Mr Shatner, will today become the oldest person ever to travel to the edge of space, as part of a four-person crew aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin r
Mr Shatner, will today become the oldest person ever to travel to the edge of space, as part of a four-person crew aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket. Famously, the 90-year-old played Captain Kirk in the iconic Sixties TV series Star Trek ‒ a character whose fictional mission was “to boldly go where no man had gone before”. Mr Shatner was invited to be part of the mission by Amazon owner and Star Trek fan Mr Bezos who is battling in a three-way billionaire space race against Richard Branson and Elon Musk.
The Blue Origin rocket will blast off from a Texas desert and travel 66 miles above the Earth’s surface to experience a few minutes of weightlessness, before returning to the desert via parachute.
The Canadian actor said: “I’m thrilled and anxious and a little nervous and a little frightened about the whole adventure.
“But I’ve got to think that once it’s done, once I’ve been into space and seen the universe and seen our Earth and the contrast between that hostility and warmth, and how important it is to keep the Earth alive so that we don’t wreck it.
“That contrast in all of that is so dramatic to me.”
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Mr Shatner is an active Twitter user, and has even scheduled Tweets to be posted to his 2.5 million followers while on the short venture into space.
He is outspoken on a number of current issues, including woke culture and the “utterly ridiculous” notion that past events should be seen through the lens of modern values.
In a 2019 outburst, the Star Trek star took to Twitter to explain and criticise this phenomenon.
The conversation began when Mr Shatner replied to a now deleted tweet criticising millennials for cancelling individuals from history who were now deemed “intolerable” by them.
“What happens when today’s views are tomorrow’s follies?”
Given the original Tweet Mr Shatner was reacting to had been deleted, the actor then explained that it was “a threat to Millennials that could erase my past work.”
He added that the Tweet also referenced Laura Ingalls Wilder, a 19th and 20th century writer whose literary award, the ‘Wilder Award’ was renamed in 2018 by the American Library Association (ALA).
According to the New York Times the move was made because of “culturally insensitive portrayals in her books.”
The ALA claimed the name was changed to “align the award’s title” with their “core values”, which are “inclusiveness, integrity, respect and responsiveness.”
He added: “The Wilder award was renamed because Presentists complained her books contain disparaging sentiments of the 1870’s towards indigenous people.
“The Library board did it in response to complaints.
“Do you really think that in 2018 Baby Boomers or Gen X suddenly realised these books were bad?”
Mr Shatner then claimed there was an irony behind the term “woke”.
He said: “To be woke is to be uninformed which is exactly the opposite of what it stands for.”