Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin charges the most for space trips, but some customers may feel “overwhelming sadness” during the journey. That’s how William Shatner described the feeling of his trip out of Earth’s atmosphere last year, which he made thanks to an invitation from Amazon founder.
The Star Trek alum describes the experience in his new book Go bold: Reflect on life full of wonder and wonderan excerpt in it Diversity published this week.
Shatner, who looks like Captain James T. Kirk, writes: “I love the mystery of the universe… The stars exploded years ago, their light reaching us years later; black holes absorb energy; satellites show us entire galaxies in regions believed to be completely devoid of matter… all of which has amazed me for many years. ”
But it seems he was caught off guard by his own reaction to the “terrible cold of space” surrounding the planet’s “nourishing, life-sustaining” planet.
“When I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there was no mystery, no intimidating grandeur… all I saw was death,” he wrote. “I saw an emptiness, dark, cold. It is unlike any black you can see or feel on Earth. It is deep, all-encompassing, all-encompassing.”
He also feels sad, he wrote, for the damage being done to the planet:
“Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of the deeper destruction of the Earth at our fingertips: the extinction of species of animals, plants and animals…things that have taken 5 billion years. to grow, and suddenly we’ll never see them again because of human interference. It scared me terribly. My trip into space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it’s like a funeral.”
The privately owned Blue Origin, founded in 2000 and funded by Bezos, has brought dozens of paying customers door-to-door. Its New Shepard rocket system takes passengers 62 miles above the planet, where they experience microgravity before the bullet returns to land by parachute.
How much does the customer have to pay? very differentwith some celebrities — including Shatner and former NFL star Michael Strahan — being offered free flights while others spend more than $20 million.
Bezos himself is one of the first passengers in 2021, when he joins others for the first crewed launch.
The journey is not without risks. Last month, a new Shepard turbocharged engine flared up during the ascent, make a rocket fall in the Texas desert. The capsule, in that case without a crew, successfully ejected from the rocket and parachuted back to safety.
Shatner, 90 years old at the time of his trip, was well aware of the risks. He wrote:
“The ground staff kept reassuring us along the way. ‘Everything’s gonna Be Alright. Don’t worry about anything. It’s okay. ‘ Sure, they’re easy to say, I think. They can stay here on the ground… When the day finally came, I couldn’t get Hindenburg out of my head. It’s not enough to cancel, of course — I consider myself a pro, and I’m already booked. The show had to go on. “
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