“What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine.”
Those were the words of William Shatner moments after returning to Earth from a journey just beyond the edge of space during an emotional conversation with Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
The Canadian actor, who played the famous Capt. Kirk starred in the original “Star Trek” television series, adding that the spaceflight was “incredible” and something “everyone in the world should do”.
“It was so touching for me,” Shatner said.
Bezos’ company Wednesday launched Shatner and three others in a New Shepard rocket, with the crew spending a few minutes in microgravity on the journey to space and back.
Read the full transcript of what Shatner Bezos said below or watch the video above.
Shatner: “Everyone in the world has to do this. Everyone in the world has to see… it was unbelievable.”
Shatner: I mean, the little things, the weightlessness, and to see the blue color flash by and now you’re staring into the black. That’s the thing. This covering of blue is this sheet, this blanket, this blue quilt around it that we have around us We think ‘oh, that’s blue sky’ and all of a sudden you shoot through it, like you pull a sheet off you when you sleep, and you look in blackness – in black ugliness And you look down “There’s the blue down there, and the black up there, and there’s Mother Earth and comfort and — is there death? Is that the way death is?”
Shatner: “It was so moving for me. This experience; it was something incredible. Yes, weightlessness, my stomach went out, this was so weird, but not as weird as the covering of blue – this is what I never expected It’s one thing to say “oh the sky…and it’s fragile”, it’s all true But what’s not true, what’s unknown, until you do [go to space] is this pillow, there is this soft blue. Look at the beauty of that color. And it’s so thin and you can get through it in the blink of an eye. How thick is it? Is it a mile?”
Bezos: “The atmosphere, it depends on how you measure because how it gets thinner, maybe 50 miles.”
Shatner: “So you’re through 50 miles… suddenly you’re through the blue and you’re in black… it’s mysterious and galaxies and stuff, but what you see is black, and what you see down there is light, and that’s the difference.”
Shatner: “And not to have this? You’ve done something… what you’ve given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I’m so full of emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this I hope I can keep what I feel now I don’t want to lose it It’s so much bigger than me and life it has nothing to do with the little green-blue orb It has to do with the sheer size and speed and suddenness of life and death. Oh my god, it’s unbelievable.”
Bezos: “It’s so beautiful.”
Shatner: “Beautiful, yes, beautiful in its way, but.”
Bezos: “No, I mean your words. It’s just great.”
Shatner: “I can’t even begin to express… what I’d like to do is communicate as much as possible is the danger. The moment you see the fragility of everything; it’s so small. This air that keeps us alive , is thinner than your skin. It’s a splinter; it’s immeasurably small when you think in terms of the universe. It’s negligible, this sky. Mars has nothing, nothing. I mean, when you think of when carbon dioxide turns into oxygen and what is 20% that sustains our lives? It’s so thin.”
Bezos: “And you shoot through it so fast.”
Shatner: “So fast! 50 miles.”
Bezos: “And then you’re just in the black.”
Shatner: “You are in death.”
Bezos: “This is life.”
Shatner: “And that’s death. Right now this is life and that’s death. And in the blink of an eye you go ‘wow, that’s death’. That’s what I saw.”
Bezos: That’s great.”
Shatner: “I’m overwhelmed. I had no idea. You know, we talked before we went, ‘Well, you know, it’s going to be different.’ “Whatever that expression you have, that you have a different view of things? That doesn’t begin to explain, to describe it to me.”
Shatner: “Now this is the commercial. It would be so important for everyone to have that experience, one way or another – maybe you put it on 3D and wear glasses to have that experience, that’s definitely a technical possibility.
Shatner: “We were laying there, and I think – one delay after another delay and we’re lying there – and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m a little nervous here.’ And they moved the page and ‘oh, there’s something in the engine,’ they said, ‘We found an abnormality in the engine… we’ll hold on a little longer.’ And I feel this, in the stomach, the biome inside, and I think ‘okay, I think I’m a little nervous here’ and then another delay. Besides, the simulation … it’s just a simulation, all the other is much more involved.”
Bezos: “Can’t capture it.”
Shatner: “Don’t catch it…and besides, with the danger, BANG hits this thing. That wasn’t anything like the simulation.”
Bezos: “It’s the G-forces!”
Shatner: “It’s the G-forces. And you think ‘what’s going to happen to me? Can I survive the G-forces?’ Can you feel that? Will I survive? Good lord, just fucking get up? [launch tower] portal was enough. Oh my god, what an experience.”
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