“All I saw was death”: Space tourist shared his impressions of the flight to New Shepard

Space tourism for many readers may remain the most cherished and, unfortunately, an impossible dream because of the exorbitant ticket price. But we are all delighted with the travels of the lucky ones who could get a seat on board the New Shepard capsule of the private aerospace company Blue Origin, and visit the edge of space. But, as it turned out, not for everyone such an experience remained positive.

William Shatner as part of the crew of the second flight of Blue Origin

During his first trip to the border with space, the famous Star Trek actor William Shatner confessed about the horror he experienced during the trip. He described his impressions in his new book Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder .

Terrible Experience

Describing the exciting launch procedure and the beginning of his short excursion in zero gravity, Shatner wrote that when he turned around to look into space, he was shocked by the emptiness that opened up in front of him.

“When I looked into space, no mystery was revealed to me. I saw only a cold and black void. It was unlike the darkness that you can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing. I saw only death” Shatner wrote.

The crew of the NS-18 mission (the second manned flight of New Shepard). Source: Blue Origin

While other passengers were enjoying weightlessness and the incredible spectacle from the porthole, the actor was forced to struggle with reality and his own experience, which turned out to be far from what he expected. Looking down through the window, Shatner felt a strong longing for the planet he had just left.

“I could see the curvature of Earth, the beige of the desert, the white of the clouds and the blue of the sky. It was life. Nurturing, sustaining, life. Mother Earth. Gaia. And I was leaving her. Everything I had thought was wrong,” Shatner summed up.

Overview effect

Many space travelers have described their experience, which is called the “Overview effect”, or the feeling of euphoria and interconnectedness that arises from looking at the Earth from above. Shatner hinted at this phenomenon, but even his conclusion sounds very sad.

“The contrast between the terrible cold of space above and the warm supply of the Earth below filled me with unsurpassed sadness. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration, but in the end it was like a funeral,” Shatner added.

Shortly after landing after his short space journey, which took place almost a year ago, Shatner sincerely thanked Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos for the impressions and new experience.

“What you have given me is the most profound experience of my life. I hope I will never recover from this,” he told Bezos through tears.

Previously, we reported on how to become a space tourist.

According to CNN 

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