By Eli Jordan
“They used to say that if man was meant to fly, he’d have wings. But he did fly. He discovered he had to,” said Captain James T. Kirk when played by William Shatner in the original “Star Trek” series. Like Captain Kirk said in the late 1960s, Shatner discovered he could fly, and he did. On Oct. 13, 2021, William Shatner, along with Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries and Audrey Powers, took to the stars for around a 10-minute span. The group flew in a Blue Origin owned space craft called the New Shepard. Blue Origin is a company owned by Amazon creator, Jeff Bezos. Two of the passengers were paying customers who wanted to go to space, one was a Blue Origin employee and Shatner had his payment comped by Bezos.
This space launch has made Shatner the oldest person to go to space. “The covering of blue. This sheet, this blanket, this comforter that we have around. We think, ‘Oh, that’s blue sky,’” said the former Star Trek actor, “then suddenly you shoot through it all of the sudden, as though you’re whipping a sheet off you when you’re asleep, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.” Shatner was very emotional upon his return to his home planet. While near the peak of the shuttle’s orbital travel, the passengers said they experienced weightlessness above the planet. Many Blue Origin employees said it was a dream getting to see one of their childhood heroes go to space including the owner, Bezos, himself. Shatner recommended that everyone goes to space if they can manage it. “Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see,” he said. “To see the blue color whip by, and now you’re staring into blackness, that’s the thing.”