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William Shatner Reveals Mixed Emotions from Trip to Space: 'Everything I Had Thought Was Wrong'

William Shatner
William Shatner

Greg Doherty/Getty

William Shatner's trip to outer space left him with mixed emotions.

Back in October 2021, the Star Trek actor, 91, traveled on Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space shuttle, becoming the oldest living person to go into space.

In an excerpt from his new book Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder obtained by Variety, Shatner detailed that he was surprised by how he reacted to the adventure.

"You can only prepare so much for a trip out of Earth's atmosphere!" Shatner said, per Variety.

"I love the mystery of the universe. I love all the questions that have come to us over thousands of years of exploration and hypotheses," he wrote.

RELATED: William Shatner's Family Tried Talking Him Out of Space Flight — But He Said 'Save Your Breath'

Handout photo dated October 13, 2021 of the crew of NS-18 at apogee. Hollywood actor William Shatner
Handout photo dated October 13, 2021 of the crew of NS-18 at apogee. Hollywood actor William Shatner

ABACA/Shutterstock

All of that became secondary when he gazed out into space. "There was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold... all I saw was death," said Shatner.

When his attention returned to Earth, he recognized all that he was leaving behind — and how important it was to him.

"It was life. Nurturing, sustaining, life. Mother Earth. Gaia. And I was leaving her," Shatner continued.

"Everything I had thought was wrong," Shatner then detailed. "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."

RELATED VIDEO: William Shatner and Blue Origin Passengers Float In Space

RELATED: 'Overwhelmed' William Shatner Tears Up as He Takes First Steps Back on Earth After Space Flight

Comparing his experience to Jodie Foster's character in the movie Contact, Shatner added, "I discovered that the beauty isn't out there, it's down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound."

In the excerpt, Shatner wrote that he later learned he "was not alone in this feeling," which is called the "Overview Effect" and is "not uncommon among astronauts."

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Coined by space author and philosopher Frank White, the powerful phenomenon describes how seeing the planet from space can change a person's perspective on Earth — and life.

"It reinforced tenfold my own view on the power of our beautiful, mysterious collective human entanglement, and eventually, it returned a feeling of hope to my heart," he wrote.

Handout photo dated October 13, 2021 of William Shatner looks out of the New Shepard windows on NS-18.
Handout photo dated October 13, 2021 of William Shatner looks out of the New Shepard windows on NS-18.

ABACA/Shutterstock

In October 2021, the Emmy Award-winning actor also told Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos about his experiences high above the blue planet.

"In a way, it's indescribable," Shatner told Bezos, 58, who made his own trip to space in July 2021.

"Not only is it different from what you thought, it happens so quickly," he added during a Blue Origin live stream.

RELATED: William Shatner Says Space Trip Reminds Him Why 'We Need to Take Care of the Planet'

Handout photo dated October 13, 2021 of the crew of NS-18 at crew capsule recovery. Hollywood actor William Shatner has become the oldest person to go to space as he blasted off aboard the Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule
Handout photo dated October 13, 2021 of the crew of NS-18 at crew capsule recovery. Hollywood actor William Shatner has become the oldest person to go to space as he blasted off aboard the Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule

ABACA/Shutterstock

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The Emmy-winning actor shared more on the TODAY show, telling co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb that he was "overwhelmed" by his out-of-this-world experience.

"When I was there [in space], everything I thought might be clever to say [about the trip] went out the window," he said. "I was struck so profoundly by it."

Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, which is co-authored by Josh Brandon, is available for purchase now.