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Captain Kirk Returns to Earth

Featured, Lifestyle, National

William Shatner and other Blue Origin passengers raise their hands in response to questions at the spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. | Image by LM Otero, AP

William Shatner, best known for starring as Captain Kirk from Star Trek, recently completed a journey to space at 90 years old. Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space exploration company, took Shatner and three employees on a ten-minute ride outside Earth’s atmosphere. CNET confirmed that Shatner launched from Blue Origin’s West Texas pad at 9:50 am on Wednesday.

The rocket, named New Shepard, blasted 66 miles upward into space before the capsule separated. Shatner and the crew experienced weightlessness and an undoubtedly incredible view. The capsule fell back to Earth and landed via parachute assist in a desert valley, the Associated Press says.

Upon exiting the capsule, Shatner gave his thanks to Bezos. “What you have given me is the most profound experience. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this,” he said. Shatner described the experience as being “unlike anything you’ll ever see or feel again.”

CNET reports that the booster rocket automatically returned to the launch pad to be used in future missions.

Shatner claims the title as the oldest person to enter space, beating out Wally Funk, 82. Funk took his journey aboard a Blue Origin flight on July 20th.

However, not everyone shared Shatner’s enthusiasm for his space trip. On Thursday, Prince William told BBC that he does not fully support the new era of commercial space flight, citing his concerns over the “carbon impact.” The Prince also told BBC, “It really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet] rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future.”

Former Star Trek co-star George Takei poked fun at Shatner, claiming he was an “unfit guinea pig” to be studied in a space flight.