William Shatner, Captain Kirk of the iconic Star Trek franchise, took an 11-minute to-and-fro space trip on the morning of Wednesday, 13 October 2021.
The 90-year-old actor, who described his space travel experience as ‘the most profound experience,’ has become the oldest person to have traveled to space.
William Shatner took off from Texas on a Blue Origin rocket – a space company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The company also took to its official Twitter handle to tweet that the rocket reached 2,235mph (3,597kph) and that the space travel mission lasted 10 minutes and 17 seconds.
Taking the space trip with him were two paying customers: former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, who co-founded a satellite company, and clinical research entrepreneur Glen de Vries.
After the ship touched down, Bezos opened the hatch for Shatner and the others to step out to the cheers and hugs from their families.
When William Shatner stepped out, he placed his hands on Bezos’s shoulders and told him: “What you have given me is the most profound experience… I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened.
“I hope I never recover from this. I hope I can maintain what I feel now – I don’t want to lose it.”
However, before the launch, Shatner admitted that he was ‘a little frightened’ because of the numerous delays to his launch. According to him, they had started to make his stomach churn.
Well, while this experience might be an unforgettable one for the actor, he isn’t the only celebrity who has experienced this.
In this article, learn about other celebrities who have flown to space.
Jeff Bezos joined the list of celebrities who have flown to space and back. In July 2021, Bezos went on the snappy joy ride to space that also lasted for about 11 minutes. The trip was taken on the rocket and capsule system developed by his space company, Blue Origin.
The multibillionaire didn’t take the ride to space alone. He rode alongside three persons – his brother, Mark Bezos; Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pilot; and one of the “Mercury 13” women who trained to go to space in the 20th century but never got to fly; and an 18-year old recent high school graduate named Oliver Daemen, who was Blue Origin’s first paying customer and whose father, an investor, purchased his ticket.
At the peak of the space flight, the passengers became weightless and were that way for about three minutes.
They were allowed to unstrap themselves from their seats to float around and soak in the spectacular views of the Earth and the universe.
Billionaire and Entrepreneur Richard Branson made a trip to space on 11 July 2021 just in time to beat billionaire Jeff Bezos and gain bragging rights over him.
Branson, the Founder of the Virgin Group – one of the world’s most irresistible brands that control more than 400 companies in various fields – traveled to the edge of space in a vehicle made by his own company, Virgin Galactic.
Branson was originally scheduled to fly as one of Virgin Galactic’s first civilian passengers later in the year, with future customers paying upwards of $250,000 per ticket for the same experience.
However, he was moved to an earlier flight, seemingly to beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos, who flew to space with his Blue Origin company’s New Shepard rocket a week after.
During the space trip mission, Branson said: “To all you kids down there, I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars. Now I’m an adult in a spaceship with lots of other wonderful adults looking down to our beautiful, beautiful Earth. If we can do this, just imagine what you can do.“
The billionaire took the trip with a crew of six, including himself. They were lifted to an altitude of more than 14 kilometers before it was dropped, allowing its single rocket engine to ignite and carry its occupants towards space.
Now that billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are done with their race of the first billionaire in space, other celebrities are hopeful to be among the first to travel to space.
According to Virgin Galactic’s company filings, about 600 persons from 58 countries have reserved tickets worth up to $250,000 to be in the first waves of space tourists according to company filings.
The list is widely believed to include celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Russell Brand, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Ashton Kutcher.
Has Elon Musk ever been to space?
No. At least, not that we know off. This fact is shocking because not only has he become the richest person in the world, but his company, SpaceX, is the leading privately owned enterprise in space travel.
According to its Wikipedia page, it holds the following record:
- the first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 in 2008)
- the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010)
- the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (Dragon in 2012)
- the first vertical take-off and vertical propulsive landing for an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2015)
- the first reuse of an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2017)
- the first private company to send astronauts to orbit and to the International Space Station (SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 in 2020)
It is still unknown why Elon Musk has never been to space. Maybe he plans to become the first man on Mars.
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