William Shatner had a profoundly emotional response to his journey into outer space after beaming back down to earth on Wednesday.
“I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary, extraordinary,” the actor best known for playing Captain Kirk told the crew at Texas’ Launch Site One. “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.”
He then embraced Jeff Bezos, owner of the Blue Origin space shuttle, who was there to greet him. “What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine,” Shatner said.
Shatner teared up recounting the experience of spending 10 minutes and 17 seconds in space. According to Blue Origins’ Twitter account, the capsule reached nearly 350,000 feet and traveled at a maximum velocity of 2,235 mph. The mission marks the company’s “19th consecutive successful crew capsule landing (every flight in the program, including a pad escape test in 2012).”
Though multiple delays to liftoff made Shatner “a little nervous,” the actor had nothing but awestruck and joyful words when he returned.
“Everybody in the world needs to do this,” he said to Bezos. “It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men and the blue orb. It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.”
Onlookers were similarly moved by Shatner’s emotional response. Fox News’ Howard Kurtz wrote on Twitter that “Watching William Shatner overcome by raw emotion after space flight as he described leaving Earth’s atmosphere for the blackness of space was riveting. Well done, Captain.”
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