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Captain Kirk to head into space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard

After decades of flying around space on the television and in movie theaters, Captain James T. Kirk will finally make it into space.

Blue Origin announced Oct. 4 that William Shatner, the actor who portrayed Captain Kirk, and Blue Origin’s Vice president of Mission & Flight Operations Audrey Powers, will fly to space onboard New Shepard NS-18.

They will join crewmates Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries for the flight which lifts off from Launch Site One on Oct. 12.

Shatner’s career as an actor, director, producer, writer, recording artist, and horseman has spanned 60 years.

He originated the role of “Captain James T. Kirk” in 1966 for the television series Star Trek. The series spawned a feature film franchise where Shatner returned as Captain Kirk in seven of the Star Trek movies, one of which he directed. He has long wanted to travel to space and will become the oldest person to have flown to space.

Shatner is currently the host and executive producer of The UnXplained on The History Channel. From the producers of Ancient Aliens and The Curse of Oak Island, the one-hour, non-fiction series explores the world’s most fascinating, strange, and inexplicable mysteries.

“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” said William Shatner.

Powers joined Blue Origin in 2013 and over sees all New Shepard flight operations, vehicle maintenance, and launch, landing, and ground support infrastructure.

In collaboration with New Shepard’s Safety & Mission Assurance team, Test & Flight Operations, Chief Engineers, and external partners, Audrey played a lead role in the multi-year process to certify New Shepard for human flight. Prior to leading New Shepard’s Mission and Flight Operations team, she served as Deputy General Counsel and Vice President of Legal & Compliance for Blue Origin, overseeing a wide variety of legal, regulatory, and policy matters.

She worked as an engineer for almost a decade before becoming a lawyer. As a guidance and controls engineer, she was a flight controller for NASA with 2,000 hours of console time in Mission Control for the International Space Station Program. In addition to serving as executive sponsor of Blue Origin’s New Mercury gender diversity business resource group, she is a pilot and serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

“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,” said Audrey Powers. “I was part of the amazing effort we assembled for New Shepard’s Human Flight Certification Review, a years-long initiative completed in July 2021. As an engineer and lawyer with more than two decades of experience in the aerospace industry, I have great confidence in our New Shepard team and the vehicle we’ve developed.”

Live launch coverage begins on BlueOrigin.com at T-90 minutes. Liftoff is currently targeted for 8:30 a.m., CDT, from Launch Site One in West Texas.

This flight follows Blue Origin’s successful first human flight on July 20 which included Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and Blue Origin’s first customer, Oliver Daemen.

Also on board NS-18 will be thousands of postcards from Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future.

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