It’s been a big week in space news. After all, Captain Kirk touched the stars for real. William Shatner took a ride on Jeff Bezos‘s New Shepard rocket to the edge of space, bringing the dreams of generations of Star Trek fans with him. On earth, meanwhile, two architects of the world’s private space race, Bezos and Elon Musk, traded barbs on Twitter. And Shatner’s elevation to the heavens has other stars dreaming, so who’s next? CELEB takes a look at what went down in the sky, and who wants to take flight.
Captain Kirk Explores the Final Frontier
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of Blue Origin’s New Shepard. It’s mission? To launch Bill Shatner into space. And it succeeded. On Wednesday, 90 year old William Shatner officially became the oldest person to go to space as he joined the Blue Origin team on a brief ride to the edge of space. The Blue Origin’s rocket New Shepard brought Shatner and the other three team members – Blue Origin’s VP of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers, along with paying customers Glen De Vries and Chris Boshuizen – to just over 65 miles in altitude, right on the edge of what’s considered to be space.
NBC News reports via MSN, “Shatner said he was trying to prepare something clever to say when he again reached earth, but ‘we get up and when I was there, everything I thought might be clever to say went out the window.’
‘We had a simulator simulate what they say you’re going to feel, and it doesn’t come anywhere near,’ Shatner shared. ‘You could talk about weightlessness all you want but the feeling of weightlessness … is indescribable.’
‘You’re floating, and I don’t want to turn summersaults, I don’t want to throw skittles — I want to look out the window,’ he said.”
Shatner wept as he embraced Bezos upon returning to Earth, thanking him for an unimaginable experience. And though he claims to have been struck speechless, the 90 year old managed just fine to sum up the remarkable flight, per NBC News, “‘It’s so fragile,’ Shatner, who played Capt. James T. Kirk in the original series of Star Trek, said exclusively on NBC‘s ‘TODAY.’
‘There’s this little tiny blue skin that’s 50 miles wide,’ he said. ‘And we pollute it, and it’s our means of living. And I was struck so profoundly by it.’
‘The fragility of this planet — the coming catastrophic event, and we all need to clean this act up now,’ he added.”
Bezos and Musk Bicker
While Captain Kirk was having a once-in-a-lifetime transformative experience in space, this week Elon Musk was taking aim at Bezos. We’re not saying it’s the green-eyed monster showing because Bezos managed to launch the first Star Trek captain to space, but it might be.
Over the past few years, Musk and Bezos have been jockeying for first place on the list of obscenely wealthy billionaires, the richest people on the planet. Musk couldn’t help but rub it in this week as a reminder of the fact that Musk is top dog and the gap between their wealth is widening.
Business Insider shares via MSN, “The Tesla CEO replied to a Bezos tweet with a second-place silver medal emoji on Twitter. The tweet hearkened back to a statement Musk had made to Forbes last month, claiming he’d send Bezos a silver medal and a giant statue of the number two after he surpassed Bezos as the wealthiest man in the world in September.
Musk’s tweet was in response to a post from the Amazon founder about the people that had doubted the e-commerce giant in its early days.
‘Today, Amazon is one of the world’s most successful companies and has revolutionized two entirely different industries,’ Bezos wrote on Twitter.”
A snarky tweet may be an adequate replacement for being the first person to take Captain Kirk to space, but we doubt it. That’s okay though, there are still several Star Trek captains Musk can bring to space.
Which Celebrities are Next?
So which ones are likely to take flight next? Well, the internet wants it to be Patrick Stewart – Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Twitter users launched a campaign this week to try to convince Musk or competitor Richard Branson to use their private space rockets to take arguably the most beloved Star Trek captain to space next. But in the past, Stewart has been more focused on worldly problems than space travel, wanting to fix problems on Earth before turning his eyes skyward. That hasn’t stopped fans from inundating Branson and Musk with requests for his flight, though. Requests were also tweeted to send Star Trek: Deep Space 9 captain Benjamin Sisko – Avery Brooks – to space, along with space jockeys like Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. It should be noted that these actors should be wealthy enough to purchase tickets on their own, though – so if they want to go, they just might.
Here are some stars we know are interested in taking the ride to space:
- Justin Bieber: Biebier not only wants to go to space, he wants to perform there. And the upcoming opening of a space hotel in 2027 may provide the opportunity; it’s designed with concerts in mind.
- Leonardo DiCaprio: DiCaprio already has plans to go to space, and auctioned off a second ticket on Branson’s ship for $1.5M. The actor bought the tickets almost a decade ago, banking on Branson’s eventual success which came to fruition over the Summer.
- Kate Winslet: Eventually joining her Titanic co-star on a Branson rocket, Winslet received her ticket as a wedding gift from the billionaire space entrepreneur.
- Katy Perry and Russell Brand: Although they’re not married anymore, Perry reportedly purchased tickets for two on Branson’s rocket.
- Tom Hanks: The world is a little nervous about sending this precious human on a dangerous adventure, but he was one of the first to sign up for the opportunity when Branson began making overtures to the public about private space flight.
- Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis: The pair has been married for 6 years now and may celebrate one of their anniversaries in space.
- Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: Well, this is awkward. Imagine being crammed into a tiny cockpit on a rocket to space next to an ex you can’t stand. We’re sure that Branson will be willing to play some musical flight chairs to make sure the former spouses don’t end up together, a blessing considering their tumultuous divorce.
It’s hard to say who the next winner will be in the race to touch the sky, but celebrities are lining up for the chance. We personally have our fingers crossed for Patrick Stewart or Avery Brooks – but a Bieber concert in space is hard to resist.