Nichelle Nichols and some tribbles went on a NASA mission this week

Uhura starred in her own Star Trek prequel aboard the SOFIA telescope observatory spacecraft.

 

Aja Romano

Internet Culture

Published Sep 17, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 11:12 pm CDT

Nichelle Nichols boldy went where few have gone before this week when she joined a NASA space expedition aboard the telescope-bearing shuttle SOFIA—the Stratospheric Observatory for Infared Astronomy.

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Oh, and she took a familiar space traveler with her—a tribble.

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The iconic actress known for playing Uhurua in Star Trek has been to space once before, nearly four decades ago, when she was part of the first team of researchers aboard NASA’s C-141 Astronomy Observatory. 

The major difference? They didn’t have Twitter.

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The legendary actress/astronaut joined a crew of 25 teammates and a large telescope aboard the shuttle, where she answered questions from fans and joined in tweeting updates.

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And when she got on board, she found a friend waiting for her: 

Here’s Nichols in 1977 as part of the original observatory expedition:

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It’s wonderful to see that four decades haven’t been long enough to ground a true space explorer.

Photo via SOFIAtelescope/Twitter

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*First Published: Sep 17, 2015, 6:00 pm CDT