William Shatner Says Prince William ‘Misses The Basics’ Of Space Tourism
By Charles Riley, CNN Business
William Shatner fires a rhetorical flare at Prince William after the future king criticizes space tourism.
Shatner, who exploded in space earlier this week on one of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ rockets, said the British King had “a bad idea” in saying that solving problems on Earth should be priority over tourist travel in space.
“He’s a lovable, sweet and educated man, but he has a bad idea,” Shatner said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “The idea here isn’t to say ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space,’ Shatner added, saying trips like his represent a ‘small step’ towards relocating polluting industries to the world. space.
The 90-year-old “Star Trek” actor said an electricity-generating base could be built 250 miles above Earth and used to power homes and businesses below. “The prince is missing the point,” he added.
“All he needs is… someone as rich as Jeff Bezos [to say], ‘Let’s go up there.’ ”
Without naming names, William criticized billionaires focused on space tourism in an interview with the BBC on Thursday, saying they should invest more time and money to save Earth. Bezos, SpaceX boss Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson take all the tourists into space.
“We need some of the greatest brains and minds in the world determined to try to fix this planet, not to try to find the next place to go to live,” the prince said.
The second in line to the British throne said he had “absolutely no interest” in going to space. He also expressed concern about the environmental impact of space tourism, saying there was a “fundamental question” about the carbon cost of space flights.
Shatner became the oldest person to ever travel to space when his ship – a suborbital space tourism rocket built by Blue Origin – grazed the edge of Earth’s atmosphere and plunged it into zero gravity. Shatner described the gain of floating above Earth as “deep.”
The actor said space travel isn’t something a person can figure out until “you’re up there and you see the pitch black darkness, the ugliness.”
“From our perspective, space is filled with mystery… but at that point it’s darkness and death. Right now down here as we look down [Earth] is life and fulfillment. That’s what everyone needs to know, ”Shatner told CNN after his flight.
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