William Shatner, 90, Becomes Oldest Person to Enter Space

By Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
October 13, 2021 Updated: October 14, 2021

Star Trek hero William Shatner became the world’s oldest person to travel to space on Wednesday as he reached the “final frontier” alongside a crew from Blue Origin.

The four-person team launched from remote Van Horn, Texas, on board the Jeff Bezos-funded spacecraft. The brief flight allowed the Hollywood science fiction star to make his lifelong dream of flying to space a reality.

Known as Captain James T. Kirk to millions of Star Trek fans, many supporters watched the live feed of the space mission as the shuttle reached the fringe of space before landing via a capsule parachute.

“At Blue Origin, we are motivated by the dreamers that inspire us and the builders who turn those dreams into reality. Today’s crew represented both dreamers and builders. We had the honor of flying our very own Audrey Powers, Vice President of New Shepard Operations, who fulfilled a lifelong dream to go to space and has been an integral part of building New Shepard.

“Our two customers, Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, have built their own successful ventures and have now realized their own dreams of space travel. And, as everyone knows, William Shatner has played an important role in describing and imagining the wonders of universe and inspired many of us to pursue a career in the space industry,” Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said in a statement following the successful flight.

“This flight was another step forward in flying astronauts safely and often. It’s an incredible team and we are just getting started,” Smith added.

The space flight was initially scheduled for Tuesday. The schedule was changed to Wednesday following weather concerns.

Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers, Glen de Vries
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches, carrying passengers William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen, Audrey Powers, and Glen de Vries from its spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, on Oct. 13, 2021. (LM Otero/AP Photo)

“I’ve heard about space for a long time now. I’m taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle,” Shatner said in a statement prior to the flight.

“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,” Shatner said following the flight.

“It was so moving. This experience did something unbelievable,” he said in an emotional video.

Shatner also shared about his experience in a Twitter post following the space flight.

“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, diverting myself in now & then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me,” he said.

Blue Origin has additional plans to expand space tourism in the days ahead. The company’s website includes the opportunity to explore options to join future flights.

Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs