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William Shatner releases new album, may reach space with Blue Origin

A collage shows Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, the company's suborbital New Shepard launch system and actor William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in "Star Trek."
A collage shows Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, the company's suborbital New Shepard launch system and actor William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in "Star Trek." (Image credit: Blue Origin/Paramount Pictures)

Actor William Shatner, known in every corner of the galaxy as Captain James T. Kirk from "Star Trek," has a new album out — and he may be planning a trip to space.

The album, an autobiographical collection of spoken word pieces, includes a track recounting Shatner's experience watching the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, the first time humans set foot on the moon. The track, which features country star Brad Paisley, is called "So Far From the Moon."

Shatner may also be packing his bags to fly to the edge of space with Blue Origin, according to a report from TMZ. According to the entertainment news site, the 90-year-old actor is slated to join the second crew that goes up in the New Shepard, which would make him the oldest person ever to fly into space. 

In photos: Blue Origin's 1st New Shepard passenger launch with Jeff Bezos

Blue Origin on Monday (Sept. 27) announced that its next crewed flight will launch on Oct. 12. The company released the names of two passengers, neither of which was Shatner, and said that the other two would be announced "in the coming days." Blue Origin did not respond to Space.com's request for comment on the reports about Shatner.

Jeff Bezos, the spaceflight company's billionaire founder, reached suborbital space himself on the first-ever crewed New Shepard launch, which occured in July. The capsule carried Bezos, 57, his brother Mark, 53, 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk and 18-year-old Dutch physics student Oliver Daemen 66.5 miles (107 kilometers) above Earth, then made a parachute-assisted landing in the West Texas scrublands. 

The flight made Funk the oldest person and Daemen the youngest person to reach space.

Before that flight, Blue Origin said it planned two more flights with paying customers in 2021. 

Bezos' flight was carefully timed for July 20 in a nod to the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 crew landing on the moon, an event coincidentally discussed in Shatner's new album.

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Despite having long since retired from "Star Trek," Shatner's iconic recording career is still flourishing and on Friday (Sept. 24), he released a new spoken-word album, called "Bill." The songs on the album were co-written and produced by Dan Miller of the band They Might Be Giants, along with writer Robert Sharenow. 

In one track, Shatner describes his own experience of watching the Apollo landing while sleeping on a truck on Long Island during a summer theater stint when his career was in peril.

"The song is about how glorious that moment was for the United States and for those wonderful people that I'd met, and how inglorious this moment in my life was," Shatner said during a conversation with WNYC's show "All Of It." "I was so far from the moon, and it's a very personal song about a moment in my life when I was at a low point."

William Shatner's latest album "Bill" is available to order on Amazon.

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Scott Snowden
When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset ... as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space. You can follow Scott on Twitter @LorumIpsum.