Blue Origin’s next passenger list will include TV and film space exploration veteran William Shatner, along with Blue Origin’s own Audrey Powers, who serves as the company’s vice president of New Shepard Mission & Flight Operations. These two will round out the four-person crew that includes previously announced passengers Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, on a launch that is scheduled to fly on October 12.
Shatner, who of course played Captain James T. Kirk on “Star Trek,” will become the oldest person to have flown in space when he makes the trip, narrowly edging out current record holder Wally Funk, the aerospace pioneer who flew on Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight on July 20 alongside Jeff Bezos. Shatner is 90, while Funk is 82.
Besides Bezos himself, Audrey Powers will be the first Blue Origin employee to make the journey to suborbital space with the company. She’s been on the Blue Origin team since 2013, and served as its deputy general counsel before leaving the mission and flight operations team for the company’s New Shepard rocket.
Boshuizen and de Vries, the other previously announced passengers, were announced last week. Boshuizen is a Planet Labs co-founder, and current partner at VC firm DCVC. De Vries is co-founder of a medical software startup, Medidata Solutions, that was acquired by Dassault Systems.
Blue Origin is currently facing scrutiny and criticism after former employee Alexandra Abrams went public with a letter co-authored with 20 other current and former company employees detailing accusations of safety concerns and a history of sexual harassment at the company. This doesn’t appear to have impacted the company’s launch schedule, though the FAA is said to be reviewing the safety concerns brought to light in the Abrams letter.