Actor of the TV series Star Trek George Takei criticized his former partner and actor James Kirk William Shatner. The 85-year-old actor told the British tabloid The Mirror that the older TV star really did not fly into outer space.
The 91-year-old Shatner ascended the New Shepard Blue Origin rocket to an altitude of 107 km in 2021. Technically, this is above the Karman line — the conditional boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space. But to reach a stable orbit, it is still necessary to go at least the same way.
In other words, it was a fascinating journey to the most remote corners of the stratosphere of our planet, where you can easily see the curvature of the Earth. Of course, this is not like real space travel performed by astronauts. Therefore, it has become an excellent “fodder” for bullying from a long-time rival.
“Well, actually, he wasn’t in outer space, and it wasn’t for long. I also felt weightlessness, but much longer than Kirk. I made a parabolic flight and felt as much as five minutes of weightlessness, whereas William experienced this experience for only three minutes. So I spent more time in zero gravity,” Takei said in an interview with The Mirror.
The dispute between Takei and Shatner has been going on for more than a decade. All because of the sexual orientation of George Takei, who married Brad Altman in 2008 after the couple hid their relationship for 20 years for fear of public condemnation and the risk of losing their acting career. Their discord became public when Takei invited all his colleagues from the Star Trek series to his wedding, except Shatner.
Takei called Shatner a grumpy old man and an egocentric, narcissistic prima donna. In 2021, Takei criticized Shatner for his trip to New Shepard on the border with space, saying that this was not a space trip.
In response to Takei’s recent remarks, Shatner said, “There’s a psychosis. I guess George has something that makes him unhappy, and he pours it all on me. Why do everything possible to denigrate me? It’s sad, I feel nothing but pity for him.”
Element of truth
In his last remarks, Takei may indeed be right. Many critics have argued that Jeff Bezos’ space project is not exactly equivalent to a real flight into space — and the same goes for Richard Branson’s competing Virgin Galactic space plane service. On the other hand, such trips are much cheaper than space tourism to the ISS, and allow one to feel real weightlessness and look into the impenetrable blackness of space.
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