An actor named William Shatner flew into the sky to an apogee of 351,185 feet Wednesday, crossing the Kármán line of 330,000 feet, generally agreed to be the boundary between space and earth’s atmosphere. You finally did it, Mr. Shatner.
Shatner is known for being in “Columbo,” and he also appeared in a show called “The Practice.” Older readers may remember him from his appearances in “The Twilight Zone.” I believe he was in a show about space once, too, but that information could not be independently confirmed.
Wednesday’s flight also had onboard Audrey Powers, a vice president of Blue Origin, the company founded by Jeff Bezos that sent the rocket into the air. Two paying customers, each described by The Wall Street Journal as “co-founders” of the companies that they work for, were also there. It all went reasonably smooth:
I must admit that the wobble when the booster rocket comes back down and lands here is a little alarming, even though it does still stick the landing, and it is incredible to me that that is a repeatable process, like SpaceX does as well.
A few other things of note in this video: Around 2:39:00 some Blue Origin workers show up to the capsule and yank and yank on ropes tied to it for no clear reason. Also, the recovery crew lays down a rug in the desert for the travelers to step onto. Also, Jeff Bezos himself eventually shows up and gives everyone a thumbs up like a big dork. Around 2:44:00, Bezos, wearing cowboy boots, opens the hatch.
Powers then emerges from the capsule, and Shatner next, not moving all that well if I’m honest, but then again he’s 90. The other two customers then emerge, and a minute later Shatner is seen describing his experience to Bezos, who ignores him and pops a champagne bottle instead. Then Bezos returns to Shatner and Shatner muses about how it is incredible that in the rocket the sky begins blue and then turns to black and how that might represent death. Bezos is a much more patient listener this time. Then Shatner says that it was the most profound experience he can imagine and begins to weep.
“I hope I never recover from this,” Shatner says.
A minute later, Bezos says, “It’s so beautiful,” and Shatner says “Beautiful, yes, but,” and Bezos says, “No, I mean your words,” and Shatner says, “Oh, my words,” and Bezos says, “It’s just amazing.” Eventually, Shatner also explains to Bezos that being up there with three other people was like “being in battle.” Then they break for photos and there is some milling around. Later, the stream ends.
I am obligated to post this as well: