Shatners talks space, acting with fellow Canuck on ISS

Science fiction meets science reality


William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise, has been chatting with fellow Canadian Chris Hadfield, who is about to take over as the commander of the International Space Station.

Hadfield, wearing a red shirt, opened the chat with a blast of the Star Trek boatswain's whistle, used in the series to signify that the captain is on deck. However, the tone came from Hadfield's iPad, not from some high-tech wind instrument.

Being an astronaut is much like being an actor, Hadfield told Shatner – the biggest fear is not knowing your lines. Hadfield's six-month trip to the ISS was the culmination of five years of training, all making sure that if the unexpected happened, he would know what to do, just as rehearsal is so important for thespians.

Shatner also asked why there appears to be something of a pause in the US space program, but Hadfield said it was just a hiatus because the nation was between launch vehicles. With the retirement of the shuttle, things are slow now, he said, but international cooperation would ensure that the ISS and her crew remain in orbit for years to come.

As for any forthcoming mission to Mars, Hadfield said he was ready and keen to go, although that was going to be some time in the future. Hadfield invited Shatner to his cottage in Ontario when he gets back to Earth, so that they could discuss things further over brandies and cigars and watch satellites skim across the night sky.

Shatner stepped down halfway through the 20-minute link-up to allow other space enthusiasts, dubbed "tweeps" by the Canadian Space Agency, to get their questions in. In the multi-lingual chat, Hadfield covered private space efforts, the use of social media, and the opportunities for stargazing on the ISS.

Hadfield's back at work now, but on Friday he's going to be breaking out the ISS guitar and jamming with the band Bare Naked Ladies, a prospect he admitted to being more than a little nervous about. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022