Theoretical Physicist Dr. Michio Kaku participated in an interview with Fox Business’ Varney & Co. as Blue Origin was launching its second crewed suborbital mission on Wednesday, October 13. They launched a crew of four civilians to experience microgravity and see Earth from an altitude of around 100-kilometers. Among the crew was 90-year-old Hollywood actor William Shatner, who is famous for playing the original Star Trek ‘Captain Kirk’ in 1966. “[…] William Shatner will go where no Hollywood movie star has ever gone before! He’s made history this way,” Kaku said.
Shatner became the oldest person to ever visit space, Kaku said that this sets the precedent for older people to have the chance to go to space in their lifetime once spaceflight prices go down in the future. The host asked Dr. Kaku: “Is that a worthy goal? To take momma and pop to space?” –“Well, look at it from Musk’s point of view,” Kaku replied in reference to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, “He says look at the dinosaurs, the dinosaurs did not have a space program and that is why there are no dinosaurs in this room right now,” he joked. “…We do have a space program… We can avoid killer asteroids. In fact, next month in November, NASA will send the first rocket to deflect an asteroid in outer space […],” Kaku told Fox Business host. The mission to deflect an asteroid will be launched by SpaceX on November 23, read more in the previous TESMANIAN article: SpaceX Falcon 9 Will Launch NASA's First Planetary Defense Mission To Attempt Asteroid Redirection
Dr. Kaku mentioned that Shatner only experienced 3-minutes of microgravity during his spaceflight with Blue Origin, and he compared it to SpaceX’s Inspiration4 all-civilian mission that launched a crew of four non-professional astronauts to orbit Earth for three days at an altitude of 585-kilometers. –“It's not head-to-head like the media would like to portray, you know, the battle of the billionaires. SpaceX has a tremendous lead over Blue Origin,” Kaku said. “They've [SpaceX] been around the Earth several times, they go to the space station. In fact, the last launch that they had went even past the Hubble Space Telescope; that's how far it went into outer space," he said in reference to the Inspiration4 mission. "Also, Elon Musk is selling tickets to go to the moon, and a Japanese billionaire actually bought all the tickets for the first flight to the moon,” Kaku said. SpaceX’s Dear Moon mission that will be Starship’s first crewed voyage around the moon booked by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa. “So none of this, going up for three minutes and coming back down. No, we're talking about the moon now,” he added.
SpaceX is far ahead all American aerospace companies. Boeing is also falling behind, facing issues with its Starliner spacecraft development that was designed to transport astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX officially returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States, the company has been performing all NASA crewed missions to the orbiting laboratory aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft since the agency’s program initiated crewed rocket flights from American soil in 2020.
Featured Image Source: Blue Origin & SpaceX