Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner is headed into space next week on October 13, 2021. Though Shatner has said that he’s very excited about the trip, he’s also “terrified,” as he told the audience at New York Comic Con on Thursday, October 7.
During his exclusive panel, Shatner shared the whole story of how he talked his way onto a Blue Origin spaceship and revealed why he’s so scared about his upcoming trip.
Shatner Didn’t Think Anyone Would Care About Kirk Going to Space
Shatner told the audience at the Main Stage of New York City’s Javits Center that going into space wasn’t even his idea. About a year and a half ago, a friend of his mentioned civilian space flights. His friend commented about how cool it would be if Captain Kirk actually went to space.
Shatner said that he responded by telling his friend that “Star Trek” had ended over fifty years ago and that he didn’t think anyone would care about Captain Kirk going to space for real. He admitted that since the news about his spaceflight leaked, he’s come to understand just how much people really do care about Captain Kirk going to space.
Shatner Thought he Was Going on the First Flight
Shatner revealed that he talked to a few companies about taking a civilian spaceflight and Blue Origin was the one that jumped at the offer. He said that he and Jeff Bezos, the head of Blue Origin, talked about making a documentary about the first civilian suborbital space flight. Shatner said that Bezos liked the idea. So, Shatner assumed that he’d be on call for the first space flight.
Then the pandemic happened and all their plans got delayed.
When Bezos announced that he’d be sending his first Blue Origin ship to space with civilians on board in the summer of 2021, Shatner said he waited to get a call from the Amazon billionaire. But the call didn’t come.
Then Bezos announced that he would be going on the first spaceflight himself. Shatner told the crowd that he was excited because he would be going to space with Bezos on the very first trip. However, he still didn’t get the call.
As Blue Origin continued to announce the names of the people who’d be going on that first flight, Shatner said that he accepted he wasn’t getting in on the first flight.
Shatner continued, saying that he finally got the call from Blue Origin when the company began planning its second civilian space flight. They worked out all the details, and now he’s headed to space in just over a week!
Shatner Says He’s ‘Fine’ & ‘Terrified’
Shatner told the audience that he spent two days last week in the middle of the desert in Texas, at the launch site for the Blue Origin ship he’ll be on. During the two days there, he spent a lot of time with the team behind the spaceflight, and he kept hearing one unsettling phrase.
“The phrase they use a lot of is ‘our best guess is that…’ I’m going up in a rocket and our best guess is it should be fine!” Shatner remarked as the crowd laughed.
He recalled how he felt watching the infamous Challenger launch in 1986. Shatner continued, saying that he’s always been interested in going to space, but he’s always been scared because of what happened to the Challenger. Now that he’s actually going to space, Shatner said he’s constantly bouncing back and forth between being fine and being “terrified.”
“There’s a little… fire of terror,” Shatner said. “I’m terrified. I’m Captain Kirk and I’m terrified to go to space… it comes and goes like a summer cold. I’m fine. I’m terrified.”
Regardless of how he feels, he is, in fact, going into space. Shatner said he plans to press his face against the window of the ship and stare into the expanse of space until he has to come back to Earth.
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