Star Trek captain wants to join NASA's historic Demo-2 mission

William Shatner has plenty of fictional spaceflight experience. And he looks good in a SpaceX spacesuit.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

William Shatner as Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series.


There's a ready and willing replacement waiting in the wings if  NASA astronauts Bob Behnken or Doug Hurley can't make it on board the SpaceX Crew Dragon for its historic launch next week. Star Trek actor William Shatner has volunteered for the journey to the International Space Station. 

Shatner, famous for his role at Captain James T. Kirk, tweeted a photo of his face in a SpaceX spacesuit to NASA's attention on Wednesday. "Just in case; the suit does fit!" he wrote.

Behnken, an astronaut who's been training for years for real, tweeted back with "How many people can say William Shatner offered to stand in at work for them? I appreciate the offer Captain!"

Shatner replied saying, "What are you talking about, Bob? I'm going to be sitting beside you." I guess that means Hurley is the odd astronaut out.

Shatner has long been an advocate for NASA. He narrated the Artemis program trailer and recruited space fans to become a part of the Parker Solar Probe mission. NASA honored Shatner with a Distinguished Public Service Medal in 2014.

The Demo-2 mission is a critical test for NASA's Commercial Crew Program and will mark SpaceX's first time sending humans into space. The launch is scheduled for May 27 (here's how to watch), which won't give Shatner much time to get through astronaut training. 

Captain Kirk can at least start practicing on SpaceX's ISS docking simulator, which should be a lot easier than the Kobayashi Maru.

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