A new video of the interior of Blue Origin’s spaceship shows 90-year-old actor William Shatner gazing in awe at the Earth below.
Shatner spent decades playing Captain James T. Kirk, Commander-in-Chief Explorer of the Cosmos, in “Star Trek”. On Wednesday morning, the TV star had his own cosmic adventure in space when he took off aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket and soared 62 miles above Earth, up to at the edge of space. The trip made him the oldest person to ever reach space.
At the height of the 11-minute flight, Shatner and the ship’s three other passengers – former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, healthcare contractor Glen de Vries and vice president of mission and flight operations from Blue Origin, Audrey Powers – lived about three minutes in weightlessness and saw the curvature of the Earth below.
Blue Origin shared a video of those moments of weightlessness on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. Cameras inside the space capsule recorded as the passengers pulled away from their seats and drifted away.
“It’s crazy!” Powers exclaimed. “Good heaven.”
As the other passengers turned and floated, Shatner simply grabbed the edge of a window and gazed at the Earth below.
“No description can match that,” he said.
Yet once the capsule was parachuted to Earth and landed safely, Shatner tried to describe it – specifically the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere.
“Look at the beauty of this color. And it’s so fine. And you walk through it in an instant,” he told Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. “Suddenly you’re through the blue, and you’re in the dark.”
Shatner added, “You look in the dark, in the black ugliness. And you look down – there’s blue there and black up there. There’s Mother Earth and comfort, and there’s a – is there death? I don’t do it is death? is this how death is?
At one point during his post-flight reflection, he covered his face and wiped away his tears.
Many astronauts who have seen Earth from space have described overwhelming feelings of awe, oneness with the rest of humanity, and appreciation for the fragility of our planet. Experts call this the “overall effect”.
“I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s amazing,” Shatner told Bezos. “I hope I never get over it. I hope I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.”
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