William Shatner Cries Telling Jeff Bezos About His Spaceflight


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  moose-knuckle  •  5 days ago  •  10 comments

By:   Morgan McFall-Johnsen (Business Insider)

William Shatner Cries Telling Jeff Bezos About His Spaceflight
The "Star Trek" star said that staring into the blackness of space was like looking at death. "'Oh, that's death!' That's what I saw," he said.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

 Jeff Bezos pins astronaut wings on William Shatner after the "Star Trek" star's spaceflight on October 13. Blue Origin

  • William Shatnerflew to the edge of space Wednesday aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket.
  • Back on Earth, an emotional Shatner shared his reflections on the flight with Jeff Bezos.
  • Shatner said seeing space's blackness was like looking at death: "I hope I never recover from this."

William Shatner poured his heart out on camera after soaring to the edge of space on Wednesday.

Shatner, who spent decades playing Captain James T. Kirk in "Star Trek," lifted off aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket at 10:49 a.m. ET, then soared 62 miles above Earth in an 11-minute spaceflight.

He and the ship's three other passengers — the former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, the healthcare entrepreneur Glen de Vries, and Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers — experienced several minutes of weightlessness and saw the curvature of Earth before plummeting back to the ground.

After landing in the Texas desert and climbing out of the spaceship, an emotional Shatner shared his reactions with Jeff Bezos, who founded Blue Origin in 2000.

"What you have given me is the most profound experience. I am so filled with emotion about what just happened. It's extraordinary," Shatner said, tearing up. "I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it.

"It's so much larger than me and life. It hasn't got anything to do with the little green men. ... It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death."

Shatner tells Bezos about his spaceflight experience on October 13. Blue Origin

Shatner said he was stunned by the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. At one point during his postflight reflection, he covered his face and wiped away tears.

"Look at the beauty of that color. And it's so thin. And you're through it in an instant," he said. "Suddenly, you're through the blue, and you're into black."

Shatner added: "You're looking into blackness, into black ugliness. And you look down — there's the blue down there and the black up there. There is Mother Earth and comfort, and there is — is there death? I don't know. Is that death? Is that the way death is? It was so moving, this experience."

Bezos and Shatner hug after Shatner's spaceflight. Blue Origin

At 90, Shatner is the oldest person to fly to space.

Many astronauts who've seen Earth from space have described overwhelming feelings of awe, unity with the rest of humanity, and an appreciation for the fragility of our planet. Experts call this the "overview effect."

"I can't even begin to express — What I would love to do is to communicate as much as possible the jeopardy, the moment you see the vulnerability of everything. It's so small. This air which is keeping us alive is thinner than your skin. It's a sliver. It's immeasurably small when you think in terms of the universe. It's negligible, this air. Mars doesn't have it," he said. "It's so thin. To dirty it, I mean that's another whole — "

Bezos cut him off to note how quickly the spaceship rises above the atmosphere. "And then you're just in blackness," Bezos said.

"You're in death!" Shatner responded. "This is life, and that's death. And in an instant, you go, 'Oh, that's death!' That's what I saw."

You can watch Shatner share his reflections with Bezos in Blue Origin's flight broadcast below.

"Everybody in the world needs to do this," Shatner said. "Everybody in the world needs to see."

For you

NOW WATCH: Watch Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket go to space and land back on Earth

More:William ShatnerJeff BezosBlue OriginRocket Launch

  • Star Trek
  • Human Spaceflight
  • New Shepard


jrDiscussion - desc
Moose Knuckle
Freshman Participates
1  seeder  Moose Knuckle    5 days ago

I cried too, as a kid I watched Capt. Kirk conquer space and Alien women. He was my Idol!

Sophomore Participates
2  GregTx    5 days ago

Altitude induced flashback?

Professor Expert
3  Tacos!    5 days ago

I feel like Bezos doesn’t get it. Shatner was genuinely moved by his experience, and thought of the long term, global implications of what he had just experienced. Bezos seemed oblivious - more focused on just the business aspect.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @3    5 days ago

Good observation.

PhD Quiet
3.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Tacos! @3    5 days ago

Bezos only thinks dollars and cents. I doubt he is really capable of comprehending the emotional human element involved.

charger 383
Professor Quiet
4  charger 383    5 days ago

90 year old, William Shatner deserved this ride, I am happy he got to have it

Professor Principal
5  JohnRussell    5 days ago

They are going to commercialize space, and we will all rue the day. 

Greg Jones
PhD Expert
5.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @5    5 days ago

Always the optimist I see.

Professor Expert
5.2  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @5    4 days ago

It seems to me humans have commercialized every space. The commercialization of outer space is probably inevitable.

Professor Expert
6  Tacos!    4 days ago

I was really struck by some of the contrasts between NASA and private space exploration.

One thing I have to respect with the private efforts to go to space, is the move to land rockets and reuse them. NASA often just dumped those things in the ocean or let them burn up in the atmosphere. Maybe that’s the difference between using your own money and using taxpayer money.

On the other hand, I appreciate the transparency of NASA. When they had delays, we got all the details, and it wasn’t a problem. They actually liked to talk about their problems, how engineers are overcoming them, and we could all appreciate how brave the astronauts were in working with experimental technology and high risk situations. 

But yesterday, the Blue Horizon spokesperson wanted to ignore delays, and stressed how automatic and perfect everything was. It’s like they want to hide any imperfections to protect their stock price.


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