© 2022 | WUWF Public Media
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850 474-2787
NPR for Florida's Great Northwest
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

William Shatner boldly went into space for real. Here's what he saw

Canadian actor William Shatner, who became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, speaks from the stage at the second edition of the multi-genre entertainment comic and fan convention 'Comic Con Africa' in Johannesburg on September 21, 2019.
Michele Spatari
/
AFP via Getty Images
Canadian actor William Shatner, who became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, speaks from the stage at the second edition of the multi-genre entertainment comic and fan convention 'Comic Con Africa' in Johannesburg on September 21, 2019.

Updated October 13, 2021 at 10:01 AM ET

The man who first played the space-traveling Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise is preparing to actually visit the edge of space for the first time on Wednesday.

Actor and director William Shatner is one of four people slated to blast off in the space company Blue Origin's latest rocket launch, which is scheduled to lift off this morning.

This 1988 file photo shows William Shatner dressed as Capt. James T. Kirk at a photo opportunity promoting the Paramount Studios film "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier."
Bob Galbraith / AP
/
AP
This 1988 file photo shows William Shatner dressed as Capt. James T. Kirk at a photo opportunity promoting the Paramount Studios film "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier."

"I'm going up into space. I don't know how many people who can say that," Shatner said in a promotional video tweeted by Blue Origin.

"And it looks like there's a great deal of curiosity about this fictional character, Captain Kirk, going into space. So let's go along with it and enjoy the ride," he added.

At age 90, Shatner will become the oldest person to fly into space.

The rocket, New Shepard, is named after American astronaut Alan Shepard.

The four passengers — there is no pilot onboard — will be in the air for 11 minutes and will experience weightlessness for part of the journey.

Blue Origin, which is owned by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, launched its first human spaceflight in July, with Bezos and three others onboard.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.