Lift off! William Shatner soars into orbit on Blue Origin rocket

13 October 2021, 15:50 | Updated: 13 October 2021, 16:35

By Sophie Barnett

Star Trek actor William Shatner has become the oldest person to go into space, travelling from Texas on Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket.

The 90-year-old blasted off on the Blue Origin shortly after 3.45pm (BST) - after the launch was delayed by 15 minutes.

The actor, who played Captain James T Kirk in the Star Trek films and TV series, said he "hopes he never recovers" from the experience.

He told reporters after landing safely back on earth: "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.

"It was so moving to me. This experience is something unbelievable."

The capsule - owned by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos - launched from a Texas spaceport and the trip lasted about 10 minutes.

Mr Shatner was joined on the flight by Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin vice president; Chris Boshuizen, who co-founded the Earth-imaging satellite company Planet; and Glen de Vries, an executive with the French healthcare software corporation Dassault Systèmes.

Mr Bezos' space travel company, Blue Origin, invited Shatner on the brief jaunt to the fringes of the final frontier, which will make him the oldest person in space.

It was Blue Origin's second passenger flight, using the same capsule and rocket that Mr Bezos used for his own launch three months ago.

The rocket and capsule system, known as New Shepard, is fully automatic.

According to a live stream of the historic event, Shatner and his fellow passengers reached an altitude of roughly 350,000ft and a velocity of about 2,000mph.

The trip lasted just 10 minutes, with the fully automated capsule reaching a maximum altitude of about 66 miles before parachuting back into the desert.

Mr Shatner and the rest of the crew landed safely back on earth shortly after 4pm (BST).