William Shatner in tears after he becomes oldest man in space: "It was unbelievable"

13 October 2021, 17:30

Star Trek star William Shatner was sent into space
Star Trek star William Shatner was sent into space. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Hollywood icon William Shatner has become the oldest person to go to space, as he travelled on board the Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule.

He's known for playing one of sci-fi's most legendary space captains, he once covered 'Rocket Man', and now he's a bonafide astronaut.

90-year-old William Shatner, who played Captain James T Kirk in the Star Trek series, took off from the Texas desert with three other people.

Shatner's trip on the rocket - which was developed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos - lasted around 10 minutes.

The four people on the rocket experienced a short period of weightlessness, after climbing to an altitude just above 100km (60 miles). Here they saw the curvature of the Earth through the capsule's windows.

"Everybody in the world needs to do this," Shatner told Bezos after landing back on Earth. "It was unbelievable."

Clearly in tears, he added: "What you have given me is the most profound experience. I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. I hope I never recover from this. I hope I can retain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it."

Shatner was joined on the flight by Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin vice president, Chris Boshuizen, who co-founded the Earth-imaging satellite company Planet, and Glen de Vries, an executive with healthcare software corporation Dassault Systèmes.

When the capsule touched down in the desert, Bezos opened the hatch to check on everyone.

This was the second crewed outing for the rocket New Shepard. The first occurred on July 20, and carried Bezos, his brother Mark, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen and aviator Wally Funk.