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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin efficiently launches crew with William Shatner to area and again

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launched its New Shepard rocket for the fifth time this yr on Wednesday, and with Canadian actor William Shatner becoming a member of the corporate’s second crewed spaceflight to this point.

Known as NS-18, this New Shepard mission carried a crew of 4: Shatner, Blue Origin VP of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers, Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Medidata co-founder Glen de Vries.

Liftoff occurred at about 10:50 a.m. ET.

The crew of NS-18, from left: Audrey Powers, William Shatner, Dr. Chris Boshuizen, and Glen de Vries.

Blue Origin

Shatner, who famously performed Capt. Kirk within the unique “Star Trek” tv collection, is now the oldest particular person to fly into area, at 90. The report was beforehand held by aerospace pioneer Wally Funk, who at 82 flew on Blue Origin’s first crewed launch in July.

The rocket launched from Blue Origin’s personal facility in West Texas, reaching above 100 kilometers (or greater than 340,000 ft altitude) earlier than returning to Earth safely a couple of minutes later. From begin to end, the launch lasted about 11 minutes. The crew skilled about three minutes of weightlessness.

“Star Trek” actor William Shatner is offered with a problem cash together with former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, scientific analysis entrepreneur Glen de Vries and Blue Origin vice chairman and engineer Audrey Powers earlier than their suborbital flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard mission NS-18 close to Van Horn, Texas, U.S. in a nonetheless picture from video broadcast October 13, 2021.

Blue Origin | Reuters

New Shepard’s capsule accelerated to greater than 3 times the pace of sound to go past the 80 kilometer boundary (about 50 miles) the U.S. makes use of to mark the sting of area. The capsule is flown autonomously, with no human pilot, and returned below a set of parachutes to land within the Texas desert.

The New Shepard rocket booster can also be reusable, and landed on a concrete pad close to the launch website. NS-18 was the fourth launch and touchdown for this booster.

The corporate additionally flies New Shepard on cargo missions, such as the one in August, which carry analysis payloads within the capsule.

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