Captain Kirk had a no hiccup voyage into space on Wednesday, but the achievement didn’t cause space-related stocks to (pardon the pun) skyrocket.
The space travel sector saw generally mixed action across the board despite Blue Origin’s second successful trip into the Great Unknown with passengers aboard.
In early afternoon trading Wednesday, shares of Astra Space (ASTR) fell 2%, Lockheed Martin (LMT) stock (dropped nearly 1% and Boeing (BA) shed 1%. Gains were notched in Iridium Communications (IRDM) stock, up 2.5% and Blue Origin rival Virgin Galactic (SPCE) which is up 2%.
The two primary space ETF’s — the Procure Space ETF and Cathie Wood’s Ark Space Innovation ETF saw 0.5% and 1%, respective gains.
That said, the mixed-trading action shouldn’t take away the impressive feat pulled off by Shatner and those on board with him. Moreover, it validated once again the potential for commercial space travel companies to be viable businesses longer-term (hence, the aforementioned pop in Virgin Galactic shares Wednesday).
The 90-year-old Star Trek legend, became the oldest person to visit space. After a delay of about 43 minutes, Shatner, Blue Origin Vice President of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers, Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Medidata co-founder Glen de Vries experienced liftoff at roughly 10:50 a.m. ET.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket took off from west Texas, and quickly ascended to an altitude of 340,000 feet. Technically, space is considered to be an altitude of 330,000 feet above Earth’s mean sea level.
The trip lasted about 11 minutes.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine… It’s extraordinary, extraordinary,” said Shatner after the mission, according to ABC News.