CNN Business sat down with the “Star Trek” legend this week in a high-profile interview. Here is a brief recap.
“There’s Mother Earth and comfort, and then there’s…death,” he said at the time.
After the flight, he couldn’t stop crying, he said in an interview with CNN Business this week.
“It took me hours to figure out what it was, why I was crying,” he said. “I realized I was grieving. I was mourning the destruction of the Earth.”
Shatner said he was deeply influenced by “Silent Spring,” the 1962 book on environmentalism by biologist Rachel Carson.
What he thinks of billionaires in space
Companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Bezos’ Blue Origin – run by two of the world’s richest men – are often the butt of criticism. Can space exploration by a wealthy few ever spawn the kind of egalitarianism touted by “Star Trek”?
“It misses the whole idea here,” Shatner said. “The whole idea is to get people used to the space, like going to the French Riviera. It’s not a vanity. It’s a business.”
Why send a software developer into space?
Shatner said he jumped on board with the idea because he wanted “problem solvers” to experience a transformative high-altitude ride, just like him.
“I want to obtain [these coders] interested in building the financial community, but then saying, ‘Why don’t you focus on carbon capture or, you know, one of the big issues? Hunger? Poverty?'” Shatner said. .
Shatner’s Dinner with Stephen Hawking
Shatner said he has a newfound fascination with string theory – a popular idea that attempts to explain quantum physics, or how subatomic particles behave, and how it fits into more easily observable scientific ideas. like gravity.
“I never got to ask him that question” about string theory, Shatner recalls. “But he said when we made this arrangement, ‘I want to ask Shatner a question.’ I lean over, you know, we’re sitting side by side looking at the cameras…and he laboriously typed, ‘What’s your favorite episode?'”
Shatner, for the record, doesn’t have a favorite “Star Trek” episode and didn’t offer an answer. But Hawking invited him to dinner anyway.
” What are you doing ? At dinner ? With someone who can’t talk? Shatner burst out laughing. “But I had a great time with him.”
For the curious, Shatner also summarized his thoughts on string theory, which posits that everything in the universe is, at its most basic level, made up of vibrating strings: “I think we’re in vibration with the universe. . It’s a matter of us connecting.”