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In a Blue Origin rocket, William Shatner finally goes to space


Mr. Bezos, who said he was inspired by “Star Trek” as a child, listened, still like a statue. He may have given Mr. Shatner some space, but it was in stark contrast to his appearance after his brief space flight in July, while aboard the same spacecraft. Next, Mr Bezos walked out of a scene, drawing condemnation from critics of the large company he founded as he thanked Amazon employees and customers for allowing him to fund his private space business.

Mr Shatner shared the capsule on Wednesday with three other passengers: Audrey Powers, a vice president of Blue Origin who oversees New Shepard’s operations, and two paying clients: Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of the Observation Company of the Terre Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, co-founder of a company that develops software for clinical researchers.

Wednesday morning’s launch was pushed back about an hour by two pauses before the launch countdown – in part due to additional spacecraft checks and winds near its launch pad. The quartet were driven in electric vans to Blue Origin’s launch pad, about an hour before takeoff, flanked by Mr Bezos and company employees.

For a moment, it emerged that Mr Bezos, clad in a flight suit like the one he wore in July, would join them in flying into space. But he closed the hatch door before leaving the pad, sending the crew on a journey.

The rocket lifted off at 9:49 a.m. Central Time, ascending almost as fast as a fast bullet at 2,235 miles per hour and sending the crew about 65.8 miles high. The entire trip lasted 10 minutes, 17 seconds, and gave the four passengers about four minutes of weightlessness.

Mr Boshuizen, speaking to reporters after the flight, compared the crew’s entry into space to a stone hitting the surface of a lake. “I was trying to smile but my jaw was pushed back into my head,” he said.