Watch Live: William Shatner Gets Emotional After Space Launch, 'I Hope I Never Recover From This'

Live Updates

Star Trek legend William Shatner went boldly where no 90-year-old Hollywood actor has gone before and became the oldest person to ever reach space as part of a four-person mission on a Blue Origin rocket.

The trip - alongside paying customers Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, as well as Blue Origin executive Aubrey Powers - was delayed temporarily from yesterday after forecasted high winds at the Texas launch site prevented take off.

The New Shepard 18 rocket finally launched at 9:49 a.m. local time and the mission lasted about 10 minutes. The crew capsule reached an apogee of 347,539 feet above ground level with a maximum velocity of 2,235 mph.

Shatner, best known for playing Captain Kirk in the famous sci-fi series, spoke about being nervous ahead of the trip, suggesting that launching during extreme weather would be highly illogical.

After the crew landed back on Earth, and emotional Shatner thanked Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, whose space company managed the launch.

"What you've given me is the most profound experience," he said. "I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. It's just extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it."

The live updates for this blog have ended.

WATCH: The moment the flight crew is welcomed back on Earth

Video shows the moment Jeff Bezos welcomed William Shatner and the rest of the New Shepard 18 mission crew after they landed back on Earth.

Blue Origin CEO thanks William Shatner for his inspiration

Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith released a statement Wednesday following the successful New Shepard 18 mission.

"At Blue Origin, we are motivated by the dreamers that inspire us and the builder who turn those dreams into reality. Today's crew represented both dreamers and builders," he said.

He specifically called out William Shatner for his role in "describing and imagining the wonders of the universe" and for inspiring "many of us to pursue a career in the space industry."

"This flight was another step forward in flying astronauts safely and often," Smith added. "It's an incredible team and we are just getting started."

Statement from Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith: pic.twitter.com/Ui6enpHO37

— Chris Bergin - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) October 13, 2021

New Shepard 18 rocket reached a max velocity of over 2,200 mph

Blue Origin shared "key mission stats" from the New Shepard 18 launch.

The crew capsule reached an apogee of 347,539 feet above ground level with a maximum velocity of 2,235 mph.

The mission lasted 10 minutes and 17 seconds from the official launch to the capsule landing.

19th consecutive successful crew capsule landing (every flight in the program, including a pad escape test in 2012).

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021

WATCH: The moment the New Shepard 18 rockets launches into space

In case you missed the live stream, here is a video of the moment the New Shepard 18 rocket launched into space earlier this morning.

Jeff Bezos pins flight crew, welcoming them into a "very small club"

Jeff Bezos gives each member of the New Shepard 18 flight crew an astronaut wings pin, commemorating their experience in space.

"We have four astronauts before you," he said. "Welcome to a very small club."

WATCH: Jeff Bezos pins Blue Origin’s astronaut wings onto actor William Shatner. https://t.co/jIChFNRxwY pic.twitter.com/FABcC21naE

— Cheddar News 🧀 (@cheddar) October 13, 2021

William Shatner describes his experience in space

Jeff Bezos pops a bottle of champagne as William Shatner gets emotional talking about his journey.

"Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see," Shatner said.

"It was so moving. This experience did something unbelievable," he said.

"The covering of blue, this comforter of blue we have around us," he said, describing the Earth. "You blast through the blue and then you're into black."

He described the "enormity" of the experience as the "suddenness of life and death," describing the blue earth as "life," the blackness of space as "death" and the speed of the launch felt like the "jeopardy of it all."

Shatner thanked Bezos for giving him this opportunity to go to space.

"What you've given me is the most profound experience," he said. "I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. It's just extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it."

Capsule hatch is open as crew steps back on Earth

Jeff Bezos gives the New Shepard 18 crew a thumbs-up after they safely land back to Earth.

The capsule hatch is open and crew members are greeted by their families as they step back on the Texas desert ground.

Shatner is next, giving Bezos a hug pic.twitter.com/wxPd8JPdYS

— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) October 13, 2021

William Shatner quotes Isaac Newton as he reaches max altitude in space

In a tweet, William Shatner quotes Isaac Newton as he reached maximum altitude in space.

"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me," Shatner said.

