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'Star Trek' alum William Shatner to go to space on Blue Origin flight next week

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'Star Trek' alum William Shatner to go to space on Blue Origin flight next week
Aerospace company Blue Origin announced Monday that Shatner will be part of its New Shepard NS-18 crew when it lifts off on October 12. File Photo by Gregg DeGuire/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Actor William Shatner -- who regularly ventured across space and time as Capt. James T. Kirk on Star Trek for three years on television and in seven feature films -- is headed to space for real.

Aerospace company Blue Origin announced Monday that Shatner will be part of its New Shepard NS-18 crew when it lifts off on Oct. 12. He will be joined by Blue Origin executive Audrey Powers and crewmates Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries on the flight.

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"I've heard about space for a long time now," Shatner said in a statement. "I'm taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle."

"Yes, it's true; I'm going to be a 'rocket man!'" he added in a tweet.

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At age 90, Shatner will make history as the oldest person in space -- a title recently given to astronaut Wally Funk during a Blue Origin spaceflight in July.

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Shatner played Capt. Kirk in the Star Trek television series on NBC between 1966 and 1969 and reassumed the role for the first seven Star Trek motion pictures, as well as directing the fifth installment. He is also a regular at Star Trek conventions.

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An attorney and space industry veteran, Powers oversees all flight operations for New Shepard and has been with Blue Origin since 2013. She was involved in the process to certify New Shepard for human flight.

Powers worked at as a NASA flight controller and has 2,000 hours of console time as a mission controller for the International Space Station.

"I'm so proud and humbled to fly on behalf of Team Blue, and I'm excited to continue writing Blue's human spaceflight history," Powers said in a statement. "As an engineer and lawyer with more than two decades of experience in the aerospace industry, I have great confidence in our New Shepard team and the vehicle we've developed."

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Blue Origin has been in a race with Virgin Galactic, owned by billionaire Richard Branson, and SpaceX in the space tourism business.

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