“Star Trek” actor William Shatner responded to Prince William’s jab at space exploration in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Friday.
The 90-year-old actor, who became an icon for his role as Captain Kirk in the hugely influential television series Star Trek, recently completed a trip to space with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin project.
“He’s got the wrong idea,” Shatner said to Entertainment Tonight. “The idea here is not to go, ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space.’ No.”
“I would tell the prince, and I hope the prince gets the message, this is a baby step into the idea of getting industry, all those polluting industries, off of Earth,” he added.
“You can build a base 250, 280 miles above the Earth and send that power down here, and they catch it, and they then use it, and it’s there,” Shatner said, insisting that the prince was not considering how space exploration could potentially improve life on Earth.
Shatner believes that “somebody as rich as Jeff Bezos” needs to make the first move by saying, “Let’s go up there,” in order to break ground on Earth by exploring what space has to offer.
“The prince is missing the point,” Shatner added. “The point is these are the baby steps to show people it’s very practical. You can send somebody like me up into space.”
William Shatner speaks out after Prince William derides space exploration
Prince William sharply criticized space tourism and billionaires going into space in an interview with the BBC earlier this week.
In his opinion, these entrepreneurs, including Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who are introducing space tourism to the world via their own rocket trips to space, should use their wealth to address environmental crises on Earth.
Prince William’s ideas on the state of the climate in general and space tourism in particular, part of an exclusive interview with the BBC, came on the heels of an earlier interview by his father, Prince Charles, who spoke at length to the BBC at his family’s estate in Balmoral.
For his part, Prince William stated “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”
“It really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet] rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future,” he added.
The 39-year-old royal, who is second in line to the throne, had also said that in the past there have been “clever speak, clever words but not enough action” in the campaign against climate change.