On Wednesday, William Shatner will be strapped into Blue Origins New Shepard rocket and do what his alter-ego James T. Kirk has done countless times: travel to space.
In a new promotional video from Jeff Bezos' company, Shatner talks with "wonder" about his upcoming experience. "It's life-changing in its way," the actor says. "Not because of the people I'm meeting and talking with...Jeff Bezos' concept to make living and building in space, and to make pollution a thing of the past -- what noble ambitions those are, and somebody has to start it."
The actor adds, "We're just at the beginning. And how miraculous is it to be at the beginning!"
Shatner continues, "There is this mystique of being in space, and being that much closer to the stars."
The actor and author says he expects to be "entranced" by his view from 66 miles above the Earth, noting, "I want to look at that orb and appreciate its beauty and its tenacity, its sustaining this life of ours which allows us to look with awe and wonder about the miracle of space."
He notes, "There is an adventure in my life that I would not have had if I had not done this."
Acknowledging his iconic Star Trek alter-ego, Shatner reflects, "It looks like there is this curiosity about this fictional character, Captain Kirk going into space, so let's go along with it and enjoy the ride!"
Shatner will join microbiologist Glen de Vries, Planet Labs founder Chris Boshuizen, and Blue Origin's Audrey Powers when New Shepard's 18th mission, NS-18, takes off Wednesday morning.
The flight, delayed a day because of high winds, is scheduled for lift-off at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Shatner's launch can be watched live on Blue Origins' YouTube channel.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.