Blue Origin is a private space company looking forward to launching its NS-18 mission with civilians going into space. Blue Origin notified the public via a tweet yesterday that winds at its West Texas launch facility were forecast to be too high for the launch to occur as planned. The launch has been rescheduled for October 13, with liftoff targeted for 8:30 AM CDT.
Blue Origin promises the live broadcast will begin at T-90 minutes via BlueOrigin.com. More details have been promised closer to launch. While NS-18 isn’t the first mission to send civilians into space, it is notable for counting an iconic science-fiction actor among the crew. Famed Star Trek actor William Shatner is occupying one of the seats on the flight.
Another interesting aspect of Shatner’s participation is that at 90 years old, he will become the oldest person to fly into space. Shatner played James T. Kirk, captain of the Enterprise, in multiple episodes of the original TV show and movies in the Star Trek franchise. The capsule Shatner and the other crewmembers will use for their mission is called New Shepherd.
It’s too bad the capital couldn’t have been renamed Enterprise just for this mission. Other crew members for the mission include Dr. Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries, Audrey Power, and Shatner rounding out the quartet. The mission was originally scheduled to launch on October 12 from Launch Site One in West Texas.
That is the same launch facility NS-17 launched from, which was Blue Origin’s first civilian mission. NS-18 will take the passengers just above the Kármán Line, the accepted definition of where space begins, which is 62 miles above sea level. Crewmembers will spend 10 to 12 minutes above that line before returning to Earth.