Watch: Nichelle Nichols Narrates NASA Orion Spacecraft Introduction Video


Star Trek is once again intersection with NASA and the real space program. This time Nichelle Nichols has narrated a new video introducing the Orion spacecraft, which is just getting ready to launch its first space test. Watch it below.

Nichols Narrates New NASA Orion Video

Nichelle Nichols has a long history working with NASA and helping with their outreach. Her latest collaboration with the space agency is a brand new video introducing NASA’s next manned spacecraft – the Orion. Watch it below.

Nichols isn’t the only original Star Trek crewmember who is supporting Orion this week. A few days ago William Shatner shared a tweet (with his 2 million followers) about the The Orion "Send Your Name Into Space" program, which gets your name on the Orion test flight planned for early December. 

To learn more about the Orion test flight in December, NASA has another new video (this time narrated by engineer Kelly Smith). 

Orion has another Star Trek connection. The official Orion program mission patch was one of many NASA patches designed by veteran Star Trek designer Michael Okuda.

Orion capsule with patch designed by Mike Okuda


You can learn more about Orion at

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Nice to see Nichelle is still handling “hailing frequencies”!

I’ve written a few articles on my personal blogs over the years about NASA, President Obama, and a number of issues relating to Project Constellation. I’m not satisfied at all with the pace of exploration and generally irritated by all the setbacks caused by shortsighted politicians over the years. I can’t imagine defending the President for what he’s doing with human exploration so, let alone Congress, so try as I might, I can’t find anything very positive to say about NASA’s PR efforts in this regard. It’s too little, too late, as far as I’m concerned.

Going to lasso an asteroid isn’t exactly the most inspirational of missions. By now, there should be colonies on Mars. But there aren’t.

The fact is that the profit motive will drive this Trek in the Stars.
Wait until non-poisonous water costs you $10 a gallon. Then, you’ll see noble humanity mining the solar system for ice.

The difference between clean water and bad water is energy, CmdrR. It is always going to be cheaper to purify water on Earth than it will to haul an iceberg back from Europa or Enceladus..

The profit motive will indeed drive the opening of the space frontier, but it will be for something other than water.

Very nice Nichelle!!

I just hope they don’t accidentally set fire to the Van Allen Belts.

Nichelle has also been a class act and her work with NASA has inspired so many people — especially women and minorities — to join the space program. And Nichelle, you are still so very beautiful. Thank you for all you do to bring open the “real universe” to humanity!

# 6. Captain Dunsel – October 12, 2014

” I just hope they don’t accidentally set fire to the Van Allen Belts.” — Captain Dunsel

Or the “Irwin Allen” Radiation Belts in his VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA movie.

Thorny — I say water, thinking of recent articles that show that some drinking water is testing positive for pharmaceuticals that did NOT get purified out by the public systems. You’re gettin’ Meemaw’s heart medication… for free! OK, it may be possible to purify the water properly. Or, the wealthy elite may decide they MUST have pools the size of Montana in order for them and only them to swim. That could reduce the supplies. Human activity can muck up even rain and aquifers. So, we’ll see…

But, there’s also heavy metals, oil (!), and just plain real estate out there. As far as “cheaper on Earth,” that all depends on what we do with the resources we have. We COULD be careful and properly shepherd our planet for countless millennia. But, that has NOT been our track record. There’s also the odd human quirk of valuing what we want, rather than what we need. If Asteroid Gold carries a premium, then the Trillionaire elite will spend the bucks to have Asteroid Gold Leaf on their lemon tarts.

I pray that humans will become wise as in Trek, but I think that exploration/exploitation stems from our wants, not our noble aspirations.

CmdrR: You call yourself a ‘Trekkie’, with all that cynicism you’re spouting?

