TMZ.com reports that Capt. James Tiberius Kirk — actor William Shatner, anyway — will be heading to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital launch system.
We’re told Shatner will be on board in October for the 15-minute civilian flight — similar to the last launch. What we don’t know — BUT WHAT WOULD BE AWESOME — is if he wears his Capt. Kirk getup.
Our sources say the mission will be filmed for a documentary. We’re told Shatner’s people were talking to Discovery about the special, but that didn’t materialize … but our sources say Shatner and Co. have taken the project elsewhere and are in negotiations.
The 90-year old actor would be part of the second crewed flight by Jeff Bezos’ company. He would be the oldest person ever to travel to space.
In 2013, the Daily Mail reported that Richard Branson had offered Shatner a seat aboard Virgin Galactric’s suborbital SpaceShipTwo vehicle. Branson said the actor declined for an unusual reason.
‘He actually said he’s frightened of airline travel – which is slightly disillusioning. Captain Kirk is scared of flying,’ the Sun quoted Sir Richard as saying.
However, Shatner said he turned down Branson’s offer two years earlier because he didn’t want to pay the $200,000 cost.
‘I said, “Well, that’s not much, how much do you guarantee to come back?” And he didn’t have a price on that,’ quipped Shatner.
‘He wanted me to go up and pay for it and I said: “Hey, you pay me and I’ll go up. I’ll risk my life for a large sum of money.” But he didn’t pick me up on my offer.’
That wasn’t the first time he had indicated his reluctance to be blasted into the unknown.
Five years earlier Shatner said: ‘I’m interested in man’s march into the unknown but to vomit in space is not my idea of a good time. Neither is a fiery crash with the vomit hovering over me.’
Whatever the case, there is sure to be massive worldwide interest if Shatner does boldly go where no Star Trek regular cast member has gone before.