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January 2010

For those who remember the original Star Trek series of the '60s, Ms. Nichelle Nichols was our guest speaker at the NASA Ames Research Center 70th anniversary party. Being a fan of hers (both from the movies and from her work to inspire young women to pursue science, math, engineering careers to go into space) I just had to get a picture. What a treat! Cmdr Nyota Uhura and I. Later Captain Uhura.

In her speech she did mention she considers herself an astronaut from the 23rd century and was 4th in command of the Starship Enterprise. To quote from, "Her role as Uhura on "Star Trek" (1966) was one of the first times that an African-American actress was portrayed in a non-stereotypical role. Previously, African-American actresses were depicted as maids or housekeepers, and Nichols' role broke the stereotype barrier among African-American actresses. Like Sidney Poitier, whose characters were three-dimensional (e.g., Det. Virgil Tibbs), Nichols portrayed a character that was non-stereotypical."