13 October 2021
William Shatner broke down in tears after becoming the oldest person to go into space.
The 90-year-old actor blasted off on Jeff Bezos’ New Shepard NS-18 rocket alongside Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission and Flight Operation, and crew members Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries on Wednesday (13.10.21) from the company’s Launch Site One in Van Horn, Texas, and was overcome with emotion when he landed back on earth.
Speaking to Jeff, he said: “I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary, extraordinary. I hope I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it. It’s so much larger than me and life.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men and the blue orb. It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.”
The ‘Star Trek’ actor hailed the trip a “life-changing” moment.
He said in a livestream video of the event: “It’s life-changing in its way, not because of the aerial adventure, but because of the people I’m meeting.
“We’re just at the beginning, but how miraculous that beginning is — how extraordinary it is to be part of that beginning.”
The crew made it up to an altitude of around 66 miles on the suborbital flight, and felt weightlessness.
But just a matter of minutes later, they began their descent and their capsule headed back down to Earth thanks to three parachutes.
The crew touched down in the desert at a speed of around 15mph.
It was later confirmed the astronauts were all OK following the flight, and a recovery team was sent in to get them out of the capsule.
Jeff opened the hatch first so they could disembark, and the billionaire shouted: “Welcome to Earth!”