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, diverting myself in now & then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.🚀 pic.twitter.com/ZY2Ka8ij7z

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) October 13, 2021

New Shepard capsule has landed

The capsule holding the crew of the second human Blue Origin flight to space has landed in the Texas desert.

#NS18 capsule touchdown pic.twitter.com/OLjajolIJa

— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) October 13, 2021

Rocket booster returns to Earth, capsule makes its descent

The New Shepard rocket booster has touched back down to Earth.

#NewShepard booster touchdown! Fourth successful landing for this particular booster. #NS18

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021

The capsule holding the crew is on its way down. The parachutes have been deployed as it descends back to Earth.

Rocket on its way back to Earth

The New Shepard 18 is on its descent back to Earth.

New Shepard reaches over 350,000 feet into space

The rocket has hit its peak, reaching about 351,000 feet into space.

The capsule has reached apogee - stay tuned for official confirmation of altitude for today’s flight. Our astronauts are now experiencing amazing views of Earth through #NewShepard’s massive windows. #NS18

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021

New Shepard launches into space

The New Shepard 18 has "passed through the Max-Q," the point of maximum dynamic pressure on the vehicle, according to Blue Origin.

#NewShepard has passed through Max-Q, the point of maximum dynamic pressure on the vehicle.

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021

New Shepard 18 has launched

The New Shepard 18 rocket has launched into space.

Legendary Star Trek actor William Shatner will be the oldest person to go to space, at age 90.

Liftoff! #NewShepard has cleared the tower with astronauts on board for the second time. #NS18

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021

New Shepard 18 is "go" for launch

New Shepard is a "Go" for launch.

"The go poll is complete," Blue Origin said.

The go poll is complete. #NS18 is go for launch. Watch the launch live on https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr.

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021

Blue Origin shares flight profile of New Shepard rocket

Blue Origin shares a graphic of the New Shepard flight profile.

Less than T-10 minutes until launch.

Hold released! Now inside T-15 minutes and counting.

A look at the flight profile. #BlueOrigin #NewShepard #NS18https://t.co/xvHRoszloD pic.twitter.com/TRDtJE5pSr

— Tyler Gray (@TylerG1998) October 13, 2021

Launch is out of the hold, clock countdown restarts

The launch clock has started again, counting down from T-15 minutes.

Launch on hold, clock reads T-15 minutes

The launch is currently on a hold, according to Blue Origin.

The launch clock still reads T-15 minutes.

N-16 flight crew sends messages to current flight crew

Minutes before the launch, the control center reads messages from crew members of the NS-16 flight that took off in July to the New Shepard N-18 flight.

"The depth of my desire to fly again is hard to express," Jeff Bezos' message read. The message then quotes lyrics from the song "Mr. Spaceman."

"Hey, Mr. Spaceman. Won't you please take me along? I won't do anything wrong. Hey, Mr. Spaceman. Won't you please take me along for a ride?"

Bezos ends his message to the crew, saying "God speed, New Shepard. I can't wait to hear your stories."

Jeff Bezos closes the hatch on Blue Origin rocket

Jeff Bezos has closed the hatch of the New Shepard.

There was some speculation that he was going to join the flight. While Bezos was dressed in the blue flight suit, he will not be on this trip into space.

Finals checks are underway, according to Blue Origin.

The #NewShepard hatch is closed. Final checks are underway. #NS18

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021

Crew boards the rocket

William Shatner has boarded the rocket along with the rest of the flight crew.

The crew is all strapped into their seats, awaiting launch in T-24 minutes.

And crew ingress now underway.

Captain Kirk boards the #NewShepard RSS First Step capsule. pic.twitter.com/I0WTgdjeJn

— Tyler Gray (@TylerG1998) October 13, 2021

Flight crew gets ready to enter rocket

The flight crew is walking across the bridge to the Blue Origin Rocket.

As they cross the bridge from the ready shelter, each member rings a bell.

The #NS18 crew are moving across the crew access gantry and getting strapped in for their ride to space and back. Watch live at https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 13, 2021

T- timer restarts - 45 minutes to launch

There are currently just under 45 minutes until launch after the Blue Origin team has to stop for 30 minutes to check the rocket.

But all is now okay, the company says, and the astronauts are now ready to make the ride to the rocket.

T-45 minutes

The counter has been placed on hold for almost 30 minutes now, pausing the T- timer at 45 minutes.

There are still at least 45 minutes before launch...

