William Shatner, the actor famous for playing Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek TV series and subsequent films, blasted off into space today! In doing so, he became the oldest person to ever go into space.
Not quite a five-year-mission, the trip lasted about ten minutes, during which the craft – a Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule – made it 100 km (about 62 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
That particular height is known as the Kármán line, a widely recognized international definition of space. That’s because roughly 100 km above sea level, the atmosphere becomes too thin for airplanes to fly normally.
Quick as the trip may have been, it was impactful for those aboard. They briefly experienced weightlessness and got to see the Earth’s curvature through large windows.
“Everybody in the world needs to do this,” Shatner said, speaking on camera to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin. “Everybody in the world needs to see it.
“I hope I never recover from this. 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.”
The trip marks another step forward for the emerging space tourism industry. Hopefully the day will come soon when all of us have the opportunity to have this experience! In the meantime, at least we have the next best thing – soaring through space in LSC’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the biggest planetarium in America!