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William Shatner completes 'profound' space voyage

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  • William Shatner
    William Shatner
    Canadian actor

William Shatner boldly went where no 90 year old has gone before, blasting to the edge of space on a Blue Origin rocket.

On Wednesday, the "Star Trek" actor became the oldest person ever in space when he and three other passengers aboard the white fully autonomous 60-foot-tall New Shepard spacecraft took off from Blue Origin's launch site about 20 miles outside the rural west Texas town of Van Horn.

The vessel climbed 351,000 feet where the four astronauts experienced about three to four minutes of weightlessness before plummeting safely back to the Earth.

They were met in the Texas desert with cheers and champagne. Shatner, embracing Blue Origin's billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, emotionally described the 11 minute ride as profound.

"And you look down - there's the blue down there - and the black up there and there is Mother Earth - comfort - and there is - is there death? I don't know. Is that death? Is that the way death is? [MAKES AN EXCLAMATION] and it's gone. Jesus. It was so moving. This experience - it's something unbelievable."

Shatner, best known for starring as Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise on the classic "Star Trek" series and films, said that actually going to space was beyond what he would have imagined.

"What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened."

Wednesday's flight marked the second space tourism flight for Blue Origin and represents another important day for the nascent space tourism industry that, according to UBS, could reach an annual value of $3 billion in a decade.

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