Captain James T. Kirk made a triumphant return to space yesterday…literally.
90-year-old Canadian, William Shatner, boarded the Blue Origin—the spacecraft owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—and became the oldest person ever to enter space.
In a flight on the morning of October 13th that lasted just over 10 minutes, the “Star Trek” actor and three fellow passengers hurtled to an altitude of 107 kilometres over the West Texas desert in the fully automated capsule, then safely parachuted back to Earth.
Shatner exited the ship, exhilarated, and bursting with absolute ecstasy over the experience.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine,” Shatner told Bezos immediately after exiting the ship.
“I hope I never recover from this.”
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, diverting myself in now & then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.🚀 pic.twitter.com/ZY2Ka8ij7z
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) October 13, 2021
Fans of Star Trek are proud that a man they’ve seen take command on the final frontier as Captain James T. Kirk some 50 years ago was able to proudly go where no 90-year-old man had gone yet.
I know it's geeky but it's awfully hard not to be excited watching William Shatner launch into space more than a half-century after bringing the character of Captain Kirk to life and inspiring a generation of people to imagine a universe beyond our small world.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) October 13, 2021
The flight comes as the space tourism industry finally takes off.
Some of the richest people on the planet are beginning to take passengers on ships.
Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson went into space in his own rocket ship in July and Elon Musk’s SpaceX made its first private voyage in mid-September, without Musk on board.