William Shatner says space trip filled him with sadness, climate anxiety

William Shatner predicted that going to space in October 2021 would bring “ultimate catharsis,” a sense of connection between all living things. Instead, staring into the “vicious coldness of the universe”, he found himself confused when the Blue Origin spacecraft landed and returned to Earth.

Touching the ground, Shatner cried, but didn’t know why.

“Everyone was waving champagne bottles, quite an accomplishment. And I didn’t feel that way at all. I wasn’t celebrating. I was waving my fists at the gods.” ” Shatner told The Washington Post.

It took Shatner hours to realize what he was going through. “It’s a great sadness for the planet.” The actor, now 91, has been involved in environmental issues for years. However, he said his boarding of the spaceship Blue on October 13, making him the oldest human to visit space, gave the task a new urgency. rice field. Juxtaposing that “cold, dark, black emptiness” with “the warm nurturing of the earth below” plunged him into deep despair, and he realized something.

“I realized that beauty is not out there, but here with us all. Leaving it behind made us even more connected to our little planet,” he said. I am writing an excerpt from my new book.Boldly Go: Reflections on a life full of awe and wonderpublished Thursday variety.

Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, William Shatner, flew into space and returned, increasing the number of civilian astronauts this year

For three seasons in the mid-to-late 1960s, Shatner brought the final frontier of space to American homes.Star Trek: Original SeriesIt was around the time he was playing the fictional commander of the USS Enterprise that Shatner read Rachel Carson’s influential ecological text Silent Spring. he explained last year as a sight to behold.

“I read it and started crying about global warming,” he said. “But no one took it seriously.”

Yet Shatner continued to scream about the environment. He appeared in his 1986 film Star Trek IV: Voyage Home. In it, his crew travels back in time to save the then endangered humpback whale. It threatens to destroy the earth.the movie is Inspired by Greenpeacewhose donations increased after the blockbuster’s release, responded to the film as “subtly reinforcing why Greenpeace exists.”

in 2009, Shatner reprimanded Hewlett-Packard for failing to keep its promise to build a “non-toxic” computer.When he has consistently warned Overpopulation and climate change are threats to human survival.

After decades of playing the captain of a fictional spaceship, Shatner finally got his chance to step onto the final frontier. In August 2021, two months before his commercial flight, Shatner said he wanted to go to space to look back on the “blue sphere,” and that “a very enterprising and entrepreneurial friend” once said I hinted that I was looking for a way to get Shatner on board. civilian flight.

Two months later, billionaire Jeff Bezos-owned space company Blue Origin announced Shatner and three other passengers fly into space on the second manned spaceflight mission. News In his release, Shatner said it was a “miracle” to be able to see the universe with his own eyes. (Bezos also owns The Post.)

the day before take-off, Shatner was excited for his impending trip to space. In one video clip he joked about jumping out of a spaceship capsule. I said I didn’t want to.

Then came launch day, and at 9:49 am Central time, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket (named after Alan Shepard, the first American to go into space) took off. Shatner’s flight lasted just over 10 minutes of his flight, and he rose to a height of about 66 miles, four miles beyond one of the boundaries commonly thought of as the edge of the universe. During the flight, the crew could see the earth below and a dark abyss on the other side, experiencing weightlessness for several minutes. Despite enduring the discomfort of weightlessness and the “ominous blackness” of space, Shatner said he looked out the window fascinated by the color and curvature of the earth below him.

Then they got off. As Blue Origin celebrated a successful mission, their capsule was slowed down by a parachute and landed in the desert near Van Horn, Texas. Shortly after the space flight, Shatner thanked Bezos for giving him “the most profound experience I could imagine.”

“I’m so full of emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary,” said Shatner. “I hope I don’t recover from this. I hope I can keep the way I feel. I don’t want to lose it.”

William Shatner, 90, continues to search for that next personal frontier

He didn’t, he told the Post on Sunday. But he handled it over the hours, days and months that followed. He described the experience as a “clear call” to stop climate change. Shatner said the devastating effects are already starting to appear, citing Hurricane Ian recently ravaging the Florida Gulf Coast and causing heavy rains in Pakistan. Such seismic forces have the power to exterminate animal and plant species, sometimes disappearing without humans even knowing they exist.

“I know that as time goes by, things that took five billion years to emerge are becoming extinct,” Shatner told the Post. “We’ll never know them.”

Referring to efforts to build atomic bombs during World War II, he called out:manhattan project A brain trust responsible for removing carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

“There is no time for war,” he told the Post, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “It will only cause extinction, including humanity.”

Shatner then contrasted his expectations for flight with what happened a year ago when he was free-floating at about 350,000 feet above Earth. He described his experience in excerpts from the book.

“It filled me with fear,” he wrote. “My space trip was supposed to be a celebration. Instead, it felt like a funeral.

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