The crew of the space shuttle Discovery, which has started its return from the International Space Station, got a special wake-up call this morning from actor William Shatner of Captain Kirk fame from the TV series Star Trek. Fans of the show will recognize the intro music and narration, set to narrate the final mission of Discovery. According to NASA, music has been used to awaken astronauts since the Apollo mission, “when astronauts returning from the Moon were serenaded by their colleagues in mission control with lyrics from popular songs that seemed appropriate to the occasion.”
Discovery undocked from the International Space Station early a.m. of March 7, 2011, and it’s scheduled to land two days from now.
The Discovery space shuttle has flown 39 missions since 1984, and its current mission, STS-133, is its final one. Highlights of the Discovery missions include the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, the return to space following the Challenger disaster, and the first dock of a spacecraft with the International Space Station.
Jorge Salazar has conducted thousands of in-depth interviews with scientists in the process of creating science content for EarthSky. He also helps host the 90-second EarthSky podcasts. Jorge has a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He knows a lot about a lot of different things. For EarthSky, he has explored subjects as diverse as nanotechnology, ecosystem-based management, climate change, global health, international environmental treaties, astrophysics and cosmology, and environmental security. His penetrating research style, poetic writing, and ability to track down and speak with Nobel prize-winning laureates, all make him a huge asset to EarthSky.