William Shatner flies to space on Blue Origin's New Shepard - watch

The Star Trek icon has boldly gone where no 90-year-old has gone before, becoming the oldest person to have ever rocketed into space.

 Blue Origin's rocket New Shepard blasts off carrying Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, on billionaire Jeff Bezos's company's second suborbital tourism flight as part of a four-person crew near Van Horn, Texas, US, October 13, 2021.  (photo credit: MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS)
Blue Origin's rocket New Shepard blasts off carrying Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, on billionaire Jeff Bezos's company's second suborbital tourism flight as part of a four-person crew near Van Horn, Texas, US, October 13, 2021.
(photo credit: MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS)

Jewish-Canadian actor William Shatner has flown into space in Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule as part of the NS-18 mission.

The Star Trek icon has boldly gone where no 90-year-old has gone before, becoming the oldest person to have ever rocketed into space.

The launch was livestreamed by Blue Origin on Wednesday at the launch site in Van Horn, Texas.

Shatner was one of four passengers to journey to the edge of space aboard the white, fully autonomous 60-foot-tall (18.3 meters) New Shepard spacecraft, which took off from Blue Origin's launch site about 20 miles (32 km) outside the rural west Texas town of Van Horn.

The four astronauts experienced about three to four minutes of weightlessness and traveled above the internationally recognized boundary of space known as the Karman Line, about 62 miles (100 km) above Earth.

The crew capsule returned to the Texas desert under parachutes, raising a cloud of dust.

 Billionaire Jeff Bezos gives a thumbs-up outside the capsule of Blue Origin's New Shepard mission NS-18, which carried ''Star Trek'' actor William Shatner and 3 other passengers on a suborbital flight, after it landed by parachute near Van Horn, Texas, US in a still image from video October 13, 202 (credit: Blue Origin/Handout via REUTERS) Billionaire Jeff Bezos gives a thumbs-up outside the capsule of Blue Origin's New Shepard mission NS-18, which carried ''Star Trek'' actor William Shatner and 3 other passengers on a suborbital flight, after it landed by parachute near Van Horn, Texas, US in a still image from video October 13, 202 (credit: Blue Origin/Handout via REUTERS)

Shatner emerged gingerly from the capsule in the desert silence, appearing reflective as the others celebrated by cheering and popping champagne bottles.

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos was on hand and embraced Shatner.

"What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine," Shatner told Bezos as the two chatted for several minutes. "I am so filled with emotion about what just happened."

Shatner also remarked on the beauty of the blue color of Earth from space.

 Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, speaks to the news media after his flight with three others in a capsule powered by Blue Origin's reusable rocket engine New Shepard on a landing pad near Van Horn, Texas, US, October 13, 2021.  (credit: MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS) Star Trek actor William Shatner, 90, speaks to the news media after his flight with three others in a capsule powered by Blue Origin's reusable rocket engine New Shepard on a landing pad near Van Horn, Texas, US, October 13, 2021. (credit: MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS)

The four astronauts, all wearing blue flight suits with the company's name in white letters on one sleeve, climbed into the crew capsule atop the spacecraft before the launch and strapped in after ascending a set of stairs accompanied by Bezos. Each rang a bell before entering the capsule, with the Amazon mogul then closing the hatch. Before that, they rode a vehicle with Bezos at the wheel to the launch pad.

Winds were light and skies were clear for the launch, which was conducted after two delays totaling roughly 45 minutes.

Reports had surfaced in late September that Shatner – famous for portraying one of pop culture's most identifiable space-faring science fiction heroes: Captain James T. Kirk – would have a seat on this mission. This was later confirmed in early October by Blue Origin and then by Shatner himself, writing on Twitter: "Yes, it's true; I'm going to be a 'rocket man!'" referencing the Elton John song of the same name.

Shatner said there is both irony and symmetry to his space trip, having played a space explorer for decades and now actually becoming one.

"Having played the role of Captain Kirk... assigns me the knowledge that a futuristic astronaut would have, but I've always been consumed with curiosity," Shatner said in a Blue Origin video.

Shatner's participation in the flight has helped generate publicity for Blue Origin as it competes against two billionaire-backed rivals - Elon Musk's SpaceX and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Holdings - to attract customers willing to pay large sums to experience spaceflight.

 Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket blasts off on mission NS-18 carrying ''Star Trek'' actor William Shatner and 3 other passengers for a suborbital flight near Van Horn, Texas, US in a still image from video October 13, 2021. (credit: Blue Origin/Handout via REUTERS) Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket blasts off on mission NS-18 carrying ''Star Trek'' actor William Shatner and 3 other passengers for a suborbital flight near Van Horn, Texas, US in a still image from video October 13, 2021. (credit: Blue Origin/Handout via REUTERS)

But while Captain Kirk may have been famous for being the youngest captain in Starfleet history, Shatner is doing the exact opposite, with the 90-year-old actor now the oldest person to ever head to space. Until now, the current record-holder was Wally Funk, an 82-year-old test pilot who accompanied Bezos on his July flight.

But Shatner isn't resting after his historic journey. The actor is heading right back to Los Angeles for press interviews, he noted on Twitter.

After that, he's set to go to Indiana for Friday and Saturday to attend the Indiana Comic Convention, and will then immediately travel to Chicago on Sunday for the Wizard World convention.

This is a developing story.