Becoming a true rocket man, William Shatner recently went to space and is the oldest person to do so. Despite being active here on Earth, he said leaving the planet made him feel his age.
Speaking to TODAY about the experience, he went into detail about the training and what is going through his head regarding it. “We had a simulator, they simulate what they say you’re going to feel and it doesn’t come anywhere near it,” he told the show’s hosts.
“[They say] ‘Here you’re going to be in weightlessness and you’ve got to grab a hold of something, don’t push too hard with your hands, just use your fingertips because you’ll bounce off the ceiling…’ You can talk about weightlessness all you want but the feeling of weightlessness, the actual feeling of weightlessness is indescribable!”
However, the experience also proved to be a humbling one. Since he rides horses in his spare time, among other things, he typically doesn’t feel his age. The trip to space changed that mentality.
“Another factor of this whole thing is, I keep saying ‘Oh, yeah, no, I’m not 90. I ride horses!’” he said. “The whole physical experience of mounting that gantry, of getting into that chair, of being weightless and having 5 Gs and suddenly, as I’m coming down, I’m thinking ‘You know something, I’m 90 years old!’”
Regardless, he called the experience “indescribable” and I’m inclined to agree. It’s only fitting someone whose character regularly visited the final frontier did so in real life at some point.
William Shatner was ‘Terrified’ to go to Space
William Shatner said going to space was something he always wanted to do, but that doesn’t mean the thought didn’t scare him. Before going, he said he was “terrified” about the trip.
PEOPLE reported before his space venture, he joked about the media mentioning his age. “I’m going to space. I’m going what? Where am I going?” Nonetheless, he then said he was terrified about the idea one moment while being perfectly fine the next.
“I’m Captain Kirk, and I’m terrified going to space,” he said last Thursday at New York Comic-Con. “You know, I’m not really terrified. Yes I am. It comes and goes like a summer cold.”
Besides the obvious of going into space at 90-years-old, Shatner said something else scared him too. “You have three minutes to look into the abscess of space and the beauty of this oasis of Earth, and I was planning on pressing my nose against the window, you know? And my only hope was I wouldn’t see somebody else looking back,” he said with a laugh.
Shatner experienced some pretty dicey situations aboard the Enterprise, so I suppose his caution was warranted.