William Shatner became the oldest person ever to reach the edge of space on Wednesday, when the 90-year-old “Star Trek” star and three others blasted off on Blue Origin’s New Shepard 4 for the commercial spaceflight company’s second human flight.
The voyage was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but high winds near the launch site in Van Horn, Texas, prompted Blue Origin to push it back a day.
Who flew with Shatner?
Shatner was joined by three other passengers: Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations; Glen de Vries, a co-founder of the medical research platform Medidata Solutions; and Chris Boshuizen, a NASA researcher turned tech entrepreneur.
Boshuizen and de Vries paid for their tickets, which reportedly cost more than $250,000 each. Shatner was invited by Amazon executive chairman Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Blue Origin, who participated in the company’s first launch with passengers in July.
Bezos drove the crew to the launchpad and greeted them upon their return to Earth.
How high did they go?
Like Blue Origin’s inaugural trip, Wednesday’s suborbital mission took the crew just past the so-called Kármán line (62 miles above Earth, which is recognized by some international aviation and aerospace experts as the threshold of space), reaching an altitude of 351,185 feet.
The crew experienced a few minutes of weightlessness before their return to Earth. The flight lasted just over 10 minutes.
How did Shatner feel?
After stepping our of the capsule, Shatner became very emotional while describing the sensation of being launched to the edge of space.
"Everybody in the world needs to do that once," Shatner said. "It was so moving to me."
Shatner said he was in awe of blue and black colors he saw from his window seat.
He thanked Bezos, saying, "What you have given me is the most profound experience. I'm just so filled with emotion from what just happened."
"I hope I never recover from this," Shatner added. "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."
The Yahoo Immersive Team re-created the inside of the Blue Origin capsule and what the crew might have seen during their time in space.
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