Send Captains Kirk and Picard to Space

Meet Logan Kugler, a space enthusiast/trekkie with one simple goal: to send Captains Picard and Kirk into near-space — well, their action figures at least! Kugler has started a now fully funded (but still taking pledges for the next 24-hours) Kickstarter project to finance a high-altitude balloon that will send action figures of Captains Kirk and Picard along with their respective starship models (and a few of their friends) to a height of 120,000 feet along with cameras to capture the entire event. They are even selling the Kirk action figure and the model of the USS Enterprise that he flies to space on for the next 24-hours on their Kickstarter page!


Help make it so by checking out Kugler’s Kickstarter page, which has been funded to send Captain Picard, Commander Riker, and Lt. Data action figures along with a model Enterprise D as well as Captain Kirk and specially made JJ Abrams and Roberto Orci action figures with the Star Trek 2009 model of the Enterprise NCC-1701 (no bloody A, B, C, or D) PLUS five cameras, which will capture the entire event in three glorious dimensions all into near-space. GPS and HAM trackers will also be onboard to document the balloon’s movements.

Kugler has teamed up with a group of experienced young people who are experts in sending stuff into near space on high-altitude balloons. Most high-altitude balloons only reach 80 or 90,000 feet, but this trekked out space vessel plans to make it all the way to 120,000 feet, just shy of the high-altitude balloon world record. What’s more, with all of the cool tech packed onto this launch, it will be the most complex rig to reach that incredible height. The flight will also make the Starfleet captains the second highest “people” in the world, behind only the astronauts on the International Space Station. At the flight’s climax, it will be above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere.

“I’m a huge Star Trek fan,” says project lead Logan Kugler, an entrepreneur and space enthusiast based in Silicon Valley. “I’ve watched more than 20,000 minutes of Star Trek in total and it’s done more to expand my imagination than anything else. Picard and Kirk are the heroes of this incredibly inspiring fictional world and they’ve never actually been to space – so I think it’s time we send them there.”

What the view looks like from 120,000 feet

The launch takes place on May 5th, and along with all of the video footage taken by the team, the Discovery Channel will be there to document the entire thing! The Kickstarter is already fully funded, but you can still be a part of it (and snag some awesome rewards) for the next 24 hours — the project closes tomorrow! Some of the rewards still available include:

  • Star Trek communicator button that will have flown to edge of space with Picard and Kirk
  • The *actual* Kirk action figure or model of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 that Kirk flies to the edge of space on
  • A copy of the final production video of the historic flight

Snag some cool prizes in the next 24 hours over at Kickstarter!


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Why not a model of the real 1701? Seems like the Shat should be on that emblem, not Pine.

Hey WillH85,

We’re sending Shatner up, but we just put Pine in the logo to appeal to the huge new audience of Star Trek fans from the 2009 movie. The Shat is going though! :)


Fair enough.

I know it’s unfair, but when I see the ‘Picard & Kirk to Space’ logo, my brain says, ‘Picard and Chris Pine to Space.’

First off, there only a couple of comments. What do you suppose dveryone’s talking about? Anyhoo.. cool project. Are Kirk and Picard coming back via gravity or something less bumpy?


Kirk and Picard come back via parachute. :)



parahute eh? didn’t work so well in Trek ’09.

hope there is a back up plan…



(i’m too spoiled by autocorrect on my iPhone and spell check on my PC…)

Wow, Shatner is all but forgotten. Out with the old, in the with the new, eh?

No spacejump suits?

He’s sending Bob Orci into space? Hah!

Chris Pine??????????????????

Meh, feck off with that crap. Shatner all the way/

Too bad this was already done 2 years ago, without donations…

Just a thought.

(Action Figures in Spaaace!/Capt Kirk)

Trekmovie reported on this Nov. 12th, 2010– Already been done:)

>….Just this week, a handful of similar videos have popped up, including a team from north Texas known as the Brothers Gromm that sent Star Trek action figures 20 miles high and a group of Brits that launched a paper airplane 17 miles up.<

Finally, Shatner makes it to the final fronteir, in HD:)

Hey! Trekmovie reported on another group that did the exact same thing two years ago:

Become an Amateur Astronaut, Send Stuff into “Space”
Videos of amateur enthusiasts sending their stuff into space are becoming suddenly popular. Last month, we reported the home-made iphone-bearing spacecraft sent nearly 20 miles up by a father and son team. Just this week, a handful of similar videos have popped up, including a team from north Texas known as the Brothers Gromm that sent Star Trek action figures 20 miles high…

Both videos of the Action Figures in space project are available here…enjoy :)

Those videos reek. Let’s hope these guys do better.

What Bruce said!

Not only is that video an insult to all that is Captain Kirk, but we don’t even know that Kirk flew at all. Where’s the PROOF? The video does not show Kirk up in space. It shows some horribly disfigured Lego character on the ground on a sheet of carpet.

