For the man who played Captain Kirk on the 1960s television series Star Trek, William Shatner has seen science fiction become a reality, becoming the oldest person to enter outer space.
On Wednesday, the 90-year-old actor and Montreal native flew 106 kilometres over a West Texas desert aboard a ship built by Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, Blue Origin.
“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” said Shatner in a press release.
Shatner flew on the “New Shepard” alongside a crew that featured Dr. Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries, and Audrey Powers. It was the 18th space voyage the launch vehicle designed for space tourism has taken.
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021
A lifelong Star Trek fan, Bezos famously made his first voyage to space on July 20 alongside his brother, Mark. The crew from that NS-16 flight included 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, who, up until now, was the oldest person to have gone to space.
Shatner, who is eight years Funk’s senior, posted a statement to Twitter the morning of the NS-18 flight, comparing his experience to one of a “boy playing on the seashore.”
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
A full replay of Shatner’s NS-18 flight is available for viewing on the company’s website.
Blue Origin is planning one more crewed flight this year, with several more crewed flights scheduled for 2022.