Star Trek actor William Shatner is set to become the oldest person to travel to space when Jeff Bezos‘s space travel company, Blue Origin, blasts off its New Shepard rocket from West Texas on October 12. The record was previously held by 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, who flew on the rocket’s first crewed flight in July alongside Bezos and his brother. “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” 90-year-old Shatner said in a statement.
Shatner, who played Capt. James T. Kirk in the “Trek” universe, will be joined by Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, and two paying customers on the New Shepard NS-18 rocket: Audrey Powers.
“I’m so proud and humbled to fly on behalf of Team Blue, and I’m excited to continue writing Blue’s human spaceflight history,” Powers said.
Shatner’s trip will carry him to space for just a few minutes. TMZ reports that Shatner’s flight will be filmed as part of a documentary.
Shatner portrayed Kirk in the original “Trek” series as well as seven feature films.
In an interview with NBC News in July, Shatner defended Bezos and British mogul Richard Branson for using their fortunes on space travel instead of social causes, but took a dig at SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk.
“It’s their money. They can do what they want with it,” he had said
“What’s his name wants to colonize Mars? That’s ridiculous,” Shatner said during the interview.
“It takes a year and a half to get there. People will think it’s like we’re on a trip, on a cruise line. No, man! You’re in zero gravity and it’s hotter than hell and the air is putrid. ‘Help me, I’m dying, but I’m dying slowly!’ What a terrible fate.”