The New Scientist reports in a Jan. 7, 2013 story of how modern social media, NASA’s space program, and iconic 1960s era science fiction television met in a curious series of exchanges over twitter between a real astronaut and a group of people who played space explorers on TV and in the movies.
The fun started when William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk on “Star Trek,” tweeted Chris Hadfield, a fellow Canadian who is newly arrived on the International Space Station, “Are you tweeting from space?”
Hadfield replied, "Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain. And we're detecting signs of life on the surface." That was dialogue that might have occurred on the show.
Several other actors from the old “Star Trek” series soon joined in. George Takai, who played Lt. Sulu, tweeted a joke about not wanting to beam down while wearing a red shirt. During the series, guest actors who wound up dead on alien planets tended to wear the red shirt of a security officer in the fictional Star Fleet.
Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock, the half alien science officer, offered his iconic greeting, “Live long and prosper.”
The 1980s spin-off of “Star Trek,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” intruded when Will Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher in the latter series, tweeted with offers of help if “nanobots” were to attack the ISS.
All that was needed would have been for Nichelle Nichols, who played the communications officer, Lt. Uhura, to keep the hailing frequencies open.