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Captain Kirk beams in for special message to Discovery spaceship

by Kelly MacNeil on March 7, 2011

NASA's Discovery space shuttle has made 39 flights and 13 trips to the International Space Station, but it's doubtful that the crew had ever heard anything quite like what they heard at 3:23am on Monday – the voice of Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk awakening them.

As the theme of the Star Trek played within the ship, Kirk said: "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 on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before."

In part, this was one of the ways to conclude Discovery's voyage, which is slated to end on Wednesday when the crew docks at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Kirk's message – as voiced by actor William Shatner, who portrayed the space-faring captain on the popular TV show – was the runner-up announcement in a poll held by NASA. The agency asked the public which song would be best suited to awakening the crew.

The winner was Blue Sky by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, to be played on Tuesday.

This voyage is the Discovery's last. NASA states that the objective of the mission, STS-133, was to install spare components, a Permanent MultiPurpose Module, and the Express Logistics 4 Carrier in the International Space Station.

"We enjoyed having you as guests, we're going to miss you, and we're going to miss space shuttle Discovery," commander of the international space station Scott Kelley told crew members when they were leaving the facility, according to The Register. "Discovery been a great ship and has really supported ISS [international space station] more than any other shuttle and we wish her fair winds and following seas. Thank you."

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