Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek's legendary Uhura, blasted into space (or near space) on Tuesday night as part of NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infared Astronomy (SOFIA) telescope mission. Now let's put that in perspective: the unstoppable Nichols is 82 years old and recently had a minor stroke, and there she was on the specially outfitted Boeing 747 that carried the telescope, instrumentation and crew.
According to Popular Mechanics, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy instrumentation "makes observations in infrared of planetary atmospheres, distant supernova, comets, and other objects not always easy to see from the ground in the visible spectrum. By flying into the stratosphere, the plane is above interference from water vapor."
Nichols was one of the first non-essential personnel to fly on the plane. Throughout her journey, Nichols answered questions for the public and tweeted about her experience. Below is a selection of photos and tweets that document Nichol's latest trip to the final frontier and provide proof positive that she continues to live long and prosper.
Nichols meets with NASA Program Managers
Nichols prepares for flight by watching a training video
Nichols receives her flight jacket
Nichols boards the SOFIA
Nichols is ready for take-off!
Nichols signs off