William Shatner-Captain James Kirk in “Star Trek”-professionally played as a space explorer, really did this on Wednesday, becoming the oldest in space at the age of 90 The origin of the person, riding on a rocket ship piloted by billionaire Jeff Bezos’ company Blue, is an experience called profound by the actor.
Shatner was one of four passengers who flew to the edge of space in 10 minutes and 17 seconds on the white, fully autonomous 60-foot-tall (18.3-meter-tall) New Shepard spacecraft, which took off from the Blue Origin launch site approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) outside of Van Horn, a rural town in western Texas.
The crew cabin returned from the suborbital flight under the parachute to the Texas desert, raising a cloud of dust. In the silence of the desert, Shatner cautiously walked out of the capsule, looking thoughtful as the others cheered and burst the champagne bottle to celebrate.
Bezos was present and hugged Shatner. Shatner wore a hat, blue flight suit, and a sleeve with the company’s name written in white letters.
“You gave me the deepest experience I can imagine,” Shatner told Bezos, and the two chatted for a few minutes. “I am full of emotions about what just happened.”
The all-civilian crew experienced a few minutes of weightlessness and traveled approximately 65.8 miles (106 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth-above the internationally recognized boundary of space, the Carmen Line, approximately 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the Earth.
It marks the second space travel flight of Blue Origin, the founder and current executive chairman of Amazon, founded 20 years ago. Bezos took the first plane in July.
Shatner embodied the promise of space travel in the classic TV series “Star Trek” in the 1960s and the seven subsequent films. He said that he was ready to experience weightlessness, but was dazzled by the beauty of the blue earth and the dramatic darkness of space. The contrast was stunned.
“You are looking for black, black ugliness,” Shatner said. “You look down, there is blue—there is black—but there is Mother Earth.”
“This is life, that is death, and for an instant, you know—wow—this is death,” Shatner said. “This is what I saw.”
“Is death like this?” Shatner asked.
Before the flight, each astronaut rings the bell, and then enters the space capsule on top of the rocket. Bezos closes the door. The launch was carried out after two delays totaling approximately 45 minutes, with very light wind and clear skies.
Also joining Shatner are former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, clinical research entrepreneur Glen de Vries and Blue Origin vice president and engineer Audrey Powers.
‘Cheer me up’
Shatner turned 90 in March, has been acting since the 1950s, and has been busy with entertainment projects and fan meetings. He is best known as Captain James Tiberius Kirk who played the Starship Enterprise in “Star Trek.”
In the opening remarks of each episode of the series, he referred to space as the “last frontier” and promised to “explore a strange new world, find a new life and a new civilization, and go bravely to places that no one has been before.” .”
“Cheer me up,” Shatner’s role will tell the company’s chief engineer Scotty with an unforgettable slogan when he needs to be transported to the starship, played by James Doohan.
Shatner’s participation helped to bring publicity to Blue Origin, as it competed with two billionaire-backed competitors-Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. To attract customers who are willing to pay a large fee to experience space flight.
This flight is another important day for the emerging space tourism industry. According to UBS, the industry’s annual output value may reach US$3 billion (approximately Rs 22,590 crore) within ten years.
Blue Origin successfully carried out its first space travel flight on July 20th. Bezos and the other three took a 10-minute and 10-second journey. During that flight, 82-year-old pioneer female pilot Wally Fink became the oldest person to reach space. The previous record was set in 1998, when pioneer astronaut John Glenn returned to space as a 77-year-old US senator.
Branson started his space travel service on July 11, taking a suborbital flight with six other people. In a three-day mission that ended on September 18, SpaceX allowed the first batch of civilian crews to reach Earth orbit, thus launching the space tourism business for the first time.
In his annual speech to world leaders last month, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres criticized “billionaires driving in space while millions of people on earth are starving.”
When asked about Shatner’s flight, United Nations spokesman Stephen Dujarric said on Wednesday that Guterres “very believes what he said at the conference”.
© Thomson Reuters 2021