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Blue Origin Space Trip With William Shatner On Board Was A Success

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The second successful launch into space for Blue Origin did not have a pilot but did have a captain.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "STAR TREK")

WILLIAM SHATNER: (As Captain Kirk) Risk is our business. That's what the starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her.

INSKEEP: William Shatner, known as Captain Kirk on the TV show "Star Trek," made it to space for real. He is 90 years old and broke Blue Origin's own record for the oldest person to make the suborbital trip.

Marfa Public Radio's Barb Anguiano has more.

BARB ANGUIANO, BYLINE: The man most synonymous with the final frontier is now the oldest person to travel to the edge of space.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Captain Kirk himself, the great William Shatner.

ANGUIANO: An emotional Shatner exited New Shepard's crew capsule after the short suborbital trip and embraced Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SHATNER: What you have given me is the most profound (crying) experience I can imagine. It's...

JEFF BEZOS: Bill.

SHATNER: I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. I just - it's extraordinary, extraordinary.

ANGUIANO: Speaking to Bezos - while everyone around them celebrated the successful trip, Shatner tried to put his experience into words. He says he was struck not only by the colors he saw as the capsule sped toward space but also by how vulnerable Earth looked from that altitude of about 66 miles up.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SHATNER: I hope I never recover from this.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: (Laughter).

SHATNER: I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it.

ANGUIANO: Bezos was present for both the launch and to greet the crew back after the close to 10-minute voyage to the edge of space, where the passengers were able to get out of their seats and experience weightlessness for a few minutes before strapping back in for the ride back home.

For NPR News, I'm Barb Anguiano in Marfa, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALEXANDER COURAGE'S "THEME FROM 'STAR TREK'") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.