‘It Was Unbelievable,’ says Star Trek’s William Shatner of his transformation into a real-life astronaut.
On Blue Origin’s second human mission, William Shatner, one of science fiction’s most known characters, became a real-life space traveler on Wednesday.
“It was incredible,” the 90-year-old Canadian remarked after returning to the Texas desert after an 11-minute voyage beyond the planet’s atmosphere.
After two minor delays, the New Shepard rocket launched at 9:49 a.m. (1449 GMT).
Audrey Powers of Blue Origin, Chris Boshuizen of Planet Labs, an Australian national, and Glen de Vries of clinical research platform Medidata Solutions joined Shatner.
As the crew members came out of the capsule and were showered with cheers and champagne, company founder Jeff Bezos was on there to greet them.
Shatner, like the 600 or so astronauts before him, was enthralled by the sensation of weightlessness and the breathtaking vista of Earth from space.
“What you’ve given me has been the most meaningful experience I’ve ever had. I’m overcome with emotion as a result of what just occurred “‘I told Bezos,’ he said.
The expedition was a rerun of the company’s first human flight, which included Bezos and was hailed as a watershed moment for the fledgling space tourism industry.
This time, all eyes were on Shatner, who became the world’s oldest astronaut despite his appearance, which suggested he was decades younger.
The interplanetary adventures of the USS Enterprise, commanded by Shatner’s character Captain James T. Kirk, served to focus American attention on the stars as the United States’ space program got off the ground.
“For a couple of generations of people in the US and around the world, Captain Kirk… embodies ‘the final frontier’ possibly more than anyone else,” screenwriter and Trek historian Marc Cushman told AFP.
Shatner, who is best known for playing lawyer Denny Crane in “Boston Legal,” among other roles, has previously commented about his often tense relationship with Star Trek and its fan culture.
However, in recent years, the actor has leaned into the celebrity that his most famous role has afforded him.
“It appears that this imaginary character, Captain Kirk, has a tremendous degree of interest,” he stated in a video produced by Blue Origin.
“Let’s just go with the flow and enjoy the journey.”
Meanwhile, for Blue Origin, a second voyage in less than three months is another step ahead in its efforts to establish itself as the industry’s top player in space tourism.
After Dutch teen Oliver Daemen, who was on board the, Boshuizen and Vries raised the company’s total number of paying clients to three. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.