William Shatner is officially the oldest person to ever go to space: the 90-year-old Star Trek actor blasted off on Wednesday aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket.
Shatner, who portrayed Captain James T Kirk on the cult sci-fi series, was one of the four-person all-civilian crew that boarded Blue Origin’s second suborbital flight in Texas on Wednesday.
The actor and his crew took off at around 1:45 AM aboard the 18.3 metre-tall spacecraft at Blue Origin’s launch site, 32 km outside the rural west Texas town of Van Horn.
With this trip, Shatner broke the previous record for the oldest person in space, once held by astronaut Wally Funk, who took a Blue Origin flight in July age 82.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience,” Shatner told Jeff Bezos after touching back to earth. “I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.”
Describing the experience of transcending to the abyssal blackness of space, Shatner says: “In an instant you go, ‘Whoa, that’s death.’ That’s what I saw.”
He continued. “Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see,” he said. “To see the blue colour whip by and now you’re staring into blackness, that’s the thing.
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“The covering of blue, this sheath, this blanket, this comforter of blue that we have around, we say, ‘Oh, that’s blue sky’ and then suddenly you shoot through it all, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.”
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, diverting myself in now & then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.🚀 pic.twitter.com/ZY2Ka8ij7z
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) October 13, 2021
— CNN (@CNN) October 13, 2021