'Captain Kirk' talks to astronaut in International Space Station

William Shatner, best known as Captain Kirk on "Star Trek," helped lead a question and answer with future International Space Station captain Chris Hadfield.

The iconic communicator whistle from "Star Trek" sounded, and Captain Kirk was connected live with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station.

"I'm calling. This is (William) Shatner," the actor, best known for portraying Captain Kirk, said Thursday morning.

Hadfield cued the communicator whistle, then said, "Mr. Shatner, this is the space research vessel ISS in orbit and yes, I hear you loud and clear."

The rendezvous was arranged by the Canadian Space Agency. At 10:30 a.m. EST, Shatner helped facilitate a conversation between himself, Hadfield, CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen and 30 "space tweeps" who were able to ask Hadfield questions.

"I'm so moved to be able to speak to you for this brief moment," Shatner said, before the questions began.

Hadfield talked about the future of the space program, a potential Mars mission and the dangers of being an astronaut.

Regarding a Mars mission, Shatner asked, "Isn't that fraught with such enormous difficulty and danger?"

"You've taken a lot of risks in your life as well," Hadfield replied, "and it was a risk that I decided to take years ago… You can't live a worthwhile life without taking risk."

Hadfield called a mission to Mars "inevitable."

The future ISS commander gave a nod to Shatner's time as a fictional commander, saying, "The view that they used to put in for us watching 'Star Trek' of how the world looks out of Sulu and Chekov's windows there – that's how the world looks."

The idea to hold the conversation was inspired by a tweet Shatner sent to Hadfield in January in which he asked in the astronaut was tweeting from space.

Hadfield tweeted a response that quickly went viral, saying, "@WilliamShatner Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain. And we're detecting signs of life on the surface."

See the entire conversation on CSA's website


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