‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner will join former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, Blue Origin Vice President and engineer Audrey Powers and clinical research entrepreneur Glen de Vries, when he flies to space on Blue Origin’s upcoming commercial flight https://t.co/HziJBhVMgC pic.twitter.com/50QH9IfGsr
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 13, 2021
… To a near approximation (close enough for media purposes) of space. And after fifty years of girdle jokes, he seems to be — how to phrase it? — secure in his own skin. Age hath its privileges!
William Shatner is preparing to be beamed up Wednesday for his first real-life space flight. At 90, he'll be the oldest person ever to enter the final frontier. https://t.co/9mFbBHpZJU
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 12, 2021
… When Shatner boards Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin NS-18 in Texas at around dawn Wednesday, his one small step into the craft creates one of the ultimate crossover stories of our era.
It’s about space and exploration, sure, and certainly about capitalism and billionaires and questions of economic equity. But it’s also about popular culture and marketing and entertainment and nostalgia and hope and Manifest Destiny and, and, and … well, you get the idea.
“What will I see when I’m out there?” Shatner wondered last week, talking to Anderson Cooper on CNN. An equally valid question is this: What will WE see when he’s out there?
It will be a complex blend of human dreams superimposed upon technology and hope, braggadocio and cash, and the notion that space travel elevates us — all orchestrated by a company under criticism for what some call the decidedly un-utopian, tech-bro ways that it operates…
We live in an era where the fictional and the real have an intricate relationship, and sometimes it’s hard to separate them. Something like this, a collision of dreams and real-life ambition and achievement, couldn’t have a more effective ambassador than the outsized personality that is William Shatner.
“I was there last week rehearsing, whatever they call it,” Shatner told Anderson Cooper.
“Training I think is what they call it,” Cooper said, to which Shatner responded: “I think of it as rehearsal.”…
Except Shatner won’t be the first Star Trek actor to actually go to space. That honor belongs to Mae Jemison, who also the first black woman to do so. She was a mission specialist on the Endeavour in 1992, and appeared in TNG episode “Second Chances,” directed by LeVar Burton. pic.twitter.com/pLszyJATe7
— David Josef Volodzko (@davidvolodzko) October 5, 2021
Meanwhile, for the rest of us:
A trip through the cosmos: Swiss researchers have released VR software that allows for virtual visits to the International Space Station, past the Moon, over galaxies and beyond. By @jameykeaten https://t.co/rG8BWDlwQ0
— AP Europe (@AP_Europe) October 12, 2021