Former NASA astronaut shares excitement for Shatner’s space launch

Morning In America

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Former NASA astronaut José Hernández shared his excitement for William Shatner’s journey to the edge of space Wednesday on NewsNation’s “Morning in America.”

Hernández said he watched the “Star Trek” series as a kid in the 1960s and says he thinks “it’s great that he finally is going to be able to go to space.”

Shatner, 90, traveled 10 minutes just beyond the Kármán line and was joined by three others: Blue Origin Vice President Audrey Powers and two entrepreneurs, Glen de Vries and Chris Boshuizen. The flight was the second passenger flight from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

Although Shatner isn’t a traditional astronaut, Hernández says crossing the Kármán line makes him official.

Hernández was assigned to the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-128 in 2009. He also served as chief of the Materials and Processes branch of Johnson Space Center.

“I was up there for 14 days so I had time to really enjoy. We circled the earth every 90 minutes. He’s only going to get about 3 minutes unbuckled and in the microgravity environment,” Hernández said. “My advice to him is to look out the window, enjoying the view for those 3 minutes and then buckle back up because it’ll be a bumpy ride back home.”

When asked about his experience in space, Shatner said it was “profound.”

“I hope I never recover from this,” Shatner added.

Hernández says he hopes that opportunities like this will push the bounds for future generations.

“Humans are explorers by nature and we’ve got to push the envelope of our exploration abilities and that alone pushes technology so that we come up with innovations that can be applied here on earth,” he said.

Hernández’s story will be brought to life in Netflix’s “A Million Miles Away.” The film will chronicle the life of Hernández as he persevered through rejection to become a part of the Space Shuttle mission STS-128.

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