The 90 year-old actor, known for his iconic portrayal of Captain Kirk on Star Trek, has been pondering his real-life space flight for over a year.
“My friend Jason Erhlick came to me about a year and a half ago and he said he was seeing these rockets with people going into space. And, wouldn’t it be something if Captain Kirk went up there?” Shatner recalled during an appearance at New York Conic-Con (as reported by Deadline). “And I said, ‘Jason, for God’s sake, man. Nobody cares if Captain Kirk goes to space. It was 55 years ago, man. But I’m doing well, maybe I should go up to space?”
The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the process down, but Shatner eventually had real conversations about a potential flight into space. On Monday (Oct. 4) Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Jeff Bezos, announced that the actor will be part of their next crew.
“I’m terrified. I’m Captain Kirk and I’m terrified,” Shatner admitted. “I’m not really terrified—yes I am. It comes and goes like a summer cold. I’m planning on putting my nose against the window [once I’m in space] and my only hope is I won’t see someone else looking back.”
Assuming the flight comes to fruition, Shatner will be the oldest man to travel into space. The actor said he’s not thrilled about setting the record.
“I don’t want to be the oldest guy to go into space,” he jokingly admitted to the Comic Con crowd.
Shatner further revealed that while preparing for his flight, he can’t help but think about the 1986 Challenger crash. The people in charge of Blue Origin have repeatedly told him everything “should” be fine.
“And I’m thinking, I’m going up in a rocket and our best guess is it should be fine?”
Shatner’s space voyage is scheduled to launch on October 12.
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