At 90, William Shatner, the actor of the series Star Trek, became the oldest astronaut in history on Wednesday. He came back upset by the experience.
A new record to beat. Canadian actor William Shatner, 90, best known for playing Captain Kirk in sci-fi series Star Trek , but also for his role as a murderous fallen actor in the detective soap opera Colombo, became on Wednesday October 13 the oldest man to have crossed the stratosphere. Nine minutes of flight, including three in space, with Chris Boshuizen, former NASA engineer, Glen de Vries, senior executive at Dassault Systèmes, and Audrey Powers, vice president in charge of flight operations at Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos.
Passengers of the Blue Origin capsule, which was on its second trip after transporting the founder of Amazon on July 20, the four teammates joined the very closed club of space tourists, to which, among others, the billionaire Dennis Tito, very first belongs. “Space tourist” in 2001. Sent 100 kilometers from Earth, the altitude where space begins, William Shatner shared his “emotion” with Jeff Bezos after he landed in West Texas. “What you gave me was the most profound experience I could imagine, he went into ecstasy before suppressing a sob. I am very emotional about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. Extraordinary.”
When you go through that blue layer and find yourself in the dark, that’s where something really happens. The blue envelope, this sheet, this blanket, this consoling blue that we have around us […] suddenly you slip through it, as if you were lifting a sheet while sleeping. And you dive into that darkness, into dark ugliness. You look down, there’s blue at the bottom and black at the top. There is Mother Earth, comfort, and there… Is it death? I do not know. Is this death?
William Shatner, getting off his flight
Caught in the arms by the billionaire, the actor expressed the wish of “never [se] recover from that ”. “I hope I can keep what I feel. I don’t want to lose this emotion.Before this outpouring, William Shatner tried to describe to his relatives, who came to welcome him, this experience of a few minutes: “When you go through that blue layer and find yourself in the dark, that’s where something really happens. The blue envelope, this sheet, this blanket, this consoling blue that we have around us […] suddenly you slip through it, as if you were lifting a sheet while sleeping. And you dive into that darkness, into dark ugliness. You look down, there’s blue at the bottom and black at the top. There is Mother Earth, comfort, and there… Is it death? I do not know. Is this death? Does she look like this? […] It was so moving. This experience is something unforgettable. ”
Before the actor, the record for the oldest person to travel in space was held by former astronaut Wally Funk. At 82, she was part of Jeff Bezos’ team when Blue Origin first launched. If these particular stories are good to tell, these takeoffs come in the context of a battle for influence waged by private aerospace companies. This competition has seen an acceleration in its media coverage since July 2021 when, in quick succession, the founder of the company Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos themselves carried out the futuristic expedition.
This nice communication move is also a snub from the now ex-CEO of Amazon to detractors of space tourism. In an interview with the BCC, Prince William himself was vehement, the day after the landing of the team, vis-à-vis the conquering initiatives of “Some of the greatest brains and minds in this world”. As the big climate conference (COP26) is due to be held in Glasgow from October 31, Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson called for focus “first of all” on ecological peril, rather than“Try to find the next place to go to live”.