Nichelle Nichols – at 82 years old and just a few months removed from a minor stroke – will boldly go on a NASA mission next month. Nichols, Star Trek’s beloved Uhura and a longtime NASA ambassador and recruiter, said in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) interview last Thursday that she will be aboard NASA’s SOFIA space telescope when it blasts off in September. The telescope will hurtle approximately 50,000 feet into the stratosphere.

“SOFIA does not, sadly, fly into space,” Nichols replied to a fan who asked for more details about the mission. “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.”

And, she added, “I do hope someone gets some great pictures.”
Nichols also recounted, among other anecdotes, the oft-told story of how Dr. Martin Luther King convinced her to stay with Star Trek when she’d decided to quit. Go HERE to read the whole AMA.


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