William Shatner played a space explorer in Star Trek for decades, but now it’s really going into space for real. On the morning of September 24, 2021, TMZ broke the news that one of the most iconic spacecraft captains on television will head to orbit on one of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spacecraft.
TMZ reported that Shatner will be aboard a Blue Origin ship for a short trip. The last space flight of Blue Origin it lasted approximately 11 minutes, of which only a few were spent in space. It looks like Shatner’s flight will be just as short.
Shatner’s thoughts on going into space
Shatner has been talking about going into space for quite some time. However, his feelings about undertaking such a momentous mission have not always been positive.
In 2013, the billionaire Richard Branson le dijo a The Daily Mail that Shatner had rejected his offer to go into space in one of his Virgin Galactic spacecraft. Branson claimed that Shatner told him he was afraid of flying.
However, Shatner told The Daily Mail a different story. He said Branson expected him to pay for space travel and was not willing to do so unless he had a “guarantee” that he would return to Earth. When Branson couldn’t give him that guarantee, Shatner refused.
The Daily Mail reported that Shatner had also expressed his resignation from space travel in the past. He indicated that he was very interested in space exploration, but not in doing it himself.
However, Shatner’s vision had already clearly changed in May 2020, when the SpaceX Dragon crew was preparing for launch. Shatner tweeted to NASA, saying that he would be happy to travel himself if any of the crew members couldn’t make the flight.
A few months later, Shatner hinted that he had plans to take a short trip to suborbital space. “There is a possibility that it will go up for a brief moment and come back down,” Shatner said.
However, he still expressed some concern about space flight. Shatner said that watching the Challenger explode in the 1980s really shook him to the core and scared him. NASA staff assured him that they have made significant changes since then and that safety is the organization’s top priority.
Shatner is skeptical of billionaires who travel into space
Even in July 2021, Shatner expressed that he had doubts about the multi-million dollar space race. In an interview with NBC News just a day after Bezos’ first launch, Shatner said he didn’t think space travel was that safe.
“If some speck of dust hits your spaceship, it punctures it and then you have to plug it up… If you basically have a flat tire in space, you will die. It seems to me that they are more likely to die there than on the Hollywood freeway. People think of it as a trip on a cruise line. You’re in zero gravity, it’s hotter than hell, and the air is rotten. ‘Help me, I’m dying, but I’m dying slowly! What a terrible fate!
However, he seems to have overcome those fears. We will keep an eye on your progress.