To many, he’s Hollywood’s Captain Kirk, but today 90-year-old William Shatner became a real-life spaceman after making it back to Earth alongside other civilians on Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard rocket.
He and three others were strapped into the vessel on Wednesday morning at the launch site in West Texas, for the trip that was slated to last for around 10 minutes.
Bezos himself drove the four-member crew to the pad and was with them on the platform high above the ground as they climbed aboard the rocket.
Before lift-off, Blue Origin launch commentator said: “This is a pinch-me moment for all of us to see Capt. James Tiberius Kirk go to space.”
William Shatner, who played the iconic role of Captain Kirk on "Star Trek," has launched into space on a Blue Origi… https://t.co/ODNkxY9cc9
Speaking to Bezos after the flight, Shatner could be heard telling him, “Everybody in the world needs to do this. It was so moving. This experience has been something unbelievable...The blue down there, the black up there.”
William Shatner after becoming the oldest person to reach space:
"I am so filled with emotion about what just happ… https://t.co/eT7sfbO4dg
William Shatner and Jeff Bezos pictured after the flight Photo courtesy of NBC News/YouTube
On Twitter, there was a lot of praise for Shatner’s space journey: “A 90-year-old man with no training went to space and came back with zero complications. The power and flexibility of private sector funds and ingenuity,” someone wrote.
“I know people have mixed feelings about these exploratory journeys, but to hear the profound effect it clearly had on William Shatner is very moving. A reminder of the fragility of everything x,” another added.
Someone else believed that Shatner deserved this and wrote, “Say what you will about Jeff Bezos and you’re probably not wrong. But he did a great thing today. He gave William Shatner a gift that only he could give, and God bless him for it. Shatner deserved this and I’m so happy he got to experience it. You can’t ‘act’ that happy.”
Check out some other responses below.
I am honestly inspired to the point of tears by @WilliamShatner - his wonder and joy for life is a beautiful thing… https://t.co/x13OZbtE19
Shatner and the rest of the crew passed all medical and physical standards, including the ability to sprint up and down many flights of stairs at the launch tower, according to Blue Origin. They were also subjected to roughly 6 Gs, or six times the force of gravity on Earth.
Once they landed back on Earth and departed the capsule, they were welcomed with applause and, smiles and champagne showers. But most importantly, they also seemed to be healthy and in good spirits, following the moment of exploration and history.