WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Star Trek actor William Shatner made history by becoming the oldest person to reach space.
- Captain Kirk flew to the edge of space on Wednesday aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
- Shatner was emotional when he landed back on Earth, telling Jeff Bezos , “Everybody in the world needs to do this… It was so moving.”
William Shatner, the actor who played Captain James T. Kirk in the TV series Star Trek, made history by becoming the oldest person to reach space.
The 90-year-old actor flew to the edge of space on Wednesday aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket at 10:49 a.m. ET, then soared 62 miles above Earth in an 11-minute spaceflight.
Shatner was joined by three other passengers – Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer, Glen de Vries, a healthcare entrepreneur and Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers. The four experienced several minutes of weightlessness and saw the curvature of Earth before falling back to the ground.
The spacecraft landed in the Texas desert where they were greeted by Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience. I am so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary,” the emotional Shatner told Bezos. “I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.
“It’s so much larger than me and life. It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men. … It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.”
Shatner said he was amazed by the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere while wiping away tears.
“Look at the beauty of that color. And it’s so thin. And you’re through it in an instant,” he said. “Suddenly, you’re through the blue, and you’re into black.”
Shatner added: “You’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness. And you look down – there’s the blue down there and the black up there. There is Mother Earth and comfort, and there is – is there death? I don’t know. Is that death? Is that the way death is? It was so moving, this experience.”
Many astronauts who’ve seen Earth from space have described overwhelming feelings of awe, unity with the rest of humanity, and an appreciation for the fragility of our planet. Experts call this the “overview effect.”
“Everybody in the world needs to do this,” Shatner said. “Everybody in the world needs to see.”
Source: Yahoo! News