Image By: Blue Horizon
By: Nick Gambino
Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, made his trek into space for a thrilling 10 minutes on Wednesday. At 90 years old, he’s now the oldest person to make the venture out of our atmosphere.
Blue Origin tweeted out a fitting caption reminiscent of the opening narration of Star Trek Rocketing to the edge of space for those 10 minutes was enough to subject Shatner and his fellow passengers to intense g-forces. Along for the ride were civilians Glen de Vries and Chris Boshuizen and Blue Origin exec Audrey Powers.
When they crested the curve of the Earth and were on the outside looking down, the four space travelers were able to remove their safety belts and “walk about the cabin” in zero gravity. Video released shows them in a state of euphoria floating about. Shatner can be heard giggling throughout the experience and simply stating “Wow.”
As they touched down and the Star Trek actor exited the New Shepard shuttle, he immediately broke into tears, expounding to Jeff Bezos about the existential experience.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine,” the captain of the USS Enterprise said to the Amazon and Blue Origin founder. “I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. I hope I never recover, that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it. It’s so much larger than me and life.”
For now, Blue Origin has put physical requirements in place for who may take the ride into space. Passengers must be between 110 and 223 pounds and 5’0” and 6’4” and be able to take 7 seven flights of stairs in just 1 and a half minutes. This latter requirement is crucial as the crew needs to quickly ascend the gantry to get into the rocket before takeoff.
This is only the beginning of civilian space travel. At the beginning of the calendar year, the only people to date that had made their way into the great unknown were smart-as-hell, physically fit astronauts. In 2021, we’ve now seen over 20 civilians of varying physical capabilities make their way off this little blue rock courtesy of Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic.