25,000 clinical trials for items ranging from vaccines to rare diseases. De Vries is also vice president of life and health sciences at Dassault Systèmes, which acquired Medidata in 2019, and a director of Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a private pilot.

“To play a role in advancing the space industry and making these resources and understanding available to all is an incredible opportunity,” De Vries said in a statement. September 27 Blue Origin statement, when he was announced as a crew member. “I have been passionate about aviation and space for as long as I can remember, so this flight is truly a dream come true.”

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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