William Shatner trained for months ahead of his trip into space, but he said nothing could prepare him for the real thing. The 90-year-old actor became the oldest person ever in space when he blasted off aboard a Blue Origin rocket on Wednesday.
The former Star Trek star spent a little more than 10 minutes in space during the company’s most recent suborbital flight. Blue Origin Vice President Audrey Powers and entrepreneurs Dr. Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries joined Shatner on the flight. The latter two paid for the privilege.
Blue Origin released a video Thursday of the crew as they floated above the planet. The gravity of the moment left William Shatner speechless. He laughs as he looks down on Earth, unable to comprehend it all.
“Oh, Jesus,” he says with awe. “No description can equal this.”
“Everybody in the world needs to do this,” Shatner told the Amazon founder. “To see the blue color rip by — now you’re staring into blackness. It was so moving. This experience has been something unbelievable.”
William Shatner said the experience changed him. Astronauts call that the “overview effect.”
“I am so filled with emotion. It was extraordinary,” Shatner said moments after his return. “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.”
William Shatner Said Training Can’t Prepare You Space
William Shatner tried to sum up his trip on the TODAY show Thursday morning. He said the feeling of weightlessness is “indescribable.”
“We had a simulator, they simulate what they say you’re going to feel and it doesn’t come anywhere near it,” he told the TODAY hosts. “[They say] ‘Here you’re going to be in weightlessness and you’ve got to grab a hold of something, don’t push too hard with your hands, just use your fingertips because you’ll bounce off the ceiling…’ You can talk about weightlessness all you want but the feeling of weightlessness, the actual feeling of weightlessness is indescribable!”
As the rocket ripped through the atmosphere, Shatner said he worried his body wouldn’t be able to withstand the G-forces. The pressure pressed him into his seat and pulled at his skin, he said. Then, suddenly, it was gone and there was nothing. It’s an alien feeling, but one that was dwarfed by the view.
“First of all, your body doesn’t have any pressure, so suddenly your body is expanding,” Shatner said. “Secondly, you’re floating and I don’t want to turn somersaults, I don’t want to throw Skittles, I want to look out the window!”