This October 13, the American actor William Shatner, 90, became the oldest person to reach space. The artist completed the feat aboard a ship of the American company Blue Origin, which has already announced more flights that would be available to dozens of passengers.
From fiction to reality. Canadian actor William Shatner, known for his role as Captain James Kirk in the series ‘Star Trek’, became on October 13, at the age of 90, the oldest person to reach space.
He did it on board a flight of the Blue Origin company, of the American tycoon and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“William Shatner is setting the bar for what a 90-year-old can do,” said Joseph Barra, a man who helped cater the festivities on Blue Origin launch week.
The actor and three companions on this unusual journey took off at an altitude of 107 kilometers over the West Texas desert in the fully automated capsule. They then parachuted safely to Earth in a flight that lasted just over 10 minutes.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience (…) I hope I never recover from this. I hope I can keep what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it, ”an emotional Shatner said to Bezos after exiting the capsule.
The ride included about three minutes of weightlessness and a view of the curvature of the Earth.
The artist, who in the 1960s delighted science fiction fans with the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise, finally goes where no star on American television has before.
“This is a pinch moment for all of us to see Captain James Tiberius Kirk go into space,” Blue Origin launch commentator Jacki Cortese said before liftoff.
“In an instant you’re gone, wow, that’s death”
Shatner highlighted one of the most dazzling and at the same time moving situations that he experienced with this trip off the planet was going from the blue sky to the absolute blackness of space.
“In an instant you are gone, wow, that is death. That’s what I saw, “said the actor.
Bezos himself led the four crew members to the platform, escorted them above the ground, and closed the hatch after they climbed aboard the 60-foot rocket.
A jubilant Bezos also greeted them as the capsule floated back to Earth under its bright blue and red parachutes.
Bill, Audrey, Chris, Glen – you’re about to share an experience that will forever change how you view the world. Godspeed. This is how it starts. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/sOaS7YVBuY
– Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) October 13, 2021
Shatner said that the return to the planet was more shocking than his training had made him expect. He maintained that during the experience, he even wondered if he would come back alive.
This flight comes as the space tourism industry is finally taking off, with passengers aboard capsules built and operated by some of the richest men in the world.
Richard Branson, with his company Virgin Galactic, paved the way for space travel in his own spacecraft in July. He was followed by Bezos nine days later on the first crewed Blue Origin flight. And billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX made its first private flight in mid-September.
Now, Blue Origin indicates that it plans a passenger flight this year and several more in 2022, as its goal is to “democratize the space.” The hitherto science fiction stories would become part of the reality of more and more people.
With Reuters and AP