Not only is there ZERO proof that he flew at all, we can’t even tell that the figure in the picture at the very end is even Kirk. It looks like some kind of robot from Futurama.

Even if they did send him, they unfortunately did a very embarrassing job and from the photos in that “video,” it looks like they hardly entered the area of near space that starts at 65,000 feet. Bottom line: there’s no proof.

You want to see a real launch? Stand by for the one happening this Saturday.

Wow. So, not only does this group copy the work of others, but they poke fun at their predecessors work? Surprisingly rude and posts gentlemen. What sense does it make to sour your project by insulting the work of other aerial photographers? To be pragmatic, it doesn’t cost 2,500 dollars to send a camera into space. As other weather balloon borne aerial photographers will tell you, it can be done professionally for under 300. We did it for an MIT experiment, successfully, for 250 US dollars. And yes, you can purchase weather balloons designed to exceed 100,000 feet within that budget. Good luck and all, but don’t discount the hard work of others that made your project possible. Had Icarus not published the instructions freely, would these groups be able to repeat the experiment? And remember, all others who follow, you must work with your local FAA and communicate your flight plans with them to ensure the safety of all aircraft potentially along your flight path.

Couldn’t they send something a bit more interesting into space? Like say, more instrumentation? A bigger science package?
Oh well; it’s their dream, I guess….

Sending dolls and toys just seems really silly to me… oh, excuse me, not dolls; action figures. ;-D

So let me get this straight, someone raises or gets “funding” for a project that can be done for $350 (I once launched some family collectibles into space via this method), and accrues $5,000 to do this? He’s raised this much according to his website… Literally, this can be done for under $500!!!

Right… Either Discovery Channel doesn’t realize they’re getting had by this kid or just in general he’s pocketing a good chunk of change on top of getting to get exposure for his pet project…..

I’m also with Sebastian S, if you’re going to get major exposure on something like this, send something that matters beyond “action figures”

Kind of like those full size pictures of police in shopping malls. They apparently have a huge impact if fending off potential shoplifters.

Have Kirk and Picard in orbit and scare of any potential invaders. And hope they have enough gas to get home.

Picard and Pine? Or Picard = Stewart and Kirk = Shatner? If Picard, then Shatner. If Pine, I want a rebootet Picard to him :-D But this mix is strange…

Icarus: I suppose “professionally” is subjective. You can not do a high-altitude balloon launch for $300 in a way that I would call professional. For $300 you can buy a small balloon and enough helium to fill it and that’s it. We’re not just sending a camera up to the minimal height possible (show me where you can buy a balloon and enough helium to get up to 100K feet for $300 or less!). We have a ton of equipment on-board, are buying the biggest balloon available for the amateur market, buying a significant amount of helium to fill it, flying in a professional videographer to capture it and turn it into something awesome, as well as we have many other expenses. For $300 you’ll have a slipshod launch, much like the video linked to above (though I’m not sure it would be possible to make a video quite as terrible as that one was no matter how much or how little money one had). Professionalism isn’t cheap and you’ll see what it looks like pretty soon.

And I’m not discounting the work of others in the least, but to say that the launch by TheBrothersGromm linked to above made this project possible is just simply false.

Sebastian S.: The science and technology package on this launch is actually *huge*. We’ll have GPS, HAM, and morse code trackers going up. Plus half a dozen cameras (two of which shooting in 3D), an innovative antenna system, and we’ll be visually tracking the entire flight with a 12″ ground-based telescope at the University of Illinois Observatory.

Cougar lover: Read above. This can’t be done for $500. It could, but the end result would be terrible. And I don’t do things half-assed. I’m not making profit on this launch. We have invoices that prove all of the expenses.

#1 beat me to it. My thoughts exactly. The new movie sucked. I don’t consider it a Trek movie. It’s like Star Wars fans decided to make a Trek movie and make the bridge look like an Apple store. Oh wait, that’s exactly what they did.


It was the work of the “Icarus” team that made all of these projects possible. Here is where you can do a professional launch, and yes with a Kaymont balloon (we’ve had this conversation with the guy that sells them at their NY store) for a grand total of 150 dollars.

Don’t get me wrong, we wish you well, we just wish you hadn’t resorted to insulting rhetoric when speaking of other aerial photographers. I doubt that the Discovery Channel wants to get involved in that kind of behavior. Best to rely on your results to inspire others, not smack talk. Aerial photography is not a competition, but it is a means of getting people interested in the space sciences. And remember, you must adhere to all FAA, local and state regulations, as must ALL aerial photographers. The safety of pilots and passengers and people on the ground in your flight path depends on it. So be certain to contact your local authorities (including the FAA – a MUST) and give them the details of your flight beforehand. Safety first! And good luck…looking forward to the 3D.