Iconic Starship Commander Finally Went Into Space

He just went on a voyage to the final frontier on a space flight.

Oct 15, 2021


Space, Innovation
Iconic Starship Commander Finally Went Into Space | He just went on a voyage to the final frontier on a space flight.

Star Trek actor William Shatner, (90), boldly went into space – “the final frontier” – more than 50  years after his character Captain James Kirk first took command of the Starship Enterprise on Wednesday October 13, 2021.  He was the oldest man to go into space.

Shatner was a passenger on board the New Shepard spaceship that was developed by Jeff Bezos’ company, Blue Origin and was the same ship that took Bezos into space on July 20, 2021, reported CNN. While Bezos was not onboard for this historic first, he was there to send the space explorers off and to greet them when they returned.

It was a very emotional trip for Shatner and very unlike the interplanetary warp speed travel on Star Trek. In fact, it lasted just over 10 minutes and gave the passengers around  three minutes of weightlessness. “That was unlike anything they described," Shatner said on the flight live webcast just before landing.”

The experience was so moving that he was reduced to tears as he explained his feelings to Bezos after his return.  "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 shared this experience with Australian entrepreneur Chris Boshuizen, microbiologist Glen de Vries and Blue Origin executive Audrey Powers. While Boshuizen and de Vrie were paying customers, Shatner was a guest.

The passengers received two days training according to the BBC, but there really isn’t much for them to do except to enjoy the experience. The New Shepherd is fully automatic and does not have to be flown. But they did receive Blue Origin astronaut pins after the flight.

Blue Origin is just one of the private companies taking passengers into space, Elon Musk’s SpaceX ‘s Inspiration4 launched from the Kennedy Space Center On September 15; it was the first space flight with no professional astronauts on board. Musk plans to have his Dragon capsule circle the earth for several days, reported the BBC.

Adding to that, British entrepreneur Richard Branson is selling rides in his Virgin Galactic rocket ship, it is clear that space is being opened up to more and more people. Even ones who have commanded starships in galaxies far from Earth on both the small and big screens for decades.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.