The space shuttle Discovery left Earth for its 13th and final voyage two weeks ago, an 11-day resupply run for the orbiting International Space Station. The shuttle undocked from the station at 7 a.m. EST for the last time, but before the astronauts set out for their trip back home they were offered greetings from a fellow space voyager.
William Shatner, also known as Star Trek‘s U.S.S. Enterprise captain James T. Kirk, recorded a special message for the Discovery’s six-person crew, Spaceflight Now reports. The astronauts started their day at 3:23 a.m. with a familiar song to get themselves motivated: the original Star Trek theme. Instead of the usual Shatner monologue that is delivered over the opening credits, a special message was recorded by the veteran actor and dropped in as a tribute to the Discovery’s final crew.
Shatner read: “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.”
It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the way the original does, but it’s a cute, fitting send-off for the current generation of United States spacecraft. The Star Trek theme was used as a wakeup song for the astronauts, selected by a NASA vote. It actually came in second place, behind Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ “Blue Sky.” The shuttle crew will hear that song tomorrow morning, as they complete their final preparations for their return flight to Earth on Wednesday.