‘Star Trek’ fame William Shatner, who, at 90, has become the world’s oldest astronaut so far, broke down in tears as he came back from his space trip and said that it was “extraordinary”.
Shatner has broken the record of aviation pioneer Wally Funk, who, at 83, became the oldest person to have ever flown to space. The booster and capsule of the fully automated and reusable New Shepard rocket landed separately, with the capsule landing in the west Texas desert with the help of parachutes within minutes of their launch to space.
Speaking to Amazon founder and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos after the flight, he said: “I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary, extraordinary.
“I hope I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it. It’s so much larger than me and life.”
Shatner added that it was the most “profound experience I can imagine.”
The ‘Star Trek’ actor hailed the trip as a “life-changing” moment.
He said in a livestream video of the event: “It’s life-changing in its way, not because of the aerial adventure, but because of the people I’m meeting.
“We’re just at the beginning, but how miraculous that beginning is — how extraordinary it is to be part of that beginning.”
The crew made it up to an altitude of around 66 miles on the suborbital flight, and felt weightlessness.
But just a matter of minutes later, they began their descent and their capsule headed back down to Earth. The crew touched down in the desert at a speed of around 15mph.
It was later confirmed the astronauts were all OK following the flight, and a recovery team was sent in to get them out of the capsule.
Jeff opened the hatch first so they could disembark, and the billionaire shouted: “Welcome to Earth!”