VAN HORN, Texas, October 13 (Hfrance.fr) - Actor William Shatner boarded a Blue Origin rocket during a tripge suborbital and landed in the Texas desert on Wednesday to become the oldest person ever in space - an experience he described as profound - as the company of American billionaire Jeff Bezos carried out its second sightseeing flight.
Shatner was one of four passengers to travel for about 10 minutes to the edge of the space aboard the Fully autonomous 18.3-meter-tall white New Shepard spacecraft, which took off from the Blue Origin launch site about 20 miles (32 km) outside the rural town of Van Horn, in the West Texas.
The crew capsule returned to the Texas desert under parachutes, raising a cloud of dust. Shatner cautiously emerged from the capsule into the silence of the desert, looking thoughtful as the others celebrated, cheering and popping field bottles.agne. Bezos was present and hugged Shatner.
"What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine " Shatner told Bezos as the two chatted for several minutes. "I 'm so filled with emotion about what just happened.
Shatner noticed the beauty of the color blue as well. of Earth from space.
The four astronauts lived about three to four minutes in zero gravity and traveled above the limit of internationally recognized space known as the Karman Line, approximately 62 miles (100 km) above Earth.
The four astronauts, all dressed in blue flight suits with the company name in white letters on one sleeve, climbed into the crew capsule to the top of the spacecraft before launch and strapped in after asee mounted a staircase accompanied by Bezos. Each rang a bell before entering the capsule, with Bezos then closing the hatch. Before that, they were riding a vehicle with B ezos driving the launch pad.
The winds were light and the sky clear for the launch, which made was performed after two delays totaling approximately 45 minutes.
Join Shatner - who embodied the promise of space travel in the classic 1960s TV series "Star Trek "and seven subsequent films - in the fully civilian crew were former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, clinical research entrepreneur Glen de Vries, and the vice president and engineer of Blue Origin Audrey Powers .
This was the second space tourism flight for Blue Origin, theAmerican billionaire Jeff Bezos 'company founded two decades ago.
The flight marks another important day for the nascent space tourism industry which , according to UBS, could reach an annual value of $ 3 billion in a decade. The flight, previously scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed for a day for wind related reasons .
Blue Origin performed a successful first space tourism flight on July 20, with Bezos and three others on board, flying to the edge of space and back for a 10 minute and 10 second journey. On this flight, pioneer aviator Wally Funk at 82 has become the oldest person to reach space. previous record had been set in 1998 when pioneering astronaut John Glenn returned to space as a 77-year-old US Senator.
Bezos, Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) founder and current executive president , formed Blue Origin two decades ago.
Shatner, who turned 90 in March, has been acting since the 1950s and remains busy with disturbance projects and fan conventions. he is best known for playing the role of captain james t. kirk spaceship enterprise on classic 1960s television series "star trek " seven subsequent films fictional adventures in space.
'FINAL FRONTIER '
As an actor, Shatner was synonymous with space travel. During the opening credits of each episode of the series, he called space "the last frontier " and promised "explore the strange new worlds, in search of new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. "
"Quicken me, " Shatner's character would say to Enterprise Chief Engineer Scotty, played by James Doohan, in a memorable slogan when he needed help. to be transported to the spaceship.
Shatner's involvement in the flight helped generate for Blue Origin as he competes with two billionaire-backed rivals - SpaceX by Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc by Richard Branson (SPCE.N) - to attract customers willing to pay large sums to experience a space flight.
Branson launched its space tourism service on July 11, performing a suborbital flight with six other people aboard the VSS Unity rocket plane from his company. SpaceX, which launched numerous astronauts and cargo payloads to the International Space Station for NASA, made their debut in space tourism by piloting the first all-civilian crew to reach Earth orbit during a mission three days ending in September. 18.
The US Federal Aviation Administration said two weeks ago that it would look into the issues issues raised by former and current Blue Origin employees who accused the company of prioritize speed and savingscost on quality control and adequate staffing. Reporting by Mike Blake; Additional reporting by Peter Szekely in New York and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Edited by Will Dunham
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