Star Trek legend William Shatner boldly went into space on Wednesday, becoming the oldest person to achieve such a feat.
On Wednesday, a 10-minute ride began at spaceflight company Blue Origin’s Texas launch site, with 90-year-old Shatner and three crewmates blasting skyward on a New Shepard rocket.
Minutes later, the capsule crosses the Carmen Line 62 miles above Earth – this spot is widely regarded as the edge of space – giving passengers several minutes of weightlessness, not to mention stunning views of Earth – before returning safely to Earth.
Later on Wednesday, Blue Origin posted the first footage (below) showing Shatner and his fellow passengers 351,185 feet (66.5 miles) above Earth’s surface. As he looked out of one of the capsule’s windows to the planet below, Shatner exclaimed in amazement at the extraordinary sight: “God, I can’t believe it.”
As he exited the capsule at the end of the suborbital flight, Shatner was met by Amazon founder and Blue Origin boss — and massive Star Trek fan — Jeff Bezos, who carried out the first crewed flight aboard the New Shepard in July. had taken flight.
“I’m very emotional about what just happened,” Shatner said as he exited the capsule.
“To see the color blue, and now you’re staring into the blackness, that’s the point… This experience is something incredible… Everyone in the world needs to do that. Everyone in the world needs to see it.” needed.”
The Canadian nonagenarian continued: “It’s extraordinary, extraordinary. It is bigger than me and life. It has nothing to do with the little green men and the blue orb. It deals with the enormity of life and death and the quickness and suddenness.”
Prior to the historic flight, Shatner admitted that he was “a bit intimidated” at the prospect of riding a rocket into space, though also said he was “thrilled” at the idea.
The actor took the opportunity after Bezos gave him a chance after his sub-orbital flight on the same rocket in July.
Traveling with Shatner were Audrey Powers, vice president of New Shepard operations, who Blue Origin said was one of the building blocks for New Shepard, Chris Boshuizen (co-founder of satellite imagery company Planet Labs) and Glen de Vries (co-founder). played an integral role. Medidata Solutions, a clinical research platform), with two men paying for their seats on a capsule.
Blue Origin now plans to launch a space tourism service with regular launches for high-paying customers.
While some have accused Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson of wasting money on the so-called “billionaires’ space race”, the Amazon chief insists that if such projects lead to reusable infrastructure that costs space travel. more people will have the opportunity to use space to make “the wonderful things that improve life here on Earth”.