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The Canadian actor who played Captain James T Kirk in the Star Trek franchise travelled to space last October with Amazon founder Jeff Bezoz’ Blue Origin mission.
The rocket successfully launched into space for 11 minutes.
After the rocket landed back on solid ground, the 91-year-old said he could not stop crying.
Speaking to CNN, he said it took him hours to understand why he was weeping. He said: “I realised I was in grief. I was grieving for the destruction of the Earth.”
He also described seeing the endless black expanse of outer space as “seeing death”.
Following the flight, the actor told Mr Bezos that he hoped he would “never recover from this”.
“I am so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary,” he said at the time.
Speaking about the climate crisis, Mr Shatner said: “It’s gonna get worse! It’s like somebody owing money on a mortgage, and they don’t have the payments and they think, ‘Oh well, let’s go to dinner and not think about it.’”
The “Star Trek” legend was one of four passengers on the space flight. He was joined by former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, healthcare entrepreneur Glen de Vries, and Blue Origin executive Audrey Powers.
The passengers experienced three minutes of weightlessness during the flight and saw the curvature of Earth.
Mr Shatner defended space exploration by billionaire developers such as Mr Bezoz and Elon Musk, who are often at the centre of criticsm by people who question why they need to have space companies.
The actor said the purpose of the space voyages is to make people “accustomed” to space, rather than a show of vanity.