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Thread: William Shatner plans to fly on the next New Shepard launch

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    William Shatner plans to fly on the next New Shepard launch

    And if Shatner does make the flight then he will take the record for oldest person to fly into space (although not the oldest to orbit the Earth; John Glenn will hold that distinction for at least a little while longer).

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/04/enter...ion/index.html

    (CNN)Captain Kirk is headed to space.

    Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin announced Monday actor William Shatner, 90, will be on the next Blue Origin flight alongside Audrey Powers, Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations, Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.

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

    The New Shepard NS-18 flight will lift off October 12.

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    I wonder how much he paid for this ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    I wonder how much he paid for this ride?
    Most definitely an E ticket.
    (For those who remember old Walt Disney Land pricing.)

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    I would not be surprised if James T. Kirk got payed handsomely for this.

    This is a marketing coup. Multi-millionaires in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s are now a real targetable market. A medical check-up, a few days' training and up you go!

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    Romulan Warbird was just spotted entering Earth orbit. As Admiral Akbar would say: "It's a trap."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    I wonder how much he paid for this ride?
    Nothing, I expect. He said he turned Branson down because Branson suggested a flight but wanted him to pay. This came up years ago when they were still testing the VSS Enterprise. I’ll admit, I would have loved to see Shatner fly to space on the Enterprise - it would have felt like another bit of science fiction becoming real, in a way. Of course, that became impossible when the VSS Enterprise crashed.

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    I’ve had people recommend this to me, but I didn’t think it was very funny, mostly because I think what these billionaires are trying to do is important to our future (although I’m not as impressed with the suborbital flights) and a life long goal is not a mid life crisis. Still, it seems appropriate to the thread, and some may get a kick out of it - Saturday Night Live did a parody they called Billionaire Star Trek:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XD66suMp3J4

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I’ve had people recommend this to me, but I didn’t think it was very funny, mostly because I think what these billionaires are trying to do is important to our future (although I’m not as impressed with the suborbital flights) and a life long goal is not a mid life crisis. Still, it seems appropriate to the thread, and some may get a kick out of it - Saturday Night Live did a parody they called Billionaire Star Trek:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XD66suMp3J4
    That was hilarious, especially the Branson impersonator’s voice and “My… PRIME objective!”
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I’ve had people recommend this to me, but I didn’t think it was very funny, mostly because I think what these billionaires are trying to do is important to our future (although I’m not as impressed with the suborbital flights) and a life long goal is not a mid life crisis. Still, it seems appropriate to the thread, and some may get a kick out of it - Saturday Night Live did a parody they called Billionaire Star Trek:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XD66suMp3J4
    That was hilarious, especially the Branson impersonator’s voice and “My… PRIME objective!”
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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    Speaking of appropriate Youtube links, how about this one from the man himself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lul-Y8vSr0I

    (it might take a while to load, after all it's gonna be a long long time...)
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Speaking of appropriate Youtube links, how about this one from the man himself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lul-Y8vSr0I

    (it might take a while to load, after all it's gonna be a long long time...)
    Since it is a long video and you obviously watched it would you share the gist of the video with all of us?

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    It is William Shatner singing (well...you be the judge) "rocket man" by Elton John.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    It is William Shatner singing (well...you be the judge) "rocket man" by Elton John.
    LOL Ok.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    It is William Shatner singing (well...you be the judge) "rocket man" by Elton John.
    I watched that once.

    Once was enough.

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    In that case you're still half a once ahead of me.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    "To boldly go where no nonagenarian has gone before."

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    Quote Originally Posted by skysurfer5cva View Post
    "To boldly go where no nonagenarian has gone before."
    "To baldly go without a zero-G hairpiece."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Nothing, I expect. He said he turned Branson down because Branson suggested a flight but wanted him to pay. This came up years ago when they were still testing the VSS Enterprise. I’ll admit, I would have loved to see Shatner fly to space on the Enterprise - it would have felt like another bit of science fiction becoming real, in a way. Of course, that became impossible when the VSS Enterprise crashed.
    Yeah this is PR stunt to draw attention away from all the negative publicity around Blue Origin recently. Good luck to Shatner but if BO wants to impress they could try delivering a flight ready BE4.

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    Will this be carried live on YouTube?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Yeah this is PR stunt to draw attention away from all the negative publicity around Blue Origin recently. Good luck to Shatner but if BO wants to impress they could try delivering a flight ready BE4.
    Hi Garrison,

    If the guy with the funny cowboy hat gets a 90-year-old, Cap'n Kirk no less, up and down, it will be well beyond PR Stunt. BO will likely awaken a wealthy market of seniors unlikely able or willing to undergo more rigorous training required for full orbital flight. This should be good news for all space fans.

    I don't know why so many space fans deride BO's (and Virgin's) efforts at commercializing space. I get it: SpacedX outshines them and everybody else in the market. But Bezos and Branson are also positively shaking up the industry.

