Shatner “unbelievable”

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William Shatner, a science fiction icon has rocketed into space, Which he has tearfully described as“unbelievable”.  The trip was for 11 mins and took the crew 100 kilometres a little beyond the Karman line, they were able to experience four minutes of weightlessness and gaze out at the curvature of the planet.

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from NT News 14.10.21

Star Trek’s William Shatner rocketed into space alongside an Aussie astronaut for an 11 minute joy ride he tearfully described as “unbelievable”.

Shatner, one of science-fiction’s most recognisable characters, became a real life space traveller on Blue Origin’s second human mission.

(L-R) Blue Origin’s VP of Mission & Flight Operations Audrey Powers; William Shatner; Planet Labs co-founder, Chris Boshuizen; and Medidata Solutions Co-Founder, Glen de Vries. Picture: AFP

(L-R) Blue Origin’s VP of Mission & Flight Operations Audrey Powers; William Shatner; Planet Labs co-founder, Chris Boshuizen; and Medidata Solutions Co-Founder, Glen de Vries. Picture: AFP

“It was unbelievable,” said the 90-year-old Canadian, adding the journey beyond the planet’s atmosphere and back again to the Texas desert was the most profound experience of his life.

Shatner was joined by Planet Labs co-founder Dr Chris Boshuizen, an Australian national who is the third Aussie to go into space, Blue Origin executive Audrey Powers, and Glen De Vries of clinical research platform Medidata Solutions.

A former NASA engineer, San Francisco based Dr Boshuizen, 44, was the second ticket-purchasing customer at the beginning of an industry executives hope will one day will be affordable to the general public.

Dr Boshuizen told Channel 7 he was a “space dork” who spent “a lot of money” to get on the flight.

“I wasn’t necessarily happy about the price,” he said.

Blue Origin’s decision to invite one of the most recognisable galaxy-faring characters from science fiction for its second crewed flight has helped maintain excitement around the space tourism sector.

“I’m overwhelmed by the response,” he said of fans and the space community since the mission was announced.

 

Blue Origin’s New Shepard lifts-off from the launch pad carrying 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner and Australian Chris Boshuizen. Picture: Getty Images/AFP

Blue Origin’s New Shepard lifts-off from the launch pad carrying 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner and Australian Chris Boshuizen. Picture: Getty Images/AFP

NS-18 is the second human spaceflight for the company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Picture: AFP

NS-18 is the second human spaceflight for the company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Picture: AFP

Blue Origin’s New Shepard crew capsule descends on the end of its parachute system carrying 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner and three other civilians. Picture: AFP

Blue Origin’s New Shepard crew capsule descends on the end of its parachute system carrying 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner and three other civilians. Picture: AFP

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos was on hand to greet the crew members as they climbed out of the capsule and were showered with applause and champagne.

Like the 600 or so astronauts who have gone before him, Shatner marvelled at the experience of weightlessness and the stunning view of Earth from space.

The trip took him and the NS-18 rocket crew just beyond the Karman line, 100 kilometres high, where they experienced four minutes of weightlessness and gaze out at the curvature of the planet.

“What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened,” he told Bezos.

“I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened,” Shatner said, wiping tears from his eyes.

“I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it,” he said.

Shatner stood with Bezos in the desert and attempted to articulate his flight experience, saying piercing the blue veil of the sky took a matter of seconds, and that looking down at “Mother Earth” from the blackness of space brought home “the vulnerability of everything.”

“This is life,” said Bezos, pointing to Earth.

“That’s death,” said Shatner, pointing up to space.

In this still image taken from a Blue Origin video, the New Shepard NS-18 mission capsule lands in the West Texas region. Picture: AFP

In this still image taken from a Blue Origin video, the New Shepard NS-18 mission capsule lands in the West Texas region. Picture: AFP

In this still image taken from a Blue Origin video, recovery crews reach the New Shepard NS-18 mission capsule after landing. Picture: AFP

In this still image taken from a Blue Origin video, recovery crews reach the New Shepard NS-18 mission capsule after landing. Picture: AFP

OLDEST EVER ASTRONAUT

The mission was a replay of the company’s maiden human flight in July, which included Bezos and was seen as a breakthrough moment for the space tourism sector.

This time around, all attention was focused on Shatner, who became the oldest-ever astronaut, despite an appearance suggesting a man decades younger.

In this still image taken from a Blue Origin video, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos awards New Shepard NS-18 mission crew member William Shatner with a pin after the crew landed. Picture: AFP

In this still image taken from a Blue Origin video, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos awards New Shepard NS-18 mission crew member William Shatner with a pin after the crew landed. Picture: AFP

The intergalactic voyages of the USS Enterprise, commanded by Shatner’s character Captain James T. Kirk, helped turn American attention to the stars as the US space program was starting out.

“Captain Kirk … represents ‘the final frontier’ perhaps more than anyone else for a couple different generations of people, in the US and worldwide,” screenwriter and Trek historian Marc Cushman told AFP.

“It looks like there’s a great deal of curiosity in this fictional character, Captain Kirk,” he said in a video released by Blue Origin.

“Let’s go along with it and enjoy the ride.”

For Blue Origin, meanwhile, a second mission in less than three months represents another step forward as it tries to establish itself as space tourism’s leading player.

Bezos and his brother Mark were also on Blue Origin’s maiden mission in July.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (R) Picture: AFP

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (R) Picture: AFP

Originally published as William Shatner moved to tears by his voyage on Blue Origin rocket

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