William Shatner launches into space on Blue Origin’s second manned flight

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Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin propelled actor William Shatner and three others to the edge of space on Wednesday morning. It is the latest flight aimed at establishing a new space travel market.

Blue Origin took the flight down after aviation regulators evaluated a recent claim made in a letter signed by a former employee that the company doesn’t always prioritize safety. The company says it backs up the safety record.

Blue Origin launched passengers at around 10:50 a.m. Wednesday. According to the livestream, the company was aiming to launch at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, but it was put on hold during the last pre-flight check. Bezos accompanied the passengers until they boarded the space capsule for flight and closed the vehicle’s hatch.

The mission follows other space flights conducted by private companies for non-traditional astronauts. In July, Blue Origin acquired Bezos and Virgin Galactic Holdings. Ltd.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX last month flew a three-day orbital mission paid for by the CEO of a paid company to fly it to the edge of space and return it to the ground.

William Shatner rings the bell before boarding the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket with the other three passengers.

Photo:
via Blue Origin / Reuters

Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series, and Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, have not paid for tickets. ..

“I would be fascinated by the view of the universe,” Shatner said in a video. Blue Origin posted online Tuesday. The 90-year-old actor is currently the oldest person to reach space.

According to Blue Origin, two others, Glenday Vries, co-founder of clinical research software company Medidata Solutions, and Earth data company Planet Labs Inc. Co-founder Chris Boshuizen paid for the ticket. The company did not disclose the price, and Boshuizen and deVries declined to comment on the cost.

In an interview earlier this month, Boshuizen said he wanted to go on a journey because he had been trying to acquire manned spaceflight throughout his career. “That’s what I believe very strongly,” he said.

The flight lasted about 11 minutes and was expected to cross the boundaries of the universe, called the Karman Line, about 62 miles above Earth. The passengers were launched after boarding a crew capsule stacked atop one of the company’s rockets launched from the launch pad at the Blue Origin Facility in western Texas.

The increase in manned spacecraft processed by commercial space companies is part of a wave of widespread interest by entrepreneurs and investors in space as a place of economic activity. Start-ups have developed businesses that not only fuel satellites, collect and sell data about Earth, but also support rocket launches. Large aerospace companies are also investing in vehicles and services.

According to analysts at UBS, space travel could generate about $4 billion in annual revenue by 2030. However, ticket prices are out of reach for most people. For example, Virgin Galactic charges a minimum of $450,000 per seat.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket on the lunch pad before taking off from west Texas.

Photo:
Jose Romero / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

The New Shepard capsule lands and completes its return from space.

Photo:
Patrick T. Fallon / Agence France-Press-Press / Getty Images

For companies studying space travel, “what happens when you move away from special customers like the wealthy,” said Roger Handberg, a professor at the University of Central Florida who studies space policy. Rice field.

In a letter posted online in September, some current and former employees of Blue Origin allege sexual harassment cases at the company, saying speed may be prioritized over safety. Rice field. One publicly signed the letter.

According to the letter, the desire to compete with Musk and show Mr Bezos progress “seemed to take precedence over security concerns that could delay the schedule.”

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Blue Origin states that it does not tolerate discrimination or harassment and that there are several ways employees can provide information about illegal activities. The company also said that it believes in the safety record.

Blue Origin said New Shepard, a rocket that will carry Bezos in July and launch its crew on Wednesday, is the safest spacecraft ever built.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates space launch and re-entry, is investigating the safety claims. A spokesman for the agency said a review was underway. Blue Origin did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

write to Micah Maidenberg ([email protected])

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Source Link William Shatner launches into space on Blue Origin’s second manned flight

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