People line road outside Blue Origin launch pad in Van Horn as William Shatner, crew of NS-18 take flight


This undated photo made available by Blue Origin in October 2021 shows, from left, Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers and Glen de Vries. Their launch scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 will be Blue Origin’s second passenger flight, using the same capsule and rocket that Jeff Bezos used for his own trup three months earlier. (Blue Origin via AP)

VAN HORN, Texas (KTSM) – Blue Origin New Shepard Mission NS-18 rocketed into the West Texas sky Wednesday morning, with one very famous captain aboard.

90-year-old actor William Shatner was among the crew members. You may remember Shatner as Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series.

StarTrek fans making their way out to Van Horn to see the launch in person.

“Just to know that captain kirk was going to be on this and we were nearby, it’s just history,” said Cheryl Charles.

Cheryl Charles and her husband Chuck Charles have been married for 36 years. Driving out to Van Horn from El Paso.

“Well Cheryl’s been a star trek fan, when I first met her I think that’s one of the first things we talked about, and just to see captain kirk go up in space, that was something I think really touched her,” said Chuck Charles.

The Charles could be seen lining the road outside of the Blue Origin launch pad waiting to see the launch, along with other spectators including 16-year-old Brianna Morales who woke up at 4 a.m. to drive to Van Horn from El Paso with her dad.

“The reason I woke up early is that I’ve been really fascinated with space lately like I even want to go to space maybe one day. I thought it was a great experience, it’s right near El Paso and to be able to actually experience this and see a launch is something else,” said Morales.

Morales describing how she felt seeing the launch.

“It went really quick just seeing it go up I was able to watch it for a while until I lost it about 2 minutes in or a minute in and it left me speechless,” said Morales.

The trip from El Paso to the Blue Origin launch pad is about two and a half hours. However, some spectators drove much farther than that. Doyle Culp and Vivian Clup drove to Van Horn from Crawly Texas, saying the trip took about seven hours but the couple says it’s worth it.

“It’s on my bucket list that’s it,” said Doyle Culp.

Viola Arriola and Tony Arriola drove from Alpine and say they are big Star Trek fans.

“I’m excited for him you know 90 years old, he’s excited, we’re excited, I’ve been watching him since he was younger,” said Viola Arriola.

Blue Origin is Jeff Bezos’s, private spaceflight company and this was Blue Origin’s second passenger flight.

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