William Shatner recounts experience
OpenLife Nigeria has reliably gathered that the oldest person ever to go to space has so much experience to tell and indeed, he has started relating his experience.
According to the information, 90-year-old William Shatner, who gained fame portraying Captain Kirk on the original “Star Trek,” just hitched a ride aboard a suborbital spacecraft that grazed the edge of outer space before parachuting to a landing, making Shatner the oldest person ever to travel to space.
“That was unlike anything they described,” Shatner could be heard saying on the flight livestream just before landing.
Shatner blasted off onboard a New Shepard spacecraft — the one developed by Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, and the same vehicle that took Bezos himself to space this summer.
Bezos, a lifelong “Star Trek” fan, flew Shatner as a comped guest. With him were three crewmates: Chris Boshuizen, a co-founder of satellite company Planet Labs, and software executive Glen de Vries, who’re both paying customers, and Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience, I am so filled with emotion, just extraordinary,” a visibly overcome Shatner told Bezos, immediately after emerging from the capsule. “I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now.”
Their trip did not go exactly as the interplanetary jaunts Shatner captained during his acting career. New Shepard’s flight lasted just ten minutes from takeoff to landing, and gave the passengers about three minutes of weightlessness.
The group strapped into a capsule that sits atop the 60-foot-tall New Shepard rocket Wednesday morning after a series of wind-related delays.
At 9:51 am central time, the rocket fired up its engines and roared past the speed of sound, vaulting the capsule up past the Karman Line, which, at 62 miles high, is one line used to demarcate the beginning of outer space.
Shatner and his fellow passengers were expected to experience up to 5.5 Gs — which feels like five times their body weight pressing onto their chests — during their 2,000-plus mile-per-hour journey. Upon descent, a plume of parachutes then fanned out above the capsule to slow its descent, taking it from more than 200 miles per hour to less than 20 in just a few minutes.
Shanter’s new record as the oldest person to fly to space one-ups the record set just three months ago by 82-year-old Wally Funk, who was a former astronaut trainee but was previously denied the opportunity to fly before she joined Bezos on his July flight.
Shatner’s flight marked the second of what Blue Origin hopes will be many space tourism launches, carrying wealthy customers and thrill-seekers to the edge of space. It could be a line of business that helps to fund Blue Origin’s other, more ambitious space projects, which include developing a 300-foot-tall rocket powerful enough to blast satellites into orbit and a lunar lander.
But Shatner’s flight comes amid a wave of headlines that paint a picture of internal turmoil at Blue Origin, including several exits from the among senior-level staff in the wake of the company losing a key NASA contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.