Star Trek's Lt Uhura joins NASA as 'non-essential guest' on a special mission

Sadly she won't be going into space, although she's probably had quite enough of that sort of thing

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Nichelle Nichols has said she is ‘honoured’ to be joining a special NASA mission.

While she won’t be required to go into space, fight aliens or spend any time with William Shatner, Nichols will be among the first 'non-essential personnel' to experience NASA’s newest telescope SOFIA.

SOFIA stands for Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, and is an ‘airborne telescope’ built into the fuselage of a Boeing 747.

The mission will take off from a NASA research center near California and observe the stars from the sky using the powerful telescope.


SOFIA was created to observe infrared energy in the universe, which enables the study of star births and black holes. It can also aid researchers into learning more about nebulae, solar systems, comets and asteroids.

Nichols even claimed she had been on the plane’s first generation model, the Keiper Airborne Observatory, when it was flown during the mid 1970s, saying she was even allowed to operate the equipment.