Named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is a reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space. It offers an 11 minute flight.
No William Shatner will not be going where no man has gone before. But at the age of 90 he will set a record as the oldest man to go into space, should everything work out according to plan that is. The flight is planned for October. No word yet on who is paying for Shatner’s seat. People are paying millions for the chance to go into space. But Jeff Bezos may be giving Shatner q free ride for the sake of publicity.
My album “BILL” is available now! 🙌🏻 Not only is this entire album important to me but “Black Horse” 🐎 is quite significant. It’s a story of my love for horses, my relationship with my champion, and how his life affected me. Check out https://t.co/G48EJazvqK pic.twitter.com/iujVSqRFVF
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) September 24, 2021
Bezos has already had one successful flight into space. In July he did it for the first time. After the flight, Jeff Bezos told the press, ““I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this. So seriously, for every Amazon customer out there, and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart, very much. It’s very appreciated.”
“The atmosphere is so big. But when you get up above it, you see it’s this tiny little fragile thing,” added Bezos. “That’s very profound. It’s one thing to recognize that intellectually. It’s another thing to actually see with your own eyes how fragile it really is, and that was amazing.”
But the space tourism industry being promoted by the super-rich like Jeff Bezos and Eon Musk is not without controversy. First of all, so far they have not really gone into space. The only made it to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere for a few minutes and then came back down. There were also some technical difficulties during Bezos’ flight that went unreported and many said that this was irresponsible of him.
And many say that these trips are just a waste of resources so that the wealthy can have some fun. They point to how the projects contribute to the problems with climate change and say that they do not really advance the cause of space exploration. They also provide no knew scientific research opportunities, or practical one like repairing satellites, that NASA’s space shuttle program offered.