Like anything, the costs will outweigh the benefit of huge endeavors up front; the Industrial Revolution is an example of this. Eventually, thanks to both sound ethics and ingenuity, we as a species overcame the hurdles that such endeavors have created, as a side-effect of scientific and technological progress. So, I’m confident that the problem you’ve cited within Earth’s ecology will be solved, even if it will take some time to do so. To quote BABYLON 5 end credit, in the episode “Deconstruction of Falling Stars” (S4:EP22):


Putting aside the fact that this quote comes from a different sci-fi franchise, no truer words exemplifies what we Trekkies/Trekkers should be about than than this quote. And to be honest, up until now, until I saw what NASA has been up to, vis-a-vis this Orion Project, I honestly thought that, like the ‘Trek franchise a few years back, we were done with human-centric space endeavors, relegated to just sending up probes for measuring projects. Maybe. just maybe,I should have had a little more faith in NASA’s ability to bounce back.

And perhaps we all should have a bit more faith in our ability to overcome future challenges, whether they be man-made or otherwise.

Indeed. Faith manages.

I thought NASA lost their funding.

@Robert Jamison, 11, sadly, that’s probably not far from the truth. NASA is no longer really a special government agency as it was in the old days. It could have been much different. For now, its share of the federal budget is highly unimpressive.

dswynne (and Thorny) – First: I love Trek. I believe Trek is a healthy, and reachable ideal. Do I think we always reach our ideals? No. But, I believe there is growth in the trying.

Beyond that, even Trek acknowledges that it’s not a straight or easy path from the 1960’s to the 23rd Century of Trek lore. I think that we are absolutely headed for multiple crises stemming from overpopulation. I believe we have it within ourselves to get beyond those problems… but, that it will NOT be a simple tech solution. There will be costs, and what gets broken may not always go back together.

Also, as I’ve said before, I do not believe that NASA is the hungry, get-it-done agency it once was. It’s more a flabby, heavily politicized, rudderless ship. Mars? Moonbase? Too costly. Let’s just bumble around within our budget-prescribed zone of exploration.

Cynicism? I don’t know. I do think that there is a real chance that humanity could off itself. I hope and pray we do much better than that.

IF YOU ARE RIGHT — and things go smoothly, GOD BLESS. I will happily strip naked and sing your praises in front of a Starfleet Academy cadet review. No kidding!

BTW – I love B5 and that quote is wonderful. Another possibility — as long as we’re mixing franchises — is Kim Stanley Robinson’s “2312.” If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It’s a hard-science sci-fi/actioner. Every other chapter is a seemingly random lump of info. Each of those has a nugget buried within that will make you go “OH!” Again, it’s a great read for Trekkies.

Hoping for the best!!

@14 (CmdrR):

“Hoping for the best!!”

We all do, my friend. Being a fan of ‘Trek is about looking forward while improving the human condition. It will be rough, but, as Depak Chopra once said, which I think he borrowed from Joseph Campbell, “The Journey is the destination”. In spite of being tied to our own self-interests, I do believe humanity can AND will improve itself, even if it takes a lifetime.

Space exploration might be in the best interests of humanity, but, for politicians, it isn’t. Funding NASA properly isn’t going to line up party coffers, nor will it matter to most regular people who happen to remain cheerfully ignorant of the technologies developed out of the space age.

Truth is, we rely on space for our current ways of life. We need satellites to broadcast television shows, to forecast the weather, to communicate with each other around the world on our laptops, and mobile devices, etc.

A lot of what we take for granted was born out of the technology deveoped by NASA many decades ago.

To get back to space exploration requires long-term thinking and planning, something most politicians are averse to unless it involves fracking and drilling for oil. Or anythng else that allows for the greed of big corporations to extend its reach.

Does anyone remember when we used to be explorers?

Neither do I.

We lived vicariously through the gallants crews of the Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.

I spoke with Ronald D. Moore in his office a number of years ago — he of DS9 fame. I asked him — do you think that Trek has derailed our actual space exploration prerogatives. Mr. Moore is a generous and happy man, and brilliant besides. And he laughed, because, I think, that notion is absurd.

