The Star Trek alum, 90, became the oldest person to ever to reach the edge of space — the Kármán line, which is 62 miles above Earth — on Wednesday when he traveled on Blue Origin’s New Shepard 4 for the 10-minute commercial flight.
Shatner was emotional after he landed, saying, “Everybody in the world needs to do this… It was so moving.”
Shatner teared up telling Amazon/Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos, “What you have given me is the most profound experience. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. Extraordinary.”
He continued, “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.”
After a short delay, the rocket took off at 10:50 a.m. ET. The crew landed at about 11, giving the thumbs up that they were all OK.
“So exciting to have sent Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, to space,” said Ariane Cornell, the host of the official Blue Origin livestream.
Shatner was on board with Blue Origin’s VP of mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers, and two paying customers: Glen de Vries, a co-founder of the medical research platform Medidata Solutions, and Chris Boshuizen, a NASA researcher turned tech entrepreneur.
While Shatner was a guest of Bezos, de Vries and Boshuizen reportedly paid $250,000 each.
Bezos was on hand, driving the crew to the launch spot and walking with them to the New Shepard’s door. When the capsule landed after the flight, Bezos opened the door and helped the four passengers out.
He later pinned Shatner and the crew, telling them, “Welcome to a very small club.” Shatner’s pin was initially bent, leading the quick-witted star to quip, “So am I.”
The Yahoo Immersive Team has recreated the inside of the Blue Origin capsule and what the crew might see during their time in space.
Of course, it’s extra meaningful that Shatner made the trip considering he originated the role of Captain James T. Kirk for the Star Trek TV series in 1966. It went on to be a massively successful franchise with Shatner appearing in seven Star Trek movies, including Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which he directed.
The catchphrase “Beam me up, Scotty” came from Shatner’s Star Trek role (though he didn’t actually ever say it on the show), and the actor started each episode talking about starship Enterprise’s mission “to boldly go where no man has gone before!”
The daughter of Shatner’s late co-star Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, wished Shatner luck, adding, “My dad would’ve loved to join you!”
And Brent Spiner, who played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, sent his congratulations.
Social media was otherwise abuzz over Shatner’s mission — with lots of Capt. Kirk love:
Shatner’s mission was announced on Oct. 4. Before he blasted off, he told NBC News he was most excited “to see the vastness of space and the extraordinary miracle of our Earth and how fragile it is compared to the forces at work in the universe.”
Shatner’s big flight, which lifted off from Launch Site One in Van Horn, Texas, was initially supposed to take off Tuesday but was delayed a day due to high wind.
This trip follows Blue Origin’s successful first human flight on July 20, which took billionaire Bezos to space, alongside his brother and two others.