“Beam me up Scotty”: William Shatner is heading to space

Former Star Trek actor William Shatner will soon be the oldest man to ever leave the atmosphere when he blasts off next month.

At 90 years of age, William Shatner will be part of the second Blue Origin launch when it takes off from Texas in October. Blue Origin made the news recently for their star-studded maiden voyage as founder and financier Jeff Bezos came along for the ride.

“I’ve heard about space for a long time now,” Shatner said in a statement on Monday. “I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”

The flight is scheduled for the 10th of October this year and will last roughly 10 minutes taking the passengers just beyond the boundaries of the Karman Line, an internationally recognised boundary of space approximately 100 kilometres above the Earth.

This comes at a time of renewed interest and competition in private space travel with SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic all hoping to offer commercially available space flights to the general public.

However, there has also been increasing controversy following Blue Origin’s last flight as Jeff Bezos’ comments caused outrage online. There are also environmental concerns that are being raised with the increased traffic in our upper atmosphere.

Eloise Marais, a physical geography professor at University College London said:

“The carbon footprint of launching yourself into space in one of these rockets is incredibly high, close to about 100 times higher than if you took a long-haul flight… It’s incredibly problematic if we want to be environmentally conscious and consider our carbon footprint.”

So before you get your credit card ready to book a space flight, take a moment to think of the planet.

There is no talk yet of Shatner dusting off his old uniform from the Starship Enterprise, nor if he will make it to warp five.