STAR Trek legend William Shatner is to be launched into space in around 15 minutes time to become the world’s oldest astronaut.
The 90-year-old, who played Captain James T Kirk in the sci-fi series said: “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”
The Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket mission comes just 12 weeks after Blue Origin’s first-ever crewed launch, which carried Amazon chief Jeff Bezos into space.
Today’s launch has been delayed by wind for more than 24 hours but is currently scheduled to happen at 3.40pm UK time (10.40am EST).
Read our William Shatner Blue Origin live blog for live updates…
The countdown has been put on hold at T-15 minutes.
While we wait, we’ll take a recap of what William Shatner said about going to space: “My friend Jason Erhlick came to me about a year and a half ago and he said he was seeing these rockets with people going into space. And, wouldn’t it be something if Captain Kirk went up there?” Shatner said.
“And I said, ‘Jason, for God’s sake, man. Nobody cares if Captain Kirk goes to space. It was 55 years ago, man. But I’m doing well, maybe I should go up to space?”
The Captain from the ground has told the crew inside he has a surprise message, which the previous Blue Origin crew wrote to them.
“Have a safe flight, enjoy”, ended one of the message.
“I hope this flight will be the most fantastic flight of your life, as it was mine”, read another message.
“Together let’s cross boundaries, and set new records” read third.
Jeff Bezos was captured laughing with the crew earlier as he drove them to the capsule.
The clock is on a brief hold at 15 minutes to go.
The astronauts are now inside the capsule. Teams on the ground are preparing final checks before it takes off.
Stay tuned and follow our blog as we’ll bring you all the info as it comes.
It’s official… take off is very soon.
Jeff Bezos was seen closing the hatch of the rocket as the astronauts inside are preparing to take off.
Tower crew are doing final checks on the capsule.
“For now sit back and relax”, says the Captain from the ground.
With T-18 minutes to go, both the team on the ground and in the rocket are making their preparations… ready to go to space.
Initial communication has begun between the capsule and those operating below on ground.
There are roughly 20 minutes to go until the rocket launches off into space.
William Shatner posed for one last… Brinkwire Brief News.