Two techies will fly on Blue Origin’s next space trip

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture says two successful tech entrepreneurs will be part of the lineup for its next suborbital trip on Oct. 12 — but for now, it’s keeping mum on reports that Star Trek captain William Shatner will also fly.

The first two people on the flight manifest are Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, the co-founder of Medidata Solutions. De Vries is now the vice chair of life sciences and healthcare at Dassault Systèmes, which acquired Medidata, the world’s most used clinical research platform, in 2019.

Blue Origin said they’ll be joined by two other fliers whose names will be announced “in the coming days.”

The company didn’t disclose how much any of the customers will be paying for their trips — and didn’t address last week’s report by the TMZ celebrity news outlet that the fliers would include Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk on the original “Star Trek” series and in a string of movies that followed.

Next month’s suborbital launch from Blue Origin’s West Texas spaceport would follow up on the company’s first crewed spaceflight in July. The riders for that flight included Bezos himself, as well as his brother, Mark; aviation pioneer Wally Funk, who at the age of 82 became the world’s oldest person to go into space; and Dutch student Oliver Daemen, who became the world’s youngest spaceflier at 18.

If Shatner flies next month at the age of 90, he would set a new record as the oldest person to fly in space.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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