William Shatner’s Blue Origin launch delayed to Wednesday due to weather
William Shatner will have to wait another day to reach the final frontier.
Blue Origin has pushed the next launch of its New Shepard vehicle, which will carry Shatner and three other people to suborbital space, from Tuesday (Oct. 12) to Wednesday (Oct. 13) due to weather concerns.
The mission, known as NS-18, will launch from Blue Origin’s West Texas site, near the town of Van Horn. Winds in the area are expected to be unfavorable on Tuesday, prompting the 24-hour push, Blue Origin representatives said via Twitter on Sunday (Oct. 10).
The launch is now scheduled for 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT) on Wednesday. You can watch it here at Space.com, courtesy of Blue Origin, or directly via the company. Coverage will begin 90 minutes before liftoff.
NS-18 will be the second crewed launch of New Shepard and the vehicle’s 18th flight overall (hence the name). The first crewed mission lifted off on July 20, sending Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk and Dutch student Oliver Daemen on a brief jaunt to suborbital space.
On that flight, the 18-year-old Daemen and the 82-year-old Funk became the youngest and oldest people ever to reach space, respectively. Shatner, who is 90, will wrest the eldest crown from Funk when NS-18 soars into the final frontier.
Joining the “Star Trek” actor on the coming mission are Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations; Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of the Earth-observation company Planet; and Glen de Vries, vice chair for life sciences and healthcare at the French software company Dassault Systèmes.
Blue Origin’s main competitor in the suborbital space tourism industry, Virgin Galactic, is selling seats aboard its VSS Unity space plane for $450,000 apiece. Blue Origin has not disclosed how much a ticket to ride New Shepard costs.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.