William Shatner's cheeky jab at Elton John

The actor hinted at the singer's hit single Rocket Man, who tweeted asking "has someone informed" him about his trip to space?

Sadly, John has yet to respond...

Has someone informed @eltonofficial? 🚀😝

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) October 13, 2021

What does the rocket capsule look like?

Pictures from Blue Origin show a full-size model of the crew capsule where the passengers will sit for their journey.

  • In seat one will be Blue Origin's very own Audrey Power, who has overseen all the company's New Shepard (NS) missions - today's being NS-18.
  • In seat three will be legendary Star Trek actor William Shatner, invited by Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos to take part in the journey.
  • In seat four will be Dr. Chirs Boshuizen, previously a Space Mission Architect at NASA and paying passenger on the flight.
  • In seat six will be Glen de Vries, co-founder of clinical trials software company Medidata, who is a paying passenger on the trip.

Approximately one third of the capsule are windows - something never achieved before which will offer passengers a mesmerizing view during their flight.

Blue Origin rocket capsule interior revealed
A full-size model of Blue Origin's crew capsule is on display on October 13, 2021, in Van Horn, Texas Patrick Fallon/Getty Images

Is Glen de Vries in space right now?

One of the more bizarre stories of the launch is that of Glen de Vries - a paying passenger on board the rocket and co-founder of Medidata, the Vice Chair of Life Sciences and Healthcare at Dassault Systèmes and a trustee of Carnegie Mellon University.

Fans of his have set up a website to track his journey to space and back - aptly named isglendevriesinspacerightnow.com - with them changing the status to yes just moments ago.

Hollywood friends get excited by Shatner's ascent into space

Men in Black actor Vincent D'Onofrio said he was "just so happy" for his friend - but actress Patricia Arquette had a warning for Jeff Bezos...

Bezos if anything happens to @WilliamShatner we will be pissed. https://t.co/YPETj75vgp

— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) September 25, 2021

I just can't get over it.
I’m just so happy for you.
This photo for so many reasons is everything about my childhood and the fun that life in our business can bring. For me Shatner my friend you in this photo is as cool as cool can be. https://t.co/dhC0SUSTId

— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) October 12, 2021

Former senior Blue Origin employee compares humanity to 'Ferengi' Star Trek race

Former head of Blue Origin's employee communications, Alexandra Abrams, warned that humanity was "becoming the Ferengi of our own story" as the company prepares to launch Star Trek legend William Shatner into space.

Abrams said the escapade was evidence that humans were becoming like the Ferengi—a fictional alien species that first appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation and are defined by large ears, bumpy heads, and insatiable greed.

Last month, Abrams penned an essay that she said was written in conjunction with 20 other former and current Blue Origin employees, accusing the company of fostering a "toxic" work environment.

FULL STORY: Ex-Blue Origin Communications Head 'Worried We're Becoming Ferengi of Our Own Story'

'So very happy for you': Excited Star Trek fans send Shatner tweets ahead of launch

Good luck & God Speed Capt. My daughter is (We all are) extremely excited for you & you crew! 🚀👨‍🚀✌

— Grizz dá Bear 🐻 (@beagrizzly244) October 13, 2021

Nothing else in 2021 has made me smile more than William Shatner heading to Space…the Final Frontier. smdh 👽🤷🏼‍♀️😃 🖖

— Holly Hudson (@AppalachiaHolly) October 13, 2021

Can hardly wait for it! So very happy for you Sir. So exciting. Safe journey Captain! Don’t drink the water 😉🌏🚀🖖🏽🌟💫

— Hayet (@Hayetathome) October 13, 2021

Shatner to send 'preprogrammed' tweet while in space

The Captain Kirk actor will send a scheduled post to his Twitter fans while on his flight - leaving fans wondering what it might be.

Stay tuned to this blog to find out!

Tell me it’s a Captains Log!!!

— Art New (@ArtieCubed) October 13, 2021

Does the tweet start with: "Captain's log...."?
We'll be watching and cheering for you.🖖

— Michael Bonomo (@MichaelBonomo25) October 13, 2021

Good morning and welcome to Newsweek's liveblog

William Shatner is preparing for the journey of his life on one of Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin rockets this morning.

Follow Newsweek's liveblog throughout Wednesday for all the latest on the launch...