For many, Star Trek is what awakened their imagination and made them think about how space travel might evolve and change society in the future. After all, the original show aired only a few years after Alan Shepard became the first American in space and America was gearing up for the first moon landing. Now William Shatner, the actor who portrayed Captain James Tiberius Kirk has traveled to space in real life.
On October 13, Shatner boarded Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft and made a suborbital flight. In spite of playing a space explorer for half a century, the ten-minute experience left Shatner lost for words.
"Everybody in the world needs to do this", a tear filled Shatner said upon his return, later adding "What you have given me is the most profound experience. I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. I hope I never recover from this. I hope I can retain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it".
Beyond his celebrity status, Shatner's flight is noteworthy as he, being 90 years old, became the oldest person to travel to space, a title previously held by another Blue Origin passenger, Wally Funk. This was the second commercial Blue Origin flight.