Sci-fi and sci-fact will collide again tomorrow, when the Orion -- NASA'S next-generation spacecraft -- blasts into space for a test flight. The unmanned craft will carry into space with it sci-fi collectibles/memorabilia, much of it provided by celebrities, as well as historic artifacts. So, in addition to a Marvel challenge coin (provided by Jon Favreau), Sesame Street's Slimey the Worm, one of Cookie Monster's cookies and a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil, the payload will include William Shatner's NASA-issued Orion EFT-1 "boarding pass" and a boxed Captain Kirk action figure.
"A noted space enthusiast, William Shatner is thrilled to send Kirk back to space and support Orion, while inspiring future generations about space travel," Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) vice president Skylar Jackson told collectSPACE.com.
The Orion Exploration Flight Test is set to launch Thursday at 7:05 a.m. EST on board a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta 4 Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. If all goes according to plan, future Orion missions will be manned, taking mankind to the final frontier.