the essential A Blue Origin rocket successfully took four passengers a few minutes into space on Wednesday, including a cult celebrity for generations of enthusiasts: William Shatner, the famous Captain Kirk of the Star Trek series.
“Everyone has to do this”
It was “the most intense experience” imaginable, the Canadian actor said after landing, recounting his journey to Blue Origin boss billionaire Jeff Bezos, who came to greet them on their return to Earth. “I am so moved (…) It is extraordinary.”
“Everyone has to do this,” added William Shatner. It was the second manned rocket flight from Jeff Bezos’ company, which intends to establish itself as a key player in the coveted space tourism sector.
On board were also two entrepreneurs who paid for the trip, and a manager from Blue Origin. The founder of Amazon himself closed the capsule hatch before takeoff, and reopened it after a successful landing. He too had made the trip to space aboard this vehicle in July.
The rocket took off vertically on Wednesday, then the capsule broke off in flight, and thus propelled, passed the Karman line which marks, at 100 km altitude, the space border according to the international convention. It then began a free fall to fall back to Earth, slowed down in particular by three huge parachutes.
The flight lasted a total of only ten minutes.