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Nichelle Nichols “Lt. Uhura” flies aboard SOFIA

Nichelle Nichols recently flew on board NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, the world’s largest airborne observatory. Ms. Nichols has been collaborating with NASA for years, actively recruiting into the astronaut corps and into STEM careers. In the 1980s, she flew on SOFIA’s predecessor, the Kuiper Airborne Observatory.

During her flight, Ms. Nichols recorded this short message highlighting the important research NASA is doing to further humankind’s exploration of the solar system and beyond. Learn more by visiting:


“Hi, I”m Nichelle Nichols, I played Lieutenant Uhura – Chief Communications Officer aboard the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek The Original Series. Today I’m aboard SOFIA, a NASA aircraft flying into a stratosphere with an infrared telescope to observe light coming from interstellar objects. SOFIA helps astronomers learn more about the birth of stars, formations of planetary systems, black holes and more.. 

SOFIA  reminds of the starship Enterprise – it goes ‘Where no man or woman has ever gone before’

Live long and prosper

Nichelle Nichols