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'Star Trek's' Uhura will join a NASA mission (but not to space)

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Making geek dreams come true, Star Trek's original Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, announced a few days ago that she's going on a mission for NASA. But don't get your hopes up for Nichols getting into space -- she's actually flying on the agency's airborne observatory SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), which studies things like the birth and death of stars, black holes in galactic centers and how new solar systems come together. Due to its unique observation location, it can detect things far out of reach for ground-based telescopes. Nichols says she'll be flying on September 15th, and she might even be able to share her experience live on her celebrity philanthropy site, Starpower. This isn't her first time on a NASA mission: she also flew on the first-generation Kuiper Airborne Observatory back in the '70s. SOFIA is an upgraded mission, which uses a customized Boeing 747 and six instruments for capturing the cosmos, including cameras, a photometer and spectrometers.

[Thanks, Kristy]

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