The elegant, ground-breaking, legendary Nichelle Nichols, most famously known as Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek series, boarded a NASA flight Tuesday to explore the Final Frontier.
Observing stars in deep space, Nichols explored in a Stratospheric Observatory called SOFIA. This aircraft ascends and opens a door to allow a giant telescope with a 2.5 meter wide mirror to look into the heavens.
But how do you keep something so intricate steady? Nichelle, who has been supporting NASA since the 1960s, can tell you. “The telescope is mounted on a spherical bearing to isolate it from aircraft motion and is stabilized with gyroscopes.”
Carrying a tribble (seriously!), Nichols wore a NASA flight uniform atop her gold comm necklace. She gave a Vulcan salute to say hello to her flight instructor, who helped her prepare for her seven-hour journey.
Nichelle continuously retweeted the official SOFIA account to share her excitement with her fans. This is an example of something they saw.
— SOFIAtelescope (@SOFIAtelescope) September 16, 2015
Nichelle Nichols is an official ambassador for NASA, encouraging women and ethnic minorities to study science and become involved in space. She's basically the real deal, and the best ever.