The actor who played Captain Kirk played the role of pitchman for Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company at a time that it is facing a number of workplace and business difficulties.
NEAR VAN HORN, TEXAS — William Shatner, the actor best known as the heroic Captain James T. Kirk in “Star Trek,” and three other passengers returned safely from a brief trip to the edge of space on Wednesday.
Mr. Shatner, 90, became the world’s oldest space traveler on the flight, which was the latest excursion over the West Texas desert aboard a rocket built by Blue Origin for space tourists. The private space company is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and one of the wealthiest men on the planet.
It was the sixth launch carrying private passengers this year, as billionaire-backed companies jockey to normalize launching humans to space. Carrying two paying passengers, the quick jaunt to space also checked off another revenue-generating flight for Blue Origin’s space tourism business, advancing competition with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic to attract more wealthy and adventure-seeking customers.