Our voyages into space are just an appetizer. I will be dead before there are colonies around stars other than our own Sun.

In the long run, we are all dead.

It is the aspiration, my friends, that moves us. It is Trek’s gift to posterity.

Humanity is a wonderful experiment, and not all experiments are meant to succeed. Whether we do, is up to the present. And the future.

Dead Red Ryan —
I am encouraged by a few individuals with vision… of exploiting* the stars.
I wanted to see if there are any new articles… and I didn’t have to look far. I’ve stuck in links below.
*Yes, I said “exploit.” You know, like Kennedy did shamelessly in his famous “before this deck-aid is out…” speech. Yes, we fought the space race for all the wrong reasons. We EXPLOITED that frontier for our own nationalistic purposes.
In my opinion, NASA has lost its edge because it has lost its bold mission.
Mining the asteroids may be about money in the end, but it is an audacious method and I do believe it can and should and will yield great results for all of us. **

**Unless a Starbeast hitches a ride back to earth, in which case we’re all dead.

16. Red Dead Ryan: You should include ‘national defense’. Thanks to Putin’s actions of late, trying to hitch rides with the Russians is no longer an option. Thanks to wounded pride, the politicians just might be willing to put the funding back into NASA while still encouraging private space ventures. And if not, you make the politicians listen, by using Putin as the means.

.My friends,

Reading this thread has inspired to revisit The Right Stuff — the movie based on Tom Wolfe’s semi-hagiographical coverage of Yeager and yes — Co. I think that Wolfe’s biases were clear — it seems that the Mercury 7 were initially, at least, interlopers.

Yes, they were heroes, but the protagonist, if there was, was Yeager. The one true astronaut. I’m listening to the soundtrack to the movie right now, and it’s basically America on a Pedestal. Oh my God, do I miss that America…. that never existed.

My friends, I loved that America. The heroic America. The pioneering America. The America of … The Soundtrack to The Right Stuff… complete with The Yellow Rose of Texas and all that…..

That America will not resonate to most of us anymore, or will it?

Whether it was Shepard, or Grissom, or any of our ticker-tape heroes, in whom we believed, they were real. They were genuine, Grade-A, red-blooded American heroes. Not (he said, pointedly, in this post) celluloid ones. Actual heroes whose mistakes would have cost their lives.

Instead, we have war heroes to celebrate, from the many missions we are forced to accomplish, in order to ensure Pax Americana. Oh my God, how I wish it could have been different.

But the wolves are at the door.

My friends, our military men and women ARE heroes, and so are our astronauts, and Gene Roddenberry’s works celebrated civilian heroism in the manner of Starfleet and the like — a space navy without the militaries. Perhaps an impossibility.

But the great beyond united us at some point. We are divided as we stand, today.

This is not the America of my dreams.

^^ Disclaimer and clarification: Wolfe didn’t like the movie on which his book was based. So, in reality, the “bias” I ascribe to Wolfe may not, in fact, be his. I retract that statement and apologize for any misunderstanding.

^^ “which was based on his book,” obviously.

She still has one of the best voices in the business

@12. Just some of it. Obama just assumed the manned launches could be outsourced to the Russians, until their proxies started shooting down jetliners. Just a bit shortsighted, there….

The President somewhat reneged on his promise to support NASA as far as I am concerned. He allowed politics to interfere with our space missions and he did not advocate very well for the agency.

Bush, the elder, set a course to land on Mars, and his son let the matter proceed, although without great impetus. President Obama has not promoted NASA’s prerogatives and he has simply allow funding priorities to prevail. This means that the private sector is now in a fashion the best hope for manned space exploration. The new booster will not launch toward actual manned missions of exploration before this President’s second term is over. If at all.

If this President had had even half the vision of JFK, his Presidency might be better regarded. For now, I must say that I am disappointed with Mr. Obama’s Administrative, and I have nothing good to say about it any more, in any respect. As far as I am concerned, we have wasted six years and Mr. Obama, as a leader, is substantially at fault.

