William Shatner, TV’s Capt. Kirk, blasts into space

VAN HORN (Texas) -- Hollywood's Captain Kirk, a 90-year-old William Shatner, blasted into Space Wednesday in a convergence science fiction and reality. He reached the final frontier aboard a Blue Origin ship built by Jeff Bezos.

William Shatner, TV’s Capt. Kirk, blasts into space

VAN HORN (Texas) -- Hollywood's Captain Kirk, a 90-year-old William Shatner, blasted into Space Wednesday in a convergence science fiction and reality. He reached the final frontier aboard a Blue Origin ship built by Jeff Bezos.

Three fellow passengers from Star Trek, including the actor of "Star Trek", flew to 66.5 miles (107 km) above the West Texas desert in a fully-automated capsule. They were then safely parachuted back down to Earth. The flight took just 10 minutes.

After climbing out of the hatch, Shatner exclaimed to Bezos, "What you have given us is the most profound experience." His words poured from him in a soliloquy that lasted almost as long as his flight. "I wish I never recover from it. I wish I could keep what I feel right now. It's something I don’t want to lose."

He stated that the transition from the blue sky into the blackness of space was an intense experience.

Shatner was the oldest person to reach space. He surpassed the previous record of eight years set in July by a passenger aboard a Bezos spaceship. It took three minutes to lose weight and provided a view of Earth's curvature.

Sci-fi fans were thrilled to have the chance to see the man most known for his bravery and principled command of the Starship Enterprise, go places no American TV star has ever gone before. Trekkies were quick to quote favorite lines from Kirk: "Risk is our business. This is what the starship is all for.

"This is a pinch me moment for us all to see Capt. Blue Origin launch commentator JackiCortese stated that James Tiberius Kirk was going to space before liftoff. She stated that she was attracted to space, just like many others, by shows such as "Star Trek".

NASA tweeted best wishes to the pilot ahead of the flight: "You are, always will be, our friend."

Bezos' space tourism business was able to benefit from the star power of this flight, which attracted a lot of celebrity watchers, baby boomers, and space enthusiasts. From 1966 to 1969, Shatner was a star in TV's original Star Trek. The U.S. was competing for the moon. He then went on to appear in several "Star Trek” movies.

Bezos is a big "Star Trek" fan. The Amazon founder made a cameo appearance as an alien in one the later movies. Shatner was invited to ride free.

Bezos's favor, Shatner flew into space with some Star Trek tricorders (or communicators) that he had made as a 9-year old Trekkie. Bezos claimed that his mother had kept them for 48 years.

Bezos drove the crew members to the launch platform, and then he closed the hatch after they boarded the 60-foot rocket. Bezos was present to greet them as the capsule returned to Earth, thanks to its brilliant blue-and red parachutes.

"Hello, astronauts. As he opened the hatch to the New Shepard capsule named after Alan Shepard, a happy Bezos exclaimed, "Welcome to Earth!"

Shatner and the others wore close-fitting, flame-retardant, royal-blue flight suits, not exactly the tight, futuristic-for-the-'60s V-necks that the crew of the Enterprise had on TV.

Actor John Lennon said that he was struck at the fragility of Earth and its relative lack of atmosphere.

This is something that everyone in the world should do. He said that everyone in the world must see. To see the blue color swirl by and then you look into blackness is the thing. We say that the blue blanket, this sheath and this blanket are blue skies, but then you suddenly see blackness.

Shatner stated that the return to Earth was more exciting than his training had led him to believe and made him wonder if he would ever make it back alive.

He said, "Everything's much more powerful." "Bang, this thing strikes. It was nothing like the simulator. ... Will I be able survive the G-forces?

As the capsule descends, passengers are exposed to almost 6 G's or six times Earth's gravity force. Blue Origin stated that Shatner and all of the crew fulfilled all medical and physical requirements. They were also able to climb and descend several flights of stairs at the launch tower.

Joseph Barra, a bartender who served as a caterer at the launch celebrations, said that Shatner's entry into space was "the most badass things I think I have ever seen." "William Shatner sets the standard for what a 90 year-old man can accomplish."

Space tourism is finally taking off. Passenger will enjoy a joyride aboard spacecraft built and operated in part by the wealthiest men in the world.

Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson, a Virgin Galactic astronaut, went into space in July in his rocket ship. Bezos followed nine days later in Blue Origin's first flight of a crew with Blue Origin. SpaceX's Elon Musk made its first private flight in September, but without Musk.

The Russians sent last week an actor and a director of film to the International Space Station in support of a movie-making endeavor.

Blue Origin stated that it will add one passenger flight to its fleet this year, and many more in 2022. The company stated that its goal is "democratize space" and sounds like Captain Kirk.

Audrey Powers, Blue Origin vice president, was Shatner's passenger. Powers was also a former space station flight controller at NASA. Powers was joined by two paying customers, Chris Boshuizen (a former NASA engineer) and Glen de Vries (a 3D software company). Blue Origin wouldn't disclose the cost of their tickets.

This flight brought 597 people to space.

Adam Frank, University of Rochester Astrophysicist, stated in an email that "Today's Launch is a Testimony to the Power of the Imagination"

Frank said, "William Shatner might be just an acting', but Captain James T. Kirk represents the collective dream of a hopeful space future that 'Star Trek' and science fiction gave us all." "Bezos gave Shatner an opportunity to sit on his rocket, because he fell in love, as millions did, with 'Star Trek,' and its vision for a vast frontier for humanity.

Updated Date: 16 October 2021, 15:40

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