7 October 2021
William Shatner joked he will be “inseminating the space programme” next week.
The Emmy Award-winning actor – known around the world as Captain Kirk from ‘Star Trek’ – joked about the phallic shape of Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin Rocket ahead of his flight on board the New Shepard NS-18 rocket on 12 October.
CNN host Anderson Cooper said: “Some people made fun of the way the rocket looks but I think it’s cool. I like it. The weightless thing, I think, would be fun.”
William then sparked laughter from the news anchor as he said: ““Well, now, there’s nothing to make fun of. We’re inseminating the space programme. It certainly does look … when they say insertion, do they really mean insertion?”
The 90-year-old actor then insisted his role on ‘Star Trek’ hadn’t made him dream of going into space for real.
As Anderson struggled to hold in his laughter, William said: “No, I mean, I’m so sorry to bring you down to Earth, to use a phrase. It was all pretend… I was on a set in Paramount Studios.”
And the screen legend is excited to feel the sensation of zero gravity.
He quipped: “I mean imagine being weightless, and you’re thin enough but I’m not. Imagine being weightless and staring into that blackness and seeing the Earth. That’s what I want to absorb. That’s what I want to see, firsthand.”
But William doesn’t want to catch a glimpse of other-worldly life during the flight.
Anderson said: “It goes by fast, though. On their flight, on Bezos’s flight, they were throwing Skittles at each other and catching stuff. It looked like a lot of fun. I think I would want to be staring out the window the whole time.”
His interviewee replied: “I want to press my nose up against the plastic window. What I don’t want to see is somebody else out there looking back at me. No. No, we don’t — we don’t want that one.”
When asked about his training ahead of the flight, William joked he had been “running miles and miles” and “taking deep breaths”.
He added: “The best training is to fill my lungs and let the air go out.”
In a statement, he said: “I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle.”
The star will be accompanied by Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission and Flight Operation, along with crew members Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.
The flight is set to take off Launch Site One in West Texas on 12 October, and it is thought that the journey will take 11 minutes and soar past the Kármán Line, the internationally recognised boundary of space.