William Shatner on Wednesday boldly went where no (living) Star Trek actor has gone before, as a passenger aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18 spacecraft. And despite his “five-year mission” as Enterprise captain, the real-life experience left the actor “so filled with emotion.”
Shatner — who at age 90 became the oldest person to have flown to space — made the 10-minute trip with Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations, and crewmates Dr. Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.
Blue Origin reported that the crew’s capsule reached a peak altitude of 65.8 miles, at speeds of up to 2,235 miles per hour. New Shepard NS-18 thus crossed the Kármán line, which is located 62 miles above sea level and is largely recognized as the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space. (Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson July 11 trip aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity rocket place soared three miles above NASA’s minimum space baseline of 50 miles above sea level, but fell shy of the Kármán line.)
Blue Origin’s own Jeff Bezos partook in the company’s first successful human flight to space, on July 20.
“Everybody in the world needs to do this,” Shatner said after emerging from the capsule, post-flight (watch the CNN video below). His voice cracking with emotion, he avowed, “It was just unbelievable. Unbelievable,” before juxtaposing in detail, again and again, the trip beyond the “blue comforter” of sky into the “blackness” of space.
To Bezos, he said after landing, “What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I am so filled with emotion about what just happened…. I hope I never recover from this, what I feel now. It’s so… so much larger than life.”
"I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. It's extraordinary"
— CNN (@CNN) October 13, 2021