- Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, will become the oldest person to fly into space this morning.
- The actor will join a crew of three others aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard tourist rocket on its second crewed flight.
- Blue Origin's first crewed flight, on July 20, took its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, along with three other guests, to space.
Update 11:01 a.m. E.T.: The crew has safely landed! New Shepard's booster returned to Earth in one piece minutes earlier.
Update 10:51 a.m. E.T.: We have liftoff!
Update 10:36 a.m. E.T.: And the hold has cleared! The countdown clock has resumed.
Update 10:24 a.m. E.T.: There is a brief hold on the mission. The countdown clock has paused at T-minus 15 minutes.
Update 9:50 a.m. E.T.: After a 20-minute hold, NS-18 is "go" for launch. It's T-minus 41 minutes on the countdown clock.
Beam them up, Scotty!
This morning, Blue Origin's second crewed flight, NS-18, is scheduled to depart the planet aboard the company's New Shepard spacecraft. If all goes according to plan, the rocket will lift off from Blue Origin's West Texas launch facility at 10 a.m. E.T.
Among the four-person crew is a special guest—William Shatner, the actor known for his portrayal of Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series. He'll join CubeSat pioneer Chris Boshuizen, who co-founded the space firm Planet; Glen de Vries, CEO and co-founder of the medical software company Medidata; and one of Blue Origin's vice presidents, Audrey Powers.
🚀 You love space. So do we. Let's nerd out over it together.
You can watch a livestream of the roughly 10-minute journey in the video at the top of this story, or watch it directly on YouTube here. The travelers will ride to the edge of space, briefly hang suspended in microgravity, and then return back to Earth, parachuting down above the Texas desert.
Blue Origin announced on October 4 that Shatner—who at 90 will become the oldest person to travel into space—would officially join the crew. "Yes, it's true; I'm going to be a 'rocket man!'" Shatner wrote on Twitter shortly after his spot on the crew was announced.
New Shepard's inaugural crewed flight, NS-16, launched earlier this year. On July 20, Amazon founder and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos joined his brother Mark; space-race pioneer Wally Funk; and an 18-year-old student from the Netherlands, named Oliver Daemen, who became the youngest person ever to fly into space.