After a 24-hour postponement due to strong winds, the countdown for the second human flight of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' company, starts again.
On board the New Shepard capsule there will be 4 people including William Shatner, the actor who played Captain Kirk in Star Trek and who with his 90 years will become the oldest person to go into space.
The flight that will take place from the Blue Origin base in Texas at 15:30 Italian time will last a total of about ten minutes: the engines of the single-stage rocket will push the capsule for just over 2 minutes up to 50 kilometers of altitude at more than 3,000 speed kilometers per hour. Immediately afterwards the capsule will be released and will continue the ascent in ballistic trajectory reaching a maximum height of 100 kilometers before starting the descent, braked by parachute, while the rocket will return to the launch base in a controlled manner.
For just over 3 minutes the 4 on board, which also includes Chris Boshuizen, founder of a company for the study of the Earth, microbiologist Glen de Vries, and Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin executive, will enjoy a unique view of the planet and experience weightlessness.
Interviewed on a CBS TV program, Shatner explained that his real motivation is to be able to see the Earth from a new perspective and "see what we can to save it".
The new flight, indicated with the initials NS-18, will be the second manned of a New Shepard capsule, the first had been on July 20 with the same Bezos on board and also the 82-year-old Wally Funk, a record that will be blown away by the 90 year old Captain Kirk.