Jeff Bezos knows how to show rich people a good time- take them to space, and the billionaire‘s latest launch included none other than William Shatner. While the actor played Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, it marked his first time in space and he is officially the oldest person to ever do so. He traveled with three other passengers aboard a rocketship flown by Bezos’s company Blue Origin and the journey lasted 10 minutes and 17 seconds to the edge of space. Shatner emerged from the capsule after it returned to the Texas desert under a parachute and there were the sounds of cheers and champagne bottles popping. The ecstatic actor embraced the Walt Disney of space trips and couldn’t hold back his tears, “What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine,” he said.
This was the voyage of the RSS First Step today. Its mission: encounter Earth from incredible views at apogee pic.twitter.com/Gzsnkv97K9— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021
Bezos and Shatner chatted for several minutes and he couldn’t hold back his sheer joy. “It was unbelievable, unbelievable. I mean, you know the little things- the weightlessness But to see the blue color go whip by, and now you’re staring into blackness, that‘s the thing. The covering of blue is- this sheet, this blanket, this comforter of blue that we have around. We think, ‘oh, it’s blue sky’ and then suddenly you shoot through it all of a sudden as though you whip off a sheet off you when you’re asleep. And you’re looking into blackness.” He tried his best to explain.
“There is Mother Earth and comfort. And there is - is there death? I don’t know- was that death? Is that the way death is? Whoop and it’s gone. Jesus. It was so moving to me” he said with tears. Bezos tried his best to comfort and emotional Shatner and hugged him. “I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. I just- it’s extraordinary, extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this. I hope I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.” Shatner said.
William Shatner's trip aboard Jeff Bezos’ rocket might have been conceived as a publicity stunt, but brushing the edge of the sky left the actor full of wonder. Shatner, 90, talked about space as the final frontier while Bezos listened, still as a statue. https://t.co/LL0QUsHt5tpic.twitter.com/oaKwFinKTh— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 13, 2021
The white fully autonomous 60-foot-tall New Shepard spacecraft took off from Blue Origin‘s launch site about 20 miles outside the rural west Texas town of Van Horn, per Reuters. The all civil crew traveled about 65.8 miles above the Earth’s surface which is 3.5 miles higher than the internationally recognized boundary of space known as the Karman Line. It marks the second space tourism flight for Blue Origin.
The Amazon founder flew aboard the first one in July. “The most profound piece of it, for me, was looking out at the Earth, and looking at the Earth‘s atmosphere,” he said during a postflight news conference. “You know, we’re these tiny little things and the planet — the atmosphere is so big. But when you get up above it, what you see is it’s actually incredibly thin. It’s this tiny, little fragile thing. And as we move about the planet, we’re damaging it. And, you know, so that is you know, that’s — a very profound — it’s one thing to recognize that intellectually. It’s another thing to actually see with your own eyes how fragile it really is.”