Star Trek's William Shatner becomes oldest person in space after blasting off in Jeff Bezos' rocket

ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore reports on Shatner's record-breaking foray into space

Star Trek actor William Shatner has become the oldest person in space after blasting off from the Texas desert on board Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket.

Best known for his role as Captain Kirk, 90-year-old Shatner joined three other passengers for the launch from West Texas.

The trip, which lasted around 10 minutes, reached a maximum altitude of around 66 miles and gave the crew a brief experience of zero-gravity - enough to make Shatner the oldest person ever in space.

The actor, who became emotional while speaking to Bezos after the trip, said: “Everyone in the world needs to do this.”

Shatner said he was shocked by the difference in the blue sky of Earth and the vast blackness of space, adding: “It was so moving to me. This experience has been unbelievable.”

'I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened'

He appeared stunned in his conversation with Bezos, admitting he was taken aback by how quickly he reached space.

“In a way it’s indescribable,” he said.

Shatner added it was “the most profound experience I can imagine.”

He said: “I am so filled with emotion about what just happened, it’s extraordinary. Extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this. I hope I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it. It’s so much larger than me.”

Further trying to explain the experience to Bezos, Shatner said: “It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.”

Observers watch on at the launch. Credit: AP

After the short trip, the capsule fell back to Earth with the aid of a parachute.

Shatner and his crewmates, dressed in their striking blue flight suits, rang a silver bell before being strapped into the capsule, with Mr Bezos closing the door behind them.

They were not required to wear helmets, with Blue Origin saying it wanted its passengers to have an unencumbered view of space.

How did Shatner get here?

Bezos’ space travel company, Blue Origin, invited Shatner on the brief jaunt to the fringes of the final frontier.

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

The capsule parachuted back down to Earth. Credit: AP

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson kicked off the space tourism boom on July 11, riding his own rocket to space.

Bezos followed nine days later aboard his own capsule.

Elon Musk stayed behind as his SpaceX company launched its first private flight last month, sending a billionaire, cancer survivor and two ticket winners into orbit.

Who else is on the flight?

Rounding out the crew: a Blue Origin vice president and two entrepreneurs who bid unsuccessfully for a seat on the previous flight with Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

Blue Origin did not reveal their ticket prices.

Bezos was at the expansive launch and landing site near Van Horn, Texas, to see the four off.

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