William Shatner 'terrified' ahead of Blue Origin space blast-off

The legendary actor will become the oldest person ever to go to space this week.
The legendary actor will become the oldest person ever to go to space this week. Photo credit: Getty Images

He may have plenty of experience of on-screen space travel but Star Trek's Captain Kirk, actor William Shatner, has admitted he is terrified ahead of his first actual flight into space.

Shatner will be boldly going where no nonagenarian has gone before when the 90-year-old star blasts off aboard Blue Origin's NS-18 flight this week.

The flight, which has been delayed from Wednesday to Thursday (NZ time) due to predictions of strong winds in Texas, is the latest space tourism journey from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's company.

It will make Shatner, who played the iconic space captain for 50 years on both the big and small screen, the oldest person to ever travel into space.

He will beat trailblazing female aviator Wally Funk who, at 82 years old, flew on the same Blue Origin flight at Bezos in July.

During a panel at New York Comic Con Shatner spoke about how he had hoped he would be on the first flight but had missed out.

"So finally they came to me on the second thing. They said 'how would you like to go up? You'll be the oldest guy in space'," Shatner said.

"I don't want to be known as the oldest guy. I'm bloody Captain Kirk!"

He also said that past space disasters like the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986 were something he thought about, especially as the reassurance from Blue Origin staff was underwhelming.

"I'm going up in a rocket and our best guess is 'it should be fine'. So there is a little niggling fire of terror. I'm terrified. I'm Captain Kirk and I'm terrified!"

The legendary actor was also asked what he was most looking forward to during his short flight into space.

"Three minutes in the weightlessness of space, and the beauty of this oasis of Earth," he replied.

He also invoked another throwback, this time to Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, an iconic episode of The Twilight Zone when he spotted a hideous creature on a plane's wings during a flight.

"I was planning on pressing my nose against the window and my only hope was I wouldn't see somebody else looking back," Shatner said.

The other passengers aboard Shatner's flight include Blue Origin mission vice president Audrey Powers and corporate executives Chris Boshuizen from Planet Labs and Glen de Vries from Medidata.

There's no word at this point whether any half Vulcan, half humans will be onboard.