    Cheers,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    Will this be carried live on YouTube?
    I'm sure it will be since it is a well known star.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Yeah this is PR stunt to draw attention away from all the negative publicity around Blue Origin recently. Good luck to Shatner but if BO wants to impress they could try delivering a flight ready BE4.
    A space tourism company… flying space tourists… is a PR stunt? Is it a PR stunt for a bicycle manufacturer to build bicycles?
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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    It is a PR stunt if he's giving away the bicycles.

    I don't know why so many space fans deride BO's (and Virgin's) efforts at commercializing space. I get it: SpacedX outshines them and everybody else in the market. But Bezos and Branson are also positively shaking up the industry.
    The industry they're shaking up is the suborbital tourist industry, which they are in their entirety. If we're talking the commercial orbital industry: Well, in this respect Virgin Orbit is far more significant than Virgin Galactic as far as "shaking up the commercial space industry" goes. And as for BO, call me when they have a working engine delivered. Or no, text me. Save the call for when they have an orbital launch. You can't be shaking up an industry if you've literally never achieved anything in that industry yet.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Considering the problems they've had with the JWST, not surprising that Captain Kirk will beat the JWST into space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    I don't know why so many space fans deride BO's (and Virgin's) efforts at commercializing space. I get it: SpacedX outshines them and everybody else in the market. But Bezos and Branson are also positively shaking up the industry.
    I can’t speak for others, but I’d like to see BO become a worthy New Space competitor. My derision, so far as it goes, is limited to their attempts to hold back SpaceX’s and others’ efforts with attempts to manipulate the US government rather than focusing on building good hardware. I would like to see New Glenn become a success, for example.

    I’m not against them, but I can’t see the space hoppers like New Shepard or SpaceshipTwo ever becoming that important as a business. In fact, I expect they will fade away in time, replaced by larger reusable suborbital and orbital rockets that do a lot more than just hop. I would like a ride in a hopper if the price was right. At least I could say I finally achieved my goal of making it to space, even if it was only for minutes. There is a limit to what I can and am willing to pay, however.

    I agree with Nicolas that Virgin Orbit is more important than Virgin Galactic, but I have doubts that Virgin will ever become a major player in the space related economy.

    Incidentally, speaking of derision, I notice you keep referring to SpaceX as “SpacedX.” What’s your excuse?

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    I’m starting to understand why it took so long for the X-15 program to be appreciated…
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I’m starting to understand why it took so long for the X-15 program to be appreciated…
    Could you expand on that? I’m not really getting it.

    For myself, X-15 started before I was born and the program ended while I was still quite young. I know I was interested in aeronautics and space but my memories from back then on the subject are a bit limited and sometimes unclear. I know I built a plastic model of the X-15 that I liked and read about it, but by the time I read about it, it was already history. As far as I can tell, the X-15 was most famous and got the most publicity in the early years regarding its aeronautics achievements and speed records. It was years before I learned that some had gone high enough for the pilots to get astronaut wings. Of course it didn’t get much attention for that because X-15 was never going to do more than that and attention was focused on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs as well as the early robot probes that were achieving so much more in space. I appreciated X-15 for what it was, but I was always going to be far more interested in the people and robots doing big things in space.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2021-Oct-09 at 04:00 AM.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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    I have never met someone who knew the X-15 programme and did not appreciate it. X-15 was very important in the research of hypersonic aerodynamics, the transition from reaction control to aerodynamic control and back (together with the modified F-104) and its data and experience will have been of great value for a.o. the Space Shuttle program. However, in itself the craft-that-can-hop-a-few-people-towards-Karmann-line had no followup as there is very little purpose for it beyond the research X15 did and entertainment. So if you ask me, Virgin Galactic and BO's suborbital joyrides don't get high praise because of the success of X15. We don't learn anything new here, it was a capability we didn't miss after we got everything we needed out of X-15, and space is still just as inaccessible for 99.9% of earth's population.

    The added value I can see from these programmes:
    -Virgin getting in-house experience with launching from carrier aircraft
    -BO getting in-house experience with propulsion landing of rockets

    Let's hope both companies use that to make something more useful/accessible.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    What I mean is that after the end of the program there seemed to be little discussion of the X-15 until the early 2000s, when the civilian pilots were finally awarded astronaut wings, and that as someone who came into the space fandom at that time, it was often discussed as a “forgotten” and “overshadowed” program compared to the ground-launched human spaceflight programs. And I suppose this “Well, SUBORBIT isn’t SPACE…” impression is part of the reason for that.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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    My peers are aerospace engineers, so we look at it as much from an airplane interest as from a spaceflight interest. And it was a superb program from both aspects. Sure, it was suborbital, but it provided an "easy" way for people to reach 100km in 1963. That's only 2 years after Shepard's suborbital flight which required all the bells and whistles of a traditional rocket launch. In that sense it was way ahead of its time.

    That being said, there was -and is- very little future for suborbital manned flights in the space industry. It can however be useful as a fast transport means for earth-earth flights. But for spaceflight? Yes, you can go to space with a suborbital flight, but there is very little you can do there that way. It's like diving by holding your breath. By the time you reach your destination, you're already returning where you came from.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2021-Oct-09 at 12:14 PM.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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