Captain Kirk Finally Reaches Space

October 13, 2021

Captain James T. Kirk—or actually William Shatner, who famously played the Star Trek hero in movies and on television—blasted into space aboard a rocket operated by Blue Origin, the company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The launch marks the latest in what Bhavya Lal calls in Issues “a profound shift” in the US space enterprise: the privatization of functions previously considered inherently governmental. “Ultimately,” she writes, “these new incentives within the private sector will likely push the boundary of the art-of-the-possible in space beyond what government managers can envision, and the footprint of space activities will grow apace.”

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