Trek actor William Shatner was honored by NASA this past weekend with the Distinguished Public Service medal, the highest award presented to non-government personnel by the space agency.

“For outstanding generosity and dedication to inspiring new generations of explorers around the world,” the citation reads, “and for unwavering support for NASA and its missions of discovery.” 

In a statement released by the agency’s Office of Communications, “William Shatner has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today. He’s most deserving of this prestigious award.”

Shatner recently narrated a NASA documentary celebrating the 30th anniversary of space shuttle missions.


  • ussgalaxie

    Well done Bill. Congratulations!

  • I love the way NASA took TOS to its collective bosom in 1966, and the way the TOS stars returned the favor. Art can inspire as well as entertain, and more than one TOS star has been amazed by how many
    scientists have been inspired by the example of the fictional heroes they created.

    Too bad the reboot movies are so much about action (and so little about science and exploration) that they’re unlikely to inspire scientific careers in the same way that TOS did … but maybe Reboot #3 will be different. I suppose we can hope.

    • MJ

      Sure, I agree that the new movies could be improved with more scifi and exploration, but compared to horridly boring end to Berman era with Voyager and Enterprise, these two new movies are still a breath of fresh air.

    • hypnotoad72

      If NASA and the space race, pushed along by the friendly neighborhood cold war of the time, didn’t exist, would Trek have ever been made… much less having to fight cancellation (twice) in the 1960s…

      We assume there will be another reboot. Society has to get out of the “let’s make money for money’s sake” mindset and return to valuing research and other things of more legitimate value. Want more people in fields, then raise the salaries and make college affordable and offer refunds and rebates to those who have been to college and bucking the odds.

  • MJ

    Sheesh, that picture is a bit unflattering. I hope that stage they were standing on was reinforced. 😉

    • The man IS 83! How good will any of us look at 83?

      • MJ

        Well that is a really odd choice of an outfit for accepting a NASA award. Looks like he maybe got confused and thought he was going to a Cattleman’s convention in Oklahoma City? 😉

        • hypnotoad72

          He’s a free individual. I see nothing wrong in what he wore.

          What was he supposed to wear? A space suit, complete with helmet to hide his face so nobody would recognize the actor? Or a TOS TV outfit? A TOS movie outfit? a TNG outfit? The Dalek Emperor’s casing? Or The Emperor’s New Clothes, perhaps?

          • MJ

            How about anything EXCEPT the “farmer going to a biker bar” look? 😉

    • hypnotoad72

      People age. That’s life. The only thing ugly is to deny that, or place more value on being young and firm.

      What is surely more unflattering is referring to William Shatner via the use of a verb in the post tense over a colloquialism involving a certain bodily function.

  • hypnotoad72

    Well, if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts people who are not in the rock and roll music industry…

    He’s an actor in a TV show that has never once been into space. It’s sad we look to fictional characters and actors to get people interested in real life technology.

    Dreaming is one thing, but remember – it’s still a dream.

    Oh, don’t tell anyone to “get a life”, either. 😉