William Shatner, an actor, experienced “grief” during his space flight.
He became the oldest person to travel to space when he boarded Jeff Bezos‘ New Shepard NS-18 rocket in October 2021, but the actor, well known for his portrayal as Captain Kirk in the ‘Star Trek franchise, has since said that his trip wasn’t as “wonderful” as he had anticipated.
What he actually stated was: “When I first considered space travel, I imagined a wonderful next step toward realizing the coherence of the universe, a catharsis of the connection I’d been seeking between all living things on Earth.
“Beauty, I’ve learned, isn’t somewhere else; it’s here, in each of us. Leaving it behind strengthened my bond with our tiny planet. When I felt that kind of loss, it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.”
She continued, “The contrast between the brutal coldness of space and the loving nurturing of Earth below overwhelmed me with profound sadness.”
The 91-year-old was very open about her feelings about space and the Earth’s environment.
“Every day, we are faced with the reality that we are responsible for more damage to Earth: the eradication of plant and animal life, the loss of species that have evolved over the course of five billion years, and so on. Worry and despair flooded my heart at the thought….”
The ‘Boston Legal‘ actor went on to say that he felt like he was “at a funeral” in space, describing a frequent sensation called the “Overview Effect.”
His new book, “Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder,” has the following passage from him: “The space flight I took was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but instead it felt like a funeral. Yuri Gagarin, Michael Collins, Sally Ride, and many others have all experienced what is known as the “Overview Effect” during their time in space.
When someone goes to space and sees Earth from orbit, they get a sense of the planet’s fragility in an indescribable, instinctual way, as the author puts it.
The phrase “no borders or restrictions on our world save those we construct in our brains or via human behaviours” was first used by author Frank White in 1987.
“From space or the moon, it’s much easier to put aside the differences that aggravate us on Earth. The end consequence is a metamorphosis in both worldview and sense of self.”