William Shatner Flies to Space, Becoming the Oldest Person to Ever Leave Earth: 'Life-Changing'

The Star Trek icon, 90, is traveling to space aboard Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin New Shepard vehicle

William Shatner is a real-life Captain Kirk now!

The Star Trek alum made history on Wednesday, becoming the oldest person to travel to space.

The Emmy Award-winning actor, 90, set off for the adventure of a lifetime thanks to Jeff Bezos' aerospace company Blue Origin.

Taking off from Launch Site One in West Texas around 10:50 a.m. ET, Shatner was one of four crew members aboard the New Shepard rocket for the NS-18 mission.

"That was unlike anything they described," Shatner said as the capsule descended to Earth thanks to a giant parachute minutes later.

William Shatner's trip to space aboard Blue Origin's Rocket
Audrey Powers, William Shatner and Glen de Vries. CNET Highlights

"That's unlike anything I've ever [experienced]," he added.

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Joining the star were Audrey Powers, Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations, as well as crew members Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.

William Shatner's trip to space aboard Blue Origin's Rocket
(L-R) William Shatner, Jeff Bezos. CNET Highlights

"It's life-changing in its way, not because of the aerial adventure, but because of the people I'm meeting," Shatner said in a video that aired during Blue Origin's livestream.

Speaking of the joy that space travel can bring, Shatner added, "We're just at the beginning, but how miraculous that beginning is — how extraordinary it is to be part of that beginning."

The crew was all smiles as they hitched a ride to the launch site from Bezos, who wore his own flight suit while driving a Rivian electric pickup truck.

William Shatner's trip to space aboard Blue Origin's Rocket
Blue Origin launch. CNET Highlights

Bezos joined the crew on the launch pad before Shatner, Powers, Boshuizen and de Vries entered the space vehicle and made final preparations for takeoff. The Amazon billionaire took the honors of closing the hatch.

Bezos revealed on Instagram that Shatner is taking along a special possession for him.

"I made these tricorders and communicator to play Star Trek with my friends when I was 9 years old, and my incredible mom saved them for 48 years," Bezos wrote.

"She dug them up this past week, and @WilliamShatner has agreed to take them up into space for me tomorrow," he added. "Please don't judge me for the artwork. Thank you, Bill!"

According to Blue Origin's official website, the New Shepard suborbital vehicle can seat six astronauts, and since the ship is "fully autonomous," there is no pilot.

The reusable craft's 11-minute flights are "designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line — the internationally recognized boundary of space," the company's website says.

Addressing recent headlines about the safety of the vehicle, Blue Origin employees pointed out during the launch livestream that the New Shepard vehicle completed multiple tests without a crew in a years-long process that began in 2015.

Blue Origin
(L-R) Chris Boshuizen, Audrey Powers, William Shatner and Glen de Vries. Blue Origin

Originally scheduled to lift off on Tuesday, Blue Origin announced over the weekend that the mission would be delayed a day because of weather.

"Due to forecasted winds in West Texas we are pushing #NS18 launch target to Wednesday, October 13," they wrote on Twitter.

Although Shatner said that he was "deeply disappointed" to delay the trip, he told Good Morning America on Monday that his enthusiasm for the trip was unchanged.

"What's a day with this extraordinary experience that we're about to have?" he remarked.

William Shatner's trip to space aboard Blue Origin's Rocket
Blue Origin launch pad. CNET Highlights

During an appearance at New York Comic Con last week, the actor discussed his big voyage, touching on the risks that come with space flight.

"I'm terrified," he joked while speaking at a panel.

"I'm Captain Kirk, and I'm terrified going to space," he added. "You know, I'm not really terrified. Yes, I am. It comes and goes like a summer cold."

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