WILLIAM Shatner is about to go into space. Best known as Captain Kirk from Star Trek, it has now been confirmed that the 90-year-old actor will blast off from Earth – or Texas, to be exact – on October 12.

Tell us more (and don’t you dare use the phrase “to boldly go…”)
I’ll bear that in mind. This is the latest manned voyage of Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18. Its 15-minute mission: to take invited guests more than 60 miles above the Earth’s surface.
Shatner will be accompanied by Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of missions and flight operations, and entrepreneurs Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries. He will experience a few minutes of weightlessness during the short journey which will last around 15 minutes. Oh, and he will become the oldest person to go into space.

This is not Blue Origin’s first flight?
No. Blue Origin’s founder, Jeff Bezos, American entrepreneur and the man behind Amazon, has already gone up into space back in July. He was accompanied by his brother, Mark, as well as aviation veteran Wally Funk and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen. They travelled to about 62 miles above the Earth’s surface at a velocity of around three times the speed of sound.

Hold on a minute, 62 miles doesn’t seem so very far. Is space really that close?
The flight crossed the Karman Line, the internationally recognised boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. Shatner’s flight will do the same.

What does Shatner have to say about all this?
The actor said: “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”

He must be the first actor to boldly go…
Oh, it’s alright for you to use it? … Anyway, the amazing thing is that Shatner is not even the first Star Trek actor to go into space.

Come again?
James Doohan, who played chief engineer Montgomery Scott in the original Star Trek TV series died in 2005 at the age of 85. But his ashes were clandestinely smuggled on to the International Space Station by Richard Garriott, one of the first private citizens to travel on the space station, in 2008. He was fulfilling Doohan’s own wishes.

Beam me up, Scotty
Now you’re taking it too far.

So, anyway, are we now sending celebrities out into space? And can we give some of them a one-way ticket?
You have a mean streak. But it is said that Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber and Russell Brand all have tickets booked.