If anyone was going to do it, it was Nichelle Nichols.
ABC News is reporting that Star Trek living legend, the always stunning Nichelle Nichols, will be travelling on the NASA SOFIA flight next month (September) when it takes off for the Earth’s stratosphere.
SOFIA stands for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, and though it won’t be going into space – it’ll be getting pretty close.
Nichelle took part in an “Ask Me Anything” celebrity Reddit session a few days ago, where she said:
“In September, I’m travelling on a NASA SOFIA flight, a second generation Airborn Observatory, which I am honoured to have been invited to. SOFIA does not, sadly, fly into space. It’s an airborne observatory, a massive telescope mounted inside a 747 flying as high as possible. I was on a similar flight, the first airborn observatory, back in 1977. It’s an amazing experience, you get a totally different perspective than from Earth.”
Fans of Nichelle are aware of her long relationship with NASA. For those who aren’t, after the cancellation of Star Trek the original series in 1969, Nichelle started volunteering her time to a special project with NASA to recruit women and minorities to the Space Program through a company she helped run called Women in Motion. The program was a phenomenal success and its impact is still felt today.
Nichelle has long been a vocal advocate for space exploration, and has served since the mid-1980s on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society.
In the ABC article, Nichelle also goes on to talk briefly about the original Star Trek series, and her willingness to return to the franchise if she was ever asked.
For those of you interested in learning more about NASA, you can visit their website right here.