William Shatner has boldly gone where no sci-fi actor has gone before — into a Twitter conversation with a real astronaut currently in outer space. Starting on Thursday (Jan. 3), the “Star Trek” actor and astronaut Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency have been chatting via social networking.
Hadfield, who will become the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station in March, is currently in orbit on the station as the flight engineer. He has been tweeting photos of Earth taken from space throughout his mission. Those photos were enough to grab the attention of Captain Kirk himself.
The conversation between the one-time Enterprise captain and actual outer space began with a question tweeted from Shatner to Hadfield:
“@Cmdr_Hadfield Are you tweeting from space? MBB”
Hadfield, quickly recognizing the source of the question, responded:
“Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain. And we’re detecting signs of life on the surface.”
While Shatner and Hadfield aren’t exactly real-world buddies (yet), there is a past connection between the two. As Hadfield tweeted on Thursday:
“The last time @WilliamShatner and I met was in another dimension – 2D”
This was followed by a photo of Shatner holding a miniature cut-out of the astronaut taken as part of the Chris Hadfield World Tour Photo Challenge. The challenge was meant to raise awareness in Canada about the space mission. Shatner, who is Canadian, clearly embraced the message.
Of course, the Canadian Space Agency (headquarted in Shatner’s hometown of Montreal) couldn’t pass up the chance. Shatner was invited to visit and to talk to Hadfield by radio. The actor couldn’t commit to the offer but seemed very willing to consider it.
If you need one more reason why a famous actor like Shatner would tweet with Commander Hadfield, this most recent tweet (sent on Friday morning) should explain it — the guy is funny:
“I’m proud of being Canadian, but after yesterday’s twitter conversation am starting to question wearing this red shirt.”
It’s assumed that “Star Trek” fans need no further explanation about the “red shirt” reference.