William Shatner, who this week became the oldest person to travel to the edge of the cosmos on Jeff Bezos’ rocket, has blasted Prince William for boldly going off on space tourism.
The Duke of Cambridge made his disparaging comments when he spoke to the BBC about his initiative to “repair our planet.”
“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live,” the future monarch said.
Shatner, 90, who famously played played Captain Kirk in the original “Star Trek” TV series, fired back at the royal — albeit diplomatically.
“He’s a lovely Englishman. He’s going to be king of England one day,” Shatner told Entertainment Tonight. “He’s a lovely, gentle, educated man, but he’s got the wrong idea.”
The prince told the BBC that “it really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet] rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future.”
He added that he has “absolutely no interest” in going to space, mostly because there’s a “fundamental question” over the carbon cost of spaceflights.
Shatner, who traveled to the edge of space along with three other passengers aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18, told the outlet that the brief hop was really about protecting our planet as opposed to finding another spot for humanity.
“The idea here is not to go, ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space.’ The landing that consumed all that… energy and people to take a look and go, ‘Oh, look at that.’ No,” Shatner told ET.
“I would tell the prince, and I hope the prince gets the message, this is a baby step into the idea of getting industry up there, so that all those polluting industries, especially, for example, the industries that make electricity… off of Earth,” he said.
“We’ve got all the technology, the rockets, to send the things up there… You can build a base 250, 280 miles above the Earth and send that power down here, and they catch it, and they then use it, and it’s there. All it needs is… somebody as rich as Jeff Bezos [to say], ‘Let’s go up there,’” Shatner continued.
“The prince is missing the point. The point is these are the baby steps to show people [that] it’s very practical. You can send somebody like me up into space,” said the actor, who agreed with the prince’s argument that there are matters to be addressed on Earth.
“So fix some of the stuff down here, but we can curl your hair and put lotion on your face at the same time,” he said.
Shatner’s foray into space Wednesday hoisted him and the others more than 60 miles above Earth. The capsule spent about three minutes in zero gravity above the Karman Line — the internationally recognized boundary of outer space — before heading back to Earth.
After he touched down, the actor delivered an out-of-this-world, tearful monologue about the experience.
“Everybody in the world needs to do this!” Shatner told the second-richest man in the world while others celebrated over champagne in the background. “To see the moon come and whip by — now you’re staring into blackness — that’s the thing.”
Shatner told ET that the trip “reminded me of the death facing me because of my age… but also how to protect you in the years to come, and my children, and my children’s children.”
He added: “That’s what’s critical.”