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William Shatner's flying phobia led to space snub

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Sep 19, 2013 | 11:55pm EDT

Star Trek legend William Shatner has snubbed the chance to go into space for real - because he's scared of flying. The actor, who played Captain James Kirk in the hit sci-fi series, was invited by Sir Richard Branson to be one of the lucky few to become the first space tourists aboard his Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip. However, the British tycoon reveals Shatner has no ambitions to boldly go where no man has gone before, because he hates being up in the air. Branson says, "He actually said he's frightened of airline travel - which is slightly disillusioning. Captain Kirk is scared of flying." The confession comes two years after Shatner insisted he turned down the trip because he was expected to foot the bill. He said, "He wanted me to go up and pay for it and I said, 'Hey, you pay me and I'll go. I'll risk my life for a large sum of money'. But he didn't pick me up on my offer."

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