A real-life astronaut took her love of Star Trek into space in2015, and her social media post has gone viral four years later. European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti donned her own Starfleet uniform for a photo she tweeted out to Earth. Cristoforetti’s uniform looks like the kind worn on Star Trek: Voyager. She quoted Capt. Janeway while greeting the Dragon space capsule, which had been sent by SpaceX carrying food, scientific experiments, supplies, and most importantly… coffee. “There's coffee in that nebula' ... ehm, I mean... in that #Dragon," Cristoforetti tweeted, borrowing a line from Janeway in the Voyager episode “The Cloud.” The Dragon brought the International Space Station its first-ever espresso machine, a welcome improvement over the powdered instant coffee the astronauts had been settling for until then.
Over the weekend, the years-old tweet surged to the top of subreddits dedicated to space travel and Star Trek alike. From there, it began spreading across Twitter and other social media sites. It's unclear why the tweet began making the rounds again, but perhaps NASA's first all-female spacewalk reminded some fans of this moment.
That tweet was not the first time that Cristoforetti let her Trekkie side out during her space mission. Cristoforetti was in space when Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy died earlier in 2015. Cristoferetti tweeted out a photo of herself in space wearing a Starfleet badge and giving the Vulcan salute. "'Of all the souls I have encountered.. his was the most human,'" she tweeted, borrowing another famous Star Trek line, this one from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. "Thx @TheRealNimoy for bringing Spock to life for us."
Kate Mulgrew played Capt. Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager in Star Trek: Voyager. In September, she commemorated the 25th anniversary of the first time she stepped into the role. “It’s come to my attention that on this day, 25 years ago, I filmed my first scenes as Captain Janeway,” Mulgrew wrote on Facebook. “Thus, 25 years ago today I walked onto the Bridge and my life changed utterly. A singularly privileged and extraordinary journey on that intrepid vessel, with my beloved crew. How lucky I have been.”
Star Trek: Voyager itself will celebrate its 25th anniversary in January 2020. The anniversary has led some fans to renew their call for Mulgrew to return as Janeway, be it a cameo on the upcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard or in another series. Mulgrew has said before that “I did it on Voyager. I played at the admiral, I did it. I think I did it.” She’s not sure that she’d want to return to that well again.
“I don’t know,” she said in an interview. “It surprised me when Patrick [Stewart] came out on the stage—I was there that day—and announced it. It surprised me that he wanted to. But I think he knows it will probably have a shot at being quite a hit. And there’s no one who likes to work as much as Patrick Stewart. And for him, it will probably be very successful. Picard was beloved. Yeah, it’ll be interesting. I don’t know what to say about Janeway. Seven years is a long time to play a character. I’m not sure that she would enjoy resuscitation. She was a very, very vibrant person, while she was. I would have to cross that bridge when I got there. It’s nothing that I have entertained.”
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