With its three parachutes correctly deployed, the New Shepard capsule of the private company Blue Origin, owned by Jeff Bezos, landed as planned in the Texan desert, thus successfully completing its second suborbital flight. Shortly afterwards, the operations for opening the tailgate and the exit of the four passengers were completed. After several postponements, the launch was scheduled at 16.30 Italian time, but then took off just before 5pm. A special passenger was also on board: the actor William Shatner, Captain Kirk of Star Trek. Coming out of the space capsule, moved, he said: “I hope to always keep with me what I’m feeling now, I don’t want to lose it”. At 90, he also became the oldest man to cross the line between Earth’s atmosphere and space. The flight lasted about 11 minutes and allowed passengers to stay in space in microgravity for just over three minutes.
The launch of the New Shepard
The launch of the New Shepard was scheduled for 12 October but was postponed to the following day due to the winds at high altitude. The launch took place from the Blue Origin site near the city of Van Horn, Texas. Today, for further checks on the rocket, the countdown was frozen for a few minutes. The NS-18 mission has experienced the emotions of suborbital flight, in zero gravity, to the crew composed – in addition to Canadian actor Shatner – by the vice president of the Blue Origin mission Audrey Powers, the co-founder of the Earth observation company Planet Lab Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, co-founder of a French software company. It is the second crew to fly into space, after the one that left last July 20, which saw the participation of Jeff Bezos himself and his brother Mark, along with 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk and 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen.