William Shatner says his trip to space gave him 'overwhelming sadness'

VAN HORN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 13: Star Trek actor William Shatner speaks during a media availability on the landing pad of Blue Origin’s New Shepard after flying into space on October 13, 2021 near Van Horn, Texas. Shatner became the oldest person to fly into space on the ten minute flight. He flew with three other civilians aboard mission NS-18, the second human spaceflight for the company which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
William Shatner just before he went to space. (Getty Images)

William Shatner has opened up on his recent trip to space with Jeff Bezos.

The Star Trek legend discusses the moment in his new memoir Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder.

Shatner wrote of seeing space for the first time: "When I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold... all I saw was death."

Read more: William Shatner relives the experience of blasting off into space: 'Oh s*** I could die!'

The 91-year-old actor added: "I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things — that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe."

William Shatner in <em>Star Trek</em>. (NBC)
William Shatner in Star Trek. (NBC)

Shatner continued: "It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness... My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral."

Shatner travelled to space in October 2021 on the Blue Origin capsule that also contained Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The actor was seen to be visibly emotional when the capsule landed back on Earth.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 03: William Shatner speaks during 2022 Dragon Con at Hilton Atlanta on September 03, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
William Shatner became the oldest person to visit space. (Getty Images)

When he flew into space, the actor, best known for playing Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series, became the oldest person to ever go to space.

What Shatner experienced is commonly known as the overview effect where astronauts become struck with awe at seeing the Earth from space.

The first man in space, Yuri Gagarin experienced the phenomenon as Michael Collins, who was a part of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Collins later said: "The thing that really surprised me was that it [Earth] projected an air of fragility. And why, I don't know. I don't know to this day. I had a feeling it's tiny, it's shiny, it's beautiful, it's home, and it's fragile."

Watch below: William Shatner filmed space trip for upcoming documentary about his life