^^ Administration, not Administrative.

What would be the point of a permanent colony on Mars, other than the bragging rights. “We have a colony on Mars! Look at how advanced we are!”

Especially given that people would have to live shielded deep underground so they wouldn’t die from accelerated cancers (not to mention various other health effects from living with 38% of Earth’s gravity). It just seems like a fantasy that would make no difference to any of our actual lives here on Earth, any more than the underdog winning the Superbowl. Great for fiction and advertising, sure.

Needing to get off the planet because of our mistakes (bad resource management, pollution, overpopulation, nuclear war, environmental destruction, climate change and killer AI) is a science fiction staple — but in reality, settling other worlds wouldn’t be like settling the West. You can’t survive on Titan with pluck, hard work and a banjo.

A research station staffed temporarily like IOS? Maybe, should it become easier/cheaper/safer to get people there and back. But again, there’s a reason we don’t have one of these on the moon.

— question from my dad.

Hi Jack,

Those are good questions. But I would ask that you consider the possibilities.

There are few limits to our abilities as people. There are physical limits to our abilities as physical beings, yes, imposed by our existence. But as a civilization, we can do anything we would like. We could have colonized Mars by now — by far. We could have done so — yes, at some cost, but we could have done it, because we had the technology.

Don’t tell me that we needed to spend billions on the F-35 fighter, also known as the aircraft that ate the Pentagon, or the moronic waste of lives in the various wars we have fought in the last 20 years. We could have killed terrorist leaders much quicker, and we could have brought the villains into submission, simply by demonstrating our resolve. Perhaps we could have execute a nuclear demonstration shot in the Persian Gulf, allowing those who would defy reason to revisit their irrationality. I’m not sure, but a United States prepared to tactically nuke entire regions, and turn it into glass, would give most nations pause.

We have wasted so much time, my friends, so much time. We have engaged these little pestilent battles and let ourselves be distracted from the main goal of our nation — to explore the stars, to spread human life into the universe. We have let ourselves be tied down by the Lilliputians of the world. We could have had the universe in our hands. But instead, we are sparring with people who hate us, on a street-level fight. Because we are too timid.

I’m sorry, but sometimes I believe we have been derailed by our own illiteracy, political, scientific, and philosophical. We are held down for no reason; we cannot take the risk of colonizing Mars, because we are too preoccupied with the rights of illegal immigrants.

I love all human beings, and no one is “illegal” per se, but there is law, and there is order, and there are consequences for defying our civilizational imperative.

Run into the buzzsaw of our human civilization, and experience the consequences. We have greater priorities, and we must never — EVER — lose sight of them.

The stars call our name. We are willfully blind and deaf, to our peril.

^^ “Perhaps we could have executed a nuclear demonstration shot in the Persian Gulf, allowing those who would defy reason to revisit their irrationality. I’m not sure, but a United States prepared to tactically nuke entire regions, and turn then into glass, would give most nations pause.”

As corrected.

Nothing that has ever held its worth has ever been accomplished without cost. We either believe in ourselves as a civilization — a multicultural world with hopes and dreams and desires — and abilities — or we should count ourselves to be as doomed as the Roman Empire or the ancient Egyptians or the forgotten Mesopotamians before them.

Who will stiffen our resolve to move forward into the future? Who, if not our country, our leaders, our people?

We cannot leave this task to merely future generations, because WE are those generations. We are the future of the past forefathers and foremothers who wished us to succeeded.

WE are those who must do what the heroic stories of the past foretold. We are those who must do what must be done.

We lie back, we relax, we succumb to entertainment, only to tell posterity this: That we do not deserve the future. That we love the present too much to move forward. That we love ourselves more than we do all the generations to come.

The message of Star Trek is that we must trek… to the stars. Is this really, really, REALLY, so hard to grasp?

