Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols Is Heading to the Stars on a NASA Ship

Illustration for article titled iStar Trek/is Nichelle Nichols Is Heading to the Stars on a NASA Ship

Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek television show, revealed that she will be heading out on a NASA flight in September.


According to People, the 82-year-old actress announced during a Reddit chat that she will board the space program’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) which will “study the planet’s atmosphere, investigate comets and more.” She departs on September 15.

“SOFIA does not, sadly, fly into space,” she said. “It’s an airborne observatory, a massive telescope mounted inside a 747 flying as high as is possible. I was on a similar flight, the first airborne observatory, back in 1977. It’s an amazing experience, you get a totally different perspective than from Earth. I do hope someone gets some great pictures.”


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Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman in space in 1992, and would start every shift on the Space Shuttle with Uhura’s famous words: ‘Hailing frequencies open.’ I like that.