In photos: William Shatner launches to space on Blue Origin's New Shepard
On Oct. 13, 2021, William Shatner went to space.
The iconic "Star Trek" actor and original Captain Kirk launched on a suborbital trip alongside three crewmates on NS-18, the second crewed spaceflight by Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft.
During the launch, Shatner, who is 90, set a new record for the oldest person in space. He launched with Audrey Powers, Blue Origin vice president for mission and flight operations, and two paying passengers: Glen de Vries, vice chair for life sciences and healthcare at the French software company Dassault Systèmes; and Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of the Earth-observation company Planet.
See how their flight happened in photos by clicking the arrows above.
The NS-18 crew. From left: Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers and Glen de Vries.
A diagram of the flight plan for Blue Origin's NS-18 mission on Oct. 13, 2021.
Blue Origin launches typically last about 11 minutes and offer up to four minutes of weightlessness. Shatner's NS-18 launch lasted 10 minutes, 12 seconds and reached an altitude of about 66 miles (106 kilometers).
New Shepard rises off the pad at Blue Origin's Launch Site One in West Texas on Oct. 13, 2021, kicking off the NS-18 mission.
New Shepard's capsule separates from its rocket on the NS-18 mission.
The NS-18 booster touches down at its landing pad on Oct. 13, 2021.
Another view of the NS-18 booster touching down.
The NS-18 capsule and its four passengers returning to Earth.
The NS-18 capusle and its chutes stand out against the clear West Texas sky.
The NS-18 capsule on the ground shortly after touchdown.
A wider look at the landed NS-18 capsule and the West Texas landscape.
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos opens the NS-18 capsule's hatch shortly after touchdown.
Jeff Bezos pins astronaut wings on William Shatner shortly after the NS-18 mission landed.
The Blue Origin NS-18 crew is pictured during flight training on Oct. 12, 2021. From left to right: Audrey Powers, William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.
At far right is Blue Origin's Crew Member Seven Sarah Knights, who works with New Shepard crews to ensure they're ready for spaceflight.
William Shatner displays the postcard he carried on his flight for Blue Origin's Club for the Future, a nonprofit aimed at spurring interest in science and space for kids around the world.
One of the club's activities is collecting postcards from schoolchildren and launching them on New Shepard flights, then sending them back to the children. Shatner wrote this postcard to support the club. His note reads:
"This is the most important and practical concept for space use and for aiding in saving planet Earth -- William Shatner."
Chris Boshuizen displays his Club for the Future postcard, which is covered in artwork with a Saturn planet at its center.
Glen de Vries shows off his postcard, which features an Earth with a ring around it.
Audrey Powers and her postcard. Flying in space was a lifelong dream for the Blue Origin vice president of mission and flight operations.
Her card features a spacesuit-clad astronaut, dog and stars and planets.
A closer look at the NS-18 crew's handmade postcards that they took to space.
Blue Origin New Shepard NS-18 crew member Glen de Vries packs his "blue satchel" with mementos to fly into space.
William Shatner at the launch pad ahead of the NS-18 flight.
Glen de Vries inside the New Shepard training capsule.
The NS-18 crew gets familiar with their spacecraft.
The NS-18 crew poses for a prelaunch photo in a scenic spot.
More prelaunch prep.
Powers and Shatner share a moment.
William Shatner is a popular guy.
The training and prep continue.
William Shatner meets his crew during training for Blue Origin's NS-18 launch.
William Shatner seen here preparing for his spaceflight with Blue Origin.
Blue Origin customer Chris Boshuizen poses with the Blue Origin's electric Rivian truck, which carried him and his NS-18 crewmates to Launch Site One for his New Shepard launch.
NS-18 crewmembers William Shatner (left), Audrey Powers (center) and Chris Boshuizen listen during prelaunch training at Blue Origin's astronaut training center near its Launch Site One.
Sarah Knights, Blue Origin's Crew Member Seven, instructs the NS-18 crewmembers during prelaunch training at Blue Origin's astronaut training center near the company's Launch Site One to go over details of their flight.
The crew of Blue Origin's NS-18 mission pose with their New Shepard booster and capsule, the RSS First Step, ahead of their launch from West Texas on Oct. 13, 2021.
A look inside the New Shepard crew capsule with NS-18 crew member Audrey Powers.
Audrey Powers tries out her seat inside New Shepard. The crew capsule is capable of carrying six people on suborbital spaceflights, though only four were used for Blue Origin's NS-18 mission.
William Shatner meets his Blue Origin NS-18 crewmates at the company's "Astronaut Village" near its Launch Site One facility outside of Van Horn, Texas. The village is where visiting passengers and crews stay while awaiting launch, as well as during training.
The 90-year-old William Shatner became the oldest person ever to fly to space on the NS-18 spaceflight.
Audrey Powers is Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations.
Glen de Vries is vice chair for life sciences and healthcare at the French software company Dassault Systèmes.
Chris Boshuizen is co-founder of the Earth-observation company Planet and now works for the San Francisco-based venture capital firm DCVC.