William Shatner Becomes Oldest Person to Travel to Space With Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin
By Rachel McRady
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Beamed up and back down! William Shatner has boldly gone where no man at his age has gone before. On Wednesday, the 90-year-old Star Trek star went up with Blue Origin, the company founded by Jeff Bezos, as one of four passengers on board the New Shepard NS-18 ship.
Shatner and the other passengers delayed their trip for a day due to high winds in Texas, where the spaceship was taking off from. While Bezos was not on this trip, he greeted the astronauts and closed the hatch before the vessel took flight.
The foursome safely returned to Earth after just a few minutes in space. Bezos also opened the hatch to welcome the crew back to Earth as their family and friends clapped and cheered behind them.
"In a word, it's indescribable," Shatner told Bezos upon landing. "Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see," he added before getting overcome with emotion and tearing up.
Prior to his journey, Shatner said in a promotional video, "I shall be entranced by the view of space. I want to look at that orb and appreciate its beauty, its tenacity."
He added, "It looks like there's a great deal of curiosity about this fictional character -- Captain Kirk -- going into space, so let's go along with it and enjoy the ride!"
The successful trip follows the company's triumphant first human flight in July. On board for that inaugural flight was Bezos and his brother, Mark Bezos, along with Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, who were at the time the oldest and youngest people to ever fly in space, respectively. Shatner broke Funk's record for the oldest person in space with his flight on Wednesday.
"When you get into space and you can see the Earth's atmosphere, it's so thin and fragile looking. So we do have to take care of this planet. And right now it's just true that our civilization is — we pollute the planet," Bezos told CBS Sunday Morningfollowing his flight. "This sounds fantastical, what I'm about to tell you, but it will happen. We can move all heavy industry and all polluting industry off of Earth and operate it in space."