Yes, but Star Trek is a TV show. And, even so, surely there’s more of a message there than merely a very ’60s “head to space” — how ’bout treating each other, and the planet, much much better? Is the only alternative give up on this place and try somewhere new because, well, there’s Cialis in the drinking water?

Exploration is noble (and we’re still doing it now, even though it’s unmanned) but surely there’s got to be more to it than putting a few people on a barren rock just for the sake of doing so. Although, maybe we really do need something like space exploration to rally around. But would we?

Trek is just entertainment, yes, but I’m complaining now about NASA and the politicians that limit it. Trek happens to be a vehicle for my comments because Ms. Nichols is associated with NASA as noted in this thread, as a narrator. She is associated in a very limited way, but still, clearly the connection is there.

I respect her a great deal. The issue is not her, and not Star Trek, but the horrible waste of time that has occurred since 1969, when we achieved our goal of landing a man on the Moon.

Everyone who has made decisions based on the idea of budget austerity for NASA has treated space exploration as a “bonus,” not as a necessity. NASA is treated almost on the same level as NOAA. Well, we already have NOAA. We have the EPA as well. We don’t need NASA to be a third version of the NOAA and EPA.

Nor do we need NASA to be a social service agency. NASA is specifically chartered to support aeronautics and the exploitation of space. It is the U.S. government IN space, as much as the Air Force is our protector in the air and beyond.

The Air Force has, I believed, done relatively well in relation to its mandate. It remains a world leader in it realm. In fact, I would argue that as far as aggregate power, the Air Force, is in a class of its own. Nothing comes close. And that’s true as well, for NASA — but no longer to the same extent as, say, thirty years ago. NASA’s share of the federal budget is atrociously low, and not even the efforts of federal legislators who previously served astronauts have been able to do much about it.

If NASA is going to use Star Trek as a means of popularizing efforts, then I would like to know how and why our government has justified the continual reduction of our space efforts (in the name of privatization, efficiency, or what have you) while maintaining a bloated outlay for virtually everything else, from farm subsidies to tax breaks for multinational corporations. Social services are fine, but they can be, and are, provided by the states. Only the federal government has the authority to fund and run NASA.

It is time to take back NASA from the accountants and short-sighted dweebs who are limiting our efforts in the name of penny-pinching excuses that leave the only federal agency dedicated to peaceful exploration — human exploration — of the heavens, in a vacuum as cold and as hard and as vicious as space itself.

Just this: We could have been back to the moon by now if Obama hadn’t cancelled Constellation. And that was a purely political move- Bush’s program had to go. Sad and sickening. Now all this propaganda about Mars and asteroids. What a joke. NOT going to happen. In the words of Jim Lovell- “we just lost the moon…”

@ 12. Robert Jamison – October 12, 2014
I thought NASA lost their funding.

No government entity ever really loses funding… it will just get renamed, repackaged….

Remember in trek history that our world got worse before it got better….warp speed was designed by Cochran to make him profit….not improve humanity…we have already befowled our earth nest to the point we have contributed to wiping out most species on our planet and contributing to a now irreversible global warming which will render parts of the planet unlivable and yes water shortages will get much worse and both water and food will become scarce….trees and kelp in the ocean make our air both are now being wiped out….how will we breath….something could have been done a decade ago but with China’s spreading of pollution and population, we as a species days are now numbered…..thanks to corporations wanting profit instead of taking responsibility the future for humanity will end….I think mother earth will survive and thrive once we are gone or reduced to a manageable population…..if we don’t migrate to the stars to use up other planets like the earth we will die….how can we be so smart and so stupid at the same time? Just lucky I guess…the dinosaurs took much better care of the earth than we have….I hope our trek future will come true…..but it’s going to get a lot worse before or if it gets better…..

I love nichelle’s narration….she is still beautiful and graceful and her soft spoken words carry much weight and attention…always a great choice for nasa films and announcements….