William Shatner and three other crew has just returned from his first genuine voyage to space. The legendary 90-year-old actor, best known for playing James T. Kirk, captain of the Starship Enterprise in the Star Trek universe, was brought to tears by the flight.
Shatner launched on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket from the company's West Texas launch pad at 9:50 a.m. ET. The Verge said they soared to a height of about 66 miles and then safely landed back on Earth.
Bezos, a lifetime "Star Trek" enthusiast, reportedly flew Shatner as a complimentary guest. Chris Boshuizen, a co-founder of satellite business Planet Labs, and software executive Glen de Vries, both paying customers, were with him. Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers accompanied them.
Star Trek Actor William Shatner: Oldest Person To Travel To Space
Shatner is now the oldest person to travel into space, a record he is likely to keep for a long time given his age of 90. According to the BBC, the trip only lasted around 10 minutes and carried them a little over 100 kilometers up. Still, given its briefness, Shatner said the experience was life-changing upon his return.
The capsule split from the launcher a few minutes into the journey and went on to suborbital space, where the crew enjoyed weightlessness and an amazing view of Earth before returning the atmosphere and landing softly in the desert using a parachute.
According to live stream videos that NBC News and other major news organizations supplied, the astronauts landed securely in the desert. Shatner's Twitter account tweeted a quotation from Isaac Newton during the flight:
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
Shatner wept as he landed, overcome by sorrow at what had just occurred. "What you have given me is the most profound experience," Shatner told Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos (via Space.com) after the actor landed.
Is It Safe for William Shatner To Visit Space? Effects of Older People Going to Outer Space
Is it truly safe for the elderly actor to go outside of the Earth's atmosphere without a Blue Origin staffer onboard? According to a CNN report, Bezos' massive space business has already completed a dozen uncrewed test flights.
Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon, was aboard the company's first crewed launch on July 20th. He took to the skies with his brother, Mark, a Dutch adolescent, and famous pilot Wally Funk. When Funk flew, she was the oldest person in space at 82 years old, but Shatner, who is 90 years old, overtook her this morning.
Dorit Donoviel, an executive director of the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH), said in the same CNN report that Shatner's age shouldn't be an issue from a physiological perspective.
People with pre-existing medical problems, including older men with heart ailments, were subjected to up to 6Gs in a whirling centrifuge to replicate the crushing pressures encountered by the body during spaceflight, according to Donoviel.
Donoviel stated they were good. When they conducted those tests, the only medical condition of concern was anxiety and claustrophobia.
Check out more news and information on Blue Origin in Science Times.