Star Trek actor William Shatner might have spent a lifetime as a fictional astronaut, but he's finding himself having to muster as much Captain James T. Kirk courage as he can to commit to his latest mission courtesy of Amazon conglomerate Jeff Bezos. Prior to his planned flight via Blue Origin Spaceflight on October 12 (making him the oldest man in space), the 90-year old Canadian opened up about how his latest adventure came about at a New York Comic Con panel and his feelings leading up to the journey.
"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," Shatner recalled. "And, wouldn't it be something if Captain Kirk went up there?" the Star Trek star said. "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?" Talks resumed a year later due to delays from COVID and the journey became serious.
"I don't want to be the oldest guy to go into space," Shatner told the crowd. The actor recalled the 1986 Challenger tragedy that claimed the lives of all onboard while discussing his trip to Texas in preparation for his space flight. He was reassured that everything was going to be fine despite his doubts. "And I'm thinking, I'm going up in a rocket and our best guess is it should be fine?" he continued. "I'm terrified. I'm Captain Kirk and I'm terrified. 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." (via Deadline Hollywood)