His 45-minute speech included the 90-year-old actor talking about other projects, including the album, but eventually explained how he was interested in exploding.
Jason Ehrlich, a friend and creator of Shatner’s show “Better Late Than Never,” came to her about a year and a half ago and encouraged her to consider going to space.
“You know, they’re starting to send these rockets into space with people. Wouldn’t it be something if Captain Kirk went there,” Ehrlich told Shatner.
“Jason, for god’s sake, nobody cares – we’re going up – this was 55 years ago – my god man – um, hum, uh – maybe I should go to space,” Shatner recalled, detailing that How did you want to go?
Shatner had hoped to be on the first Blue Origin flight, but “suddenly” Jeff Bezos and his brother were announced for the trip. “Then there was an old lady… and then there was a young lady,” he told the audience with a laugh.
“So eventually they came to me on another point. They said ‘Okay, how would you like to go up. You’re going to be the oldest man in space,'” Shatner said. “I don’t want to be known as the oldest man. I’m the bloody Captain Kirk!”
Last week he went to the Blue Origin launch site in Texas for two days to prepare for the flight.
“It’s mind-numbingly endless,” he said of the visuals. “You drive 100 miles and then you go into a little town called Van Horn, and then you turn left. And you drive another 50 miles.”
He described the assurances given to him by Blue Origin staff as not entirely reassuring.
“The idiom they use a lot was ‘It’s our best guess that…’ Your best guess?” He told the crowd incredulous.
He then described early problems with the Hubble Space Telescope and the events of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion.
Shatner said past space travel disasters sometimes give him pause.
“We are human, we make mistakes,” he said. “I’m thinking, I’m going to go up in a rocket and our best guess is that it should be fine. So there’s a little bit of panic. I’m scared. I’m Captain Kirk and I’m scared!” “
To the laughter of the crowd, he said the sentiment was not constant.
“You know, I’m not really scared. Yes I am. It comes and goes like the summer chill,” he told the audience with a laugh.
He also told what he wanted to see in space.
“Three minutes into the weightlessness of space, and the beauty of this oasis of earth, and—I was planning to press my nose against the window, you know, and my only hope was that I wouldn’t look back any more. Shatner said, referring to a 1963 classic Twilight Zone episode where he played a man who spotted a creature on the wing of a plane at 20,000 feet.
He said that when his daughters were growing up, he would ask them to recreate the scene every time they were on the plane.
Shatner hasn’t yet figured out what words he will say when he reaches space, he said, but is going over words that other people have used.
“What can I say it’s different,” he asked rhetorically. “I’ll try and do something to suggest this and think about how deeply I feel about the experience of seeing infinite distances.”