It’s been 49 years since Nichelle Nichols took on the role of Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek series, but her relationship with space exploration is continuing.
The actress, 82, revealed on Friday during a Reddit AMA that she will be a passenger on an upcoming flight of NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), an aircraft equipped with a powerful telescope used to study the planet’s atmosphere, investigate comets and more. The flight takes off on Sept. 15.
Nichols – who has recovered from a minor stroke she suffered in June – clarified on Reddit that no, she won’t actually be heading into the final frontier, however.
“SOFIA does not, sadly, fly into space,” she said. “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. I do hope someone gets some great pictures.”