All the millions of years of evolution have brought us to this moment. Homo Sapiens has officially hit our apex as a species and we can start to take our foot off the gas now. From the time we came down out of the trees and learned to walk upright in the tall grass to harnessing fire, working with tools, creating chemicals that explode and launch rockets to the Space Race, it's all just been building toward one, singular purpose: Getting William Shatner into space on a giant vibrator is Peak Humanity.
Mission accomplished, people. Now you can all relax because it's downhill from here.
Why, you may ask, do I make such a big deal out of this 90-year-old celebrity? How about the fact that he's been in the public eye so long that he was in some of the most iconic "Twilight Zone"s ever, including the legendary "There's ... some ... thing ... on the wing of this plane!" episode. Or that he's the inspiration behind one of the all time classic SNL sketches (pardon the poor quality):
How about the fact that he was TJ Hooker? And despite all that sliding across the hoods of cars running after perps without his hairpiece coming loose, that's not his greatest character?
And now? Even being the man who brought one of my all time fictional heroes to life isn't Shatner's biggest accomplishment. Even being James T. Kirk is small Tribbles when it compares to being the oldest human to ever let slip the surly bonds of Earth.
And as if this hasn't been an emotional enough day for all us Shatner stans, NASA had to go and set our heart's phasers to Stun with this:
I may be just an illogical human, but I need to set my emotional Deflector Shields to full power right now.
Better yet, as fans of "Star Trek: The Original Series" will confirm, that trip of just a few minutes was the longest time Kirk ever spent in space without banging some alien smokeshow. Which assumes he didn't. And I'm not ruling it out. It didn't matter if they were green or blue or had six vaginas. If they were vaguely humanoid and identified as female, James Tiberius always found time in the middle of saving his ship and crew and the galaxy and was DTF.
In the bigger picture, it proves that space travel is no longer just a young man's game. And he gives hope to all of us that someday perhaps it'll be us sitting in the captain's chair, barking orders and boldly going where only one old geezer has gone before. William Shatner. From Canada to Hollywood to the cosmos. Thus becoming the one true Rocket Man.
No one deserves it more. Live long and prosper.