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The 90-year-old Star Trek icon became the oldest person to leave the globe when he blasted off from the West Texas launch site at 7:50 a.m. PT.
Blue Origin’s vp mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers, and crewmembers Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries were also aboard the Wednesday flight. The trip was to have taken place earlier in the week but had to be scrubbed due to the weather. Shatner was all smiles before he boarded the ship. Bezos personally closed the ship’s hatch.
“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,” Shatner said in a drafted tweet that went live once he was in space. The ship successfully returned to Earth just before 8 a.m. PT.
“I am so filled with emotion,” Shatner told Bezos while describing the feeling of leaving Earth. “I am overwhelmed. I had no idea.”
Fans of the film and TV star were delighted to see the man who played Capt. James T. Kirk for decades actually travel into space. “Godspeed @WilliamShatner. Will reach Mach 3 (3x the speed of sound) on ascent. That’s 0.00034% of Warp Factor 1, but it’s a start,” tweeted Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Shatner seemed ready to go, spending Tuesday night cracking some jokes on social media. “Has someone informed [Elton John]?” the actor joked of the “Rocket Man” artist. Shatner, of course, recorded his classic melodramatic spoken-word version of the song in the late 1970s.
It was confirmed earlier this month that Shatner would travel aboard New Shepard NS-18. “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” he said at the time.
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