Oldest Canadian launches into space

William Shatner gets emotional after historic Blue Origin flight: 'I hope I never recover'

He's certainly not the first person to visit space, but as of Wednesday, the "Star Trek" veteran is the oldest  At 90, the actor joined Blue Origin, founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000, for its second human spaceflight. Shatner and three others were launched in a New Shepard rocket from the aerospace company's West Texas launch site just before 11 a.m. EDT. 

The crew safely landed back on Earth several minutes later, when Shatner could be heard saying the experience was "unlike anything they described." All four passengers on board gave a thumbs up to the recovery crew upon landing to indicate they were OK. 

Bezos greeted the passengers with a double thumbs-up outside the landing capsule, followed by the passengers' family and friends, who cheered and applauded. 

"In a way it's indescribable," Shatner told Bezos. "Not only is it different than what you thought, it happened so quickly. The impression I had that I never expected to have is the shooting up: There's blue sky –" he paused as Bezos sprayed a bottle of champagne.

"Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see it," Shatner continued. "It was unbelievable. The little things – the weightless – but to see the blue color (of the sky) whip by you and now you're staring into blackness. … And then it's gone. It was so moving. This experience did something unbelievable. " 

An emotional Shatner reiterated to Bezos how in awe he was of what he saw and how it prompted him to consider life and death. 

"What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine," he told Bezos. "I hope I never recover from this."

Shatner, best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in the "Star Trek" franchise, said in a press release on Oct. 4 that he had "heard about space for a long time now" and was "taking the opportunity to see it for myself." 

But Shatner also admitted to being nervous to go to space. 

"I'm terrified!" he said during New York Comic Con last Thursday, "I know!…I'm Captain bloody Kirk and I'm terrified!" 

The launch had been scheduled for Tuesday but forecasted high winds prompted a delay to the following day. Blue Origin announced prior to the launch that it would last just 10 minutes, with the fully automated capsule reaching a maximum altitude of about 66 miles before parachuting back to earth.

Along with Shatner, the spaceflight passengers in Blue Origin's second human spaceflight included Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers, a former NASA engineer and tech entrepreneur Chris Boshuizen and the founder of a clinical trials software company Glen de Vries. The latter two passengers paid for tickets for the flight.

A statement on Blue Origin’s website added that New Shepard NS-18 met all mission requirements and the astronauts were prepared.

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