William Shatner says going to space filled him with 'sadness'

‘The beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here’: Star Trek star William Shatner says going to space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket felt like ‘a funeral’ and filled him with ‘overwhelming sadness’

  • William Shatner, 91, said that seeing Earth from space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket last fall was a profoundly saddening experience
  • In an excerpt from his new memoir, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, The Star Trek star said the experience made him see Earth’s fragility
  • Shatner said that rather than feeling filled with awe at the sight of space, he was saddened to think of how mankind abuses Earth
  • The actors wrote that the experience made him realize just how beautiful and precious life on Earth is

William Shatner said seeing Earth from space aboard Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin rocket was a profoundly sorrowful experience, but one which inspired him to cherish the beauty of our planet. 

In an excerpt from his new memoir, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, revealed that the 91-year-old Star Trek star was struck with one of the ‘strongest feelings of grief’ he had ever experienced.

Shatner wrote that rather than being filled with awe, as he expected to be, the sight of Earth’s warm blue glow surrounded by the cold black of space left him feeling like he was at ‘a funeral.’

The excerpt was published by Variety journalist Marianne Williamson, and offered a deeper insight into Shatner’s reaction to his space flight with Blue Origin than he has previously revealed.

The revelations come a year after Shatner was seen to be visibly moved immediately after stepping out of the Blue Origin capsule in October 2021, when he broke down in tears telling Bezos: ‘Everybody in the world needs to do this.’

Shatner burst into tears upon landing after his Blue Origin flight in October 2021 and trying to explain the experience

Shatner was visibly emotional and moved by his trip to space but in a new excerpt from his new memoir, the Star Trek actor said the experience felt like he was at ‘a funeral.’

Shatner, who rose to fame as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series, also noted that his excursion left him with the ‘strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered.’

William Shatner experiences weightlessness with three other passengers during the apogee of the Blue Origin

An excerpt from William Shatner’s new memoir, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder

Shatner wrote that he never realized how precious life on Earth was until he left it behind. 

‘I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound,’ he wrote in his memoir.

He said seeing the Earth so fragile filled him with sorrow to think about how man kind is so flippant about its destruction.

William Shatner (middle) along with Blue Origins vice President Audrey Powers and Medidata Solutions Co-Founder, Glen de Vries prepare for liftoff into outer space inside Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket

William Shatner, 91, said that seeing Earth from space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket last fall was a profoundly saddening experience

‘It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness.’ 

‘My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration,’ he added. ‘Instead, it felt like a funeral.’

Shatner said that rather than feeling filled with awe at the sight of space, he was saddened to think of how mankind abuses Earth

Shatner is captured saying ‘no description can equal this,’ while looking outside a window at the amazing view of Earth

When Shatner first touched down after his Blue Origin landing last year, he was seen to be deeply moved by the experience. 

As others celebrated by popping champagne and cheering, Shatner stood despondent with his hands in his pockets and staring at the ground. 

When Bezos approached him, Shatner broke down in tears as he tried to explain to Bezos what he was feeling.  

‘To see the blue color whip by and now you’re staring into blackness, that’s the thing,’ he said. ‘The covering of blue, this sheath, this blanket, this comforter of blue that we have around, we say, ‘Oh, that’s blue sky.’ And then suddenly you shoot through it all, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.’ 

‘As you look down, there’s your blue down there with the black up there. There is Mother Earth and comfort and there is – is there death? I don’t know. Is that the way death is?’  

‘I’m so filled with emotion with what just happened. I hope I never recover from this,’ he said, embracing Bezos. ‘It’s so much larger than me and life, and it hasn’t got anything to do with the little green hand or the little blue orb.

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