Former Star Trek captain William Shatner depressed by his Blue Origin space experience

William Shatner
William Shatner wasn't too impressed with his space experience. Photo credit: Getty Images

He may have sought new life and boldly gone to new civilisations on Star Trek, but William Shatner has revealed his trip into space thoroughly depressed him.

The Captain Kirk actor has written a new book and in it details some of his thoughts on his trip into space with the Jeff Bezos-backed space tourism company Blue Origin.

Shatner blasted off into space aboard Blue Origin's NS-18 flight in October 2021. On reflection, he said the feelings of euphoria he had expected were overtaken by a sense of profound grief.

"I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you can see or feel on Earth," an excerpt from Boldly Go published by Variety explained.

"It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing. I turned back toward the light of home.

"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. Everything I had expected to see was wrong."

Shatner also revealed he had been overwhelmed with the thought humans were slowly destroying the Earth.

He wrote he'd "felt one of the strongest feelings of grief he's ever encountered".

In an interview with CNN, the Star Trek icon said he started weeping the moment he got out of Bezos' spaceship.

"When I got up to space, I wanted to get to the window to see what it was that was out there," he said.

"I looked at the blackness of space. There were no dazzling lights. It was just palpable blackness. I believed I saw death.

"And then I looked back at the Earth. Given my background and having read a lot of things about the evolution of Earth over 5 billion years and how all the beauty of nature has evolved, I thought about how we’re killing everything.

"I felt this overwhelming sadness for the Earth.

"I didn't realise it until I got down. When I stepped out of the spacecraft, I started crying. I didn't know why. It took me hours to understand why I was weeping. I realised I was in grief for the Earth."

Shatner, who played the iconic space captain for 50 years on both the big and small screen, became the oldest person to ever travel into space when he travelled in 2021 - he was 90 years old at the time.