Image of the Day: Nichelle Nichols takes to the skies on a NASA mission

Nichelle Nichols cemented herself in our minds as the fearless female communications officer Lt. Uhura of the United Federation of Planets. Since then, she has worked with real-world space agency NASA to help recruit women and minorities. And even at the age of 82, she keeps on trekking.

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, Nichols joined NASA for its Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) telescope flight.

As Nichols writes on Starpower, “[T]his SOFIA flight will be observing star-forming regions, first in the constellation Sagittarius, then Aquila and Cygnus. They’ll be utilizing radio telescopes to detect emission from ionized hydrogen produced by young stars. Finally, we’ll be looking at a protostar in Taurus.”

This flight does not go to space. Instead, SOFIA flies only as high as 13.7 kilometers, above most of the Earth’s water vapor. The definition of space, however, is 100 kilometers above Earth.

This is great news, considering Nichols suffered a mild stroke in early June. She’s obviously made a great recovery, as you'll see below.

So good, in fact, that the actress/singer/dancer/NASA recruiter had also been seen enjoying herself at Dragon Con, below that.

(Via Facebook: StarTrekWomen)

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