Shuttle Discovery
Photo: Wikimedia Commmons.

Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery were awakened by the voice of Captain Kirk recently during a mission. The crew woke up to theĀ  theme of the original “Star Trek” television series and a specialized version of the opening monologue, read by William Shatner. Discovery is flying its last mission.

‘These are the voyages of the Shuttle Discovery’

The crew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery received a unique wake-up call from Earth while on a mission to the International Space Station, according to CNN. At 3:23 a.m. on March 7, Discovery received a broadcast from Houston featuring the voice of William Shatner reading the famous monologue from the opening credits of the original “Star Trek” television series. The monologue, read by “Captain Kirk” himself, had the original theme music with some alternate words to fit the occasion:

“Space, the final frontier. These have been the voyages of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her 30 year mission: to seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together in the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before.”

Song picked through NASA song contest

NASA allows the public to vote for songs to be used as a “wake up call” for astronauts in orbit through the NASA Song Contest. NASA has broadcast a “wake up” song to nearly every mission to space in its history, though songs were usually picked by NASA officials or astronauts’ families.Voting for the song selection was opened up to the public several years ago, and people can submit original music or vote on a selection of popular songs. The theme to “Star Trek” has been on the list for a long time, and William Shatner and Patrick Stewart have both contributed custom versions of the “Star Trek” monologue. Voting has already started for the next mission, STS-134, which should launch on April 19.

Last voyage of Discovery

This is the last mission in space for the Shuttle Discovery. Discovery and the crew of Shuttle Mission STS-133 will land at Cape Canaveral on Wednesday, March 9, and the spacecraft will be retired. Two final shuttle missions are scheduled for April and July, according to the Washington Times, that will be the final flights of the Endeavour and the Atlantis, respectively. After the shuttles are retired, space flight will be conducted by “space ferry” crafts that will be built and operated by private companies while NASA works on the next generation of spacecraft.

Sources

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/03/07/nasa.shuttle/index.html?hpt=T2

NASA Song Contest: https://songcontest.nasa.gov/home.aspx

History of NASA Wake Up Songs (PDF – Requires Adobe Reader): http://history.nasa.gov/wakeup%20calls.pdf

Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/7/space-shuttle-discovery-heads-home-to-retirement/?page=1

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