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William Shatner Becomes Oldest Person to Fly Into Space on Blue Origin’s NS-18

Star Trek TOS (The Original Series) is part of the inspiration that ultimately drove what OWC is today. One year ago, an OWC payload was launched on Blue Origin NS-13. Now, a year later, as science fiction moves towards science reality, William Shatner, aka Captain James T. Kirk, became the oldest person to be launched into space on Blue Origin NS-18. He has now lived up to his iconic television opening and truly gone where no 90-year-old has gone before! The previous record from a few months earlier was the 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk.

Today Blue Origin launched its newest rocket, New Shepard. The entire crew was comprised of civilians. Yes, the entire crew. The rocket was powered and run autonomously with experts in ground control overseeing the launch and return.

OWC congratulates the whole Blue Origin team and the NS-18 passengers.

Header image screenshot from live launch video. (c) Blue Origin

OWC Larry
the authorOWC Larry
OWC Founder & CEO
Larry O'Connor is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Illinois-based Other World Computing (OWC®). Starting as a one-man business in 1988, O'Connor has provided the leadership and vision to establish OWC as the leading provider of technology products and services today.
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  • Larry, as a longtime OWC customer and contributor to The Rocket Yard, I’ve got to ask THE question: when are YOU taking a flight on a SpaceX Crew Dragon, Virgin Galactic SpaceShip, or Blue Origin New Shepard? And do you need a blogger/photographer to accompany you on the flight?


  • I am happy for Captain Kirk and all – but I have to wonder how it is that this flight (and Bezos’ first flight) as well as the Virgin flight a couple of months back got huge coverage in the media while Elon Musk’s SpaceX shot a month ago with 4 passengers (all civilians) that went 330 mile up for 3 days (as opposed to 50 or 60 miles up for 10 or 15 minutes) got perhaps one news cycle worth of coverage.

    Did Elon tick someone off or something? Seems to be double standard of some kind here…

    • Double standard? with the U.S. media? Hard to imagine… they are normally so unbiased in their coverage.

      • Right?

        Thing is, in this case, I don’t know how old Elon miffed them – it’s not like it’s a political thing…

    • While I don’t tune in to the so-called ‘mainstream media’ anymore – I thought there was a lot of good coverage of the historic SpaceX civilian launch as well as NASA’s recent quick change to launch astronauts to ISS with Dragon to keep schedule.

      I’d suggest that the media is even less a fan of Bezos these days if that’s impacting….. but with it being ‘Captain Kirk’ going to space, who couldn’t cover that one. Our first Space Shuttle was named Enterprise (even though was a test shuttle that never got to space). Shatner – or his Kirk persona – certainly relates to a large swath of the population.

      In my view, space exploration and these trips to the the edge of space have value for all of us and the future of our planet. When it’s framed as just a bunch of billionaires blowing resources, that’s dismissive of what is gained from each of these flights. I’m glad Shatner got to do this in his lifetime.