William Shatner Gets Official Astronaut Wings As ‘Shatner In Space’ Doc Is Released

William Shatner’s historic flight into space in October has now officially made the Star Trek star an astronaut. This news arrives just in time for the new documentary all about his Blue Origin adventure.

Captain Kirk is officially an astronaut

The US Federal Aviation Administration has officially designated William Shatner as an astronaut. The FAA has recognized Shatner along with 12 others who have flown commercial flights into space, expanding their astronaut list on the official Commercial Human Spaceflight Recognition website.

“The U.S. commercial human spaceflight industry has come a long way from conducting test flights to launching paying customers into space,” FAA Associate Administrator Wayne Monteith said in a statement. “The Astronaut Wings program, created in 2004, served its original purpose to bring additional attention to this exciting endeavor. Now it’s time to offer recognition to a larger group of adventurers daring to go to space.”

Others being added include billionaires Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin and Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic, both of whom also flew into space this year.

Audrey Powers, William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen, and Glen de Vries after returning to Earth (Blue Origin)

Shatner in Space out now

Today Amazon Prime Video released Shatner in Space, a one-hour special documentary all about William Shatner’s journey into space. The doc takes you behind the scenes to see how Shatner and Blue Origin prepared for the flight.

Check out the release trailer.

In an interview promoting the release with the AP, Shatner talked about why at age 90 he chose to go into space:

Well, I’ve been doing a lot of foolish things, according to my wife, in the last many years. I’m probably an adrenaline junkie. A couple of years ago I drove a motorcycle across the country, and I recently went down 60 feet underwater and visited with four tiger sharks. I’m no stranger to thinking, “Oh, geez, I can die here.” But I didn’t feel the necessity of going up into space. Why do I want to put myself in that position? It’s uncomfortable. I’ve got, my wife calls them “velvet sheets,” I can just snuggle in. Then I thought a little further about it, the idea of weightlessness and going into space and just the feeling, and (decided) “I’ll do it.” When it caught people’s imagination I was absolutely shocked. I was as shocked about that as I was about the flight itself.

William Shatner (Prime Video)

New Shepard launch (Prime Video)Shatner in Space debuts today on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., Canada,UK, Australia, and New Zealand, with additional territories launching in early 2022.

Nimoy honored by Blue Origin

Over the weekend Blue Origin sent up their follow-up commercial human spaceflight mission into space and once again Star Trek was part of the journey. The family of Leonard Nimoy provided Blue Origin with a special necklace and pendant bearing the Star Trek’s stars iconic Vulcan salute.

Speaking to Space.com, Julie Nimoy said:

There’s no question that dad was extremely proud of the fact that he inspired generations of astronauts, scientists and engineers towards careers in space technology and exploration. I’m certain he would have used this opportunity to spread an enduring message of hope and inspiration for all to Live Long and Prosper.

The necklace was sent into space on December 11 on board Blue Origin’s NS-19 mission along with Laura Shepard Churchley, the 75-year-old daughter of Alan Shepard, the first NASA astronaut and namesake for Blue Origin’s New Shepard.

Find more Star Trek documentaries at TrekMovie.com.

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I know this will trigger some comments about Shatner. If I may, Glen de Vries, also a passanger on this flight, perished in a plane crash about a month ago. In the spirit of the holidays, and understanding that there are people out there grieving the loss of Mr. de Vries, lets exercise a little compassion if one is feeling the need to flame Shatner about this flight. Happy holidays.

The verve that William Shatner brought to the role of Captain Kirk was part of what made TOS the phenomenon that it was. While admitting that, I used to have a lot of scorn for Shatner, for the way he treated his co-stars, and for his perennial self focus.

But when a man reaches NINETY years old and is still having adventures, I can’t help but admire him. Bill may be a flaming narcissist, but he’s OUR flaming narcissist :-), and I have to say that we’re lucky to have him.

I agree with everything you said!

*smile* Thanks!

Well put.

I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of that, as it stands today, is Shatner knowing full well what his reputation is and just playing along with it, like he’s in on the joke, as he does about a lot of things. By his own account, having Nichelle Nichols open up to him about what a jerk he was was a real eye-opener. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but it even seems to me that the infamous “feud” with Takei is about 90% show on both their parts.

The trouble with good actors is that you never know when they’re sincere and when they’re acting. :-) You may well be right that Shatner is currently PLAYING Shatner-the-egotist.

But he wasn’t playing when he counted lines in the scripts and insisted that Mr. Nimoy got fewer lines than he, even if it made the story worse or harder to understand. He may or may not be joking currently, but it was certainly true that at one time, it was all very real.

But real or not, his unsinkable energy and amazing longevity have made me mostly forgive him. We humans gaze at the forces of nature in awe, after all. :-)

The whole counting lines thing? I’m sure it’s true but I think ALL actors do that. If they don’t count lines they worry when a scene is changed or their lines in a scene end up on the cutting room floor.
Let’s think about when Trek aired. Shatner was in a legal show, a year or two before ’65 that was cancelled after a single season. There is a LOT of pressure for the star of a network show, especially in the mid-60’s. If Trek had of failed in 66 and was cancelled after one season? Mr. Shatner would have rightfully been worried about his career, The networks would have balked at casting him as the lead in another show. “Shatner can’t carry a show!” may have been the response from the suits at the 3 networks.
In fact, Mr. Shatner’s career did “suffer” a bit after Trek was cancelled. He did the guest star bit on ’70’s shows. He did the game show circuit and made some mostly forgettable movies. After TMP and TWOK got made, his career had a resurgence in the ’80’s with TJ Hooker.
Mr. Shatner has appeared at the Set Tour in Ticonderoga, several times. He’s been wonderful each time.

Norman Spinrad reported that while filming “The Doomsday Machine,” Shatner insisted that one of Nimoy’s lines be cut, even though it would make the story worse. I’m sorry, but I really don’t believe that most actors do that.

Was the line fact cut?

I have no doubt Shatner was being a jerk back then, albeit for understandable reasons.

We could note, though, that of all his fellow actors, the one *most* affected was the one who became his closest friend.

The special was good, just watched it.

I’m looking forward to watching this documentary. As a wise man once said, it should prove “fascinating”.

Just watched it. A nice clean overview of the event. 47 minutes covered the whole thing.

Watched the documentary last night it was great. Shatner is a legend!


I don’t flame William Shatner for his courageous amazing achievement. He’s boldly gone where no Captain or where no 90 year old has gone before. There was a time when 14% of rainforests used to cover Earth now we’ve only 6%. In 40 years we’ll have none and thats only to begin. Then you have the planet heating up. They call the “culprit” greenhouse gas in the newspapers because everyone understands that but lets get scientific here, its nitrogen oxide. Its poisonous deadly gas and you can google and oogle it because its not going anywhere except raising the planets temperature. So now we have Elon Musk and others trying to solve lots of problems with electricity