Skip To Content

    William Shatner — AKA Captain Kirk — Actually Went To Space This Morning, And He Was Incredibly Emotional About It

    Where no 90-year-old-former-spaceship-captain-actor has gone before...🚀

    Twenty-seven years after his final mission as Captain Kirk, Star Trek actor William Shatner broke past Earth's atmosphere today to visit the edge of space.

    William Shatner with his arm in the air, standing next to two members of the crew that traveled with him
    Mario Tama / Getty Images

    The actor traveled almost 350,000 feet above ground level, alongside Audrey Powers, Blue Origin's VP of mission and flight operations, and two paying customers: Glen de Vries and Chris Boshuizen.

    The four crew members standing on the landing pad after their flight
    Mario Tama / Getty Images

    Though the flight was about just 10 minutes long, Shatner called the experience one of "the most profound" in his life.

    Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos is a longtime fan of Star Trek, and offered the actor a spot on Blue Origin's fully autonomous rocket, New Shepard.

    Bezos explaining features of the spacecraft to Shatner prior to today's launch
    Blue Origin / Via

    When Blue Origin officially announced that Shatner would be an astronaut on its second human flight, the actor said he was excited to witness the great unknown for himself: "I've heard about space for a long time now. I'm taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle."

    Upon landing, Shatner was left almost speechless: "I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. I hope I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it," he expressed. "It's so much larger than me and life."

    An emotional Shatner covering up his face with his hands while he reflects on his experience
    NBC News / Via

    Shatner went on to describe how leaving Earth made him think about life versus death. "To see the blue color whip by you, and now you're staring into blackness, that's the thing... There is Mother and Earth and comfort and there is…is there death?"

    Shatner had always been interested in the possibility of visiting space, which is what made this opportunity so special to him: "There is an adventure in my life that I would not have had, had I not done this."

    People looking up from Earth at New Shepard which launched into the sky
    Mario Tama / Getty Images

    Even before his flight, Shatner knew he would be amazed by seeing Earth from up above. "I want to look at that orb and appreciate its beauty and its tenacity," he explained.

    The 90-year-old actor became the oldest person in history to cross into the final frontier. Wally Funk, who traveled on Blue Origin's first human flight, previously held the record at 82 years old.

    Blue Origin's first human flight crew: Oliver Daemen, Jeff Bezos, Wally Funk and Mark Bezos
    Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    Funk was joined by Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, and Oliver Daemen — the youngest person to travel to space — in July.

    The original Star Trek series, which Shatner starred in, inspired research and new technology for real-life space exploration.

    Captain Kirk giving a speech in an episode of Star Trek
    NBC / Via

    In addition to exploring outer space, fighting evil, and learning about new beings, Star Trek also tackled topics our society had yet to examine at the time, like interracial relationships and equality.

    William Shatner can now officially say he has boldly gone where *most* of man has not gone before...

    Shatner as Capt. Kirk on the left and Shatner after landing on the right
    NBC (L), Mario Tama / Getty Images (R)

    You can watch Shatner's full post-flight statement here:

    View this video on YouTube

    CNN / Via

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form