William Shatner Launches Into Space on Blue Origin’s Second Human Flight

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin flew the actor

William Shatner

and three others to the sting of house Wednesday morning, the most recent flight aimed toward establishing the fledgling space-tourism market.

Blue Origin performed the flight as aviation regulators assess current allegations made in a letter signed by a former worker that the corporate hasn’t at all times made security a precedence. The firm has mentioned it stands by its security report.

Blue Origin launched the passengers at roughly 10:50 a.m. ET, and introduced them again round 10 minutes later in a passenger capsule that deployed parachutes for the touchdown. The firm had focused a ten a.m. ET launch, however held it throughout last preflight checks, in keeping with a reside stream.

Mr. Shatner, 90 years previous, is now the oldest particular person to succeed in house. After he exited the capsule Wednesday morning, he mentioned he was struck by the distinction of the blue ambiance with the black expanse of house.

“Everybody in the world needs to do this,” he instructed Mr. Bezos, who accompanied the passengers till they boarded the capsule for the flight and met them after the touchdown.

The mission follows different house flights orchestrated by non-public corporations which can be aimed toward individuals who aren’t conventional astronauts. In July, Blue Origin took Mr. Bezos and

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.

flew its founder,

Richard Branson,

to the sting of house and returned them to the bottom, whereas

Elon Musk’s

SpaceX final month accomplished a three-day orbital mission paid for by the chief govt of a funds firm.

‘Everyone in the world needs to do this,’ William Shatner instructed Jeff Bezos after touchdown.



Photo:

jose romero/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Mr. Shatner, who performed Captain Kirk on the unique “Star Trek” collection, and Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice chairman of mission and flight operations, didn’t pay for his or her tickets, with the corporate having described them as friends on the flight.

Two others—Glen de Vries, co-founder of the clinical-research software program firm Medidata Solutions, and

Chris Boshuizen,

co-founder of the Earth knowledge firm Planet Labs Inc.—paid for his or her tickets, in keeping with Blue Origin. The firm hasn’t disclosed costs, and Mr. Boshuizen and Mr. de Vries declined to remark on the prices.

Mr. Boshuizen mentioned in an interview earlier this month that he needed to take the journey as a result of he has been making an attempt to make human spaceflight a actuality for his complete profession. “It’s just something I very strongly believe in,” he mentioned.

The flight traveled to an altitude of 66.5 miles, previous a boundary for house referred to as the Karman Line. The passengers had been launched after boarding a crew capsule stacked atop one of many firm’s rockets, which blasted off from a launchpad at Blue Origin’s facility in West Texas.

The uptick in human house flight dealt with by industrial house enterprises is a part of a broader wave of curiosity by entrepreneurs and buyers in house as a venue for financial exercise. Startups have developed companies to offer gas for satellites and to seize and promote knowledge about Earth, in addition to serving to to assist launch rockets. Larger aerospace corporations have additionally made investments in autos and providers.

Space tourism might generate roughly $4 billion in annual income by 2030, in keeping with analysts at UBS. Ticket costs, nonetheless, stay out of attain for most individuals, with Virgin Galactic, for instance, charging no less than $450,000 a seat.

The New Shepard capsule lands, finishing its return from house.



Photo:

patrick t. fallon/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

For corporations delving into house tourism, “the key question is what will happen when they move away from special customers” resembling wealthier folks, mentioned Roger Handberg, a University of Central Florida professor who research house coverage.

In September, in a letter posted on-line, some present and former Blue Origin workers alleged cases of sexual harassment on the firm and mentioned it had at occasions given precedence to hurry over security. One particular person publicly signed the letter.

According to the letter, the will to compete with Mr. Musk and show progress to Mr. Bezos “seemed to take precedence over safety concerns that would have slowed down the schedule.”

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Blue Origin has mentioned it has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment and has quite a few methods for workers to offer details about misconduct. The firm additionally mentioned it believes in its security report.

The New Shepard, the rocket that took up Mr. Bezos in July and launched Wednesday, is the most secure house automobile ever designed, Blue Origin mentioned.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates house launches and re-entries, is trying into the protection allegations. A spokesman for the company mentioned that the assessment is ongoing. Blue Origin didn’t reply to a request for remark Tuesday.

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

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