Because a lot of the current NASA employees probably grew up watching Star Trek, Shatner is occasionally asked to help NASA with advertising stunts. The most recent was a campaign to promote public interest in NASA's Parker solar probe, a space probe that will be launched soon against the Sun's outer atmosphere (called the corona) to study our local star in more detail. that never before.
Beyond carrying measurement tools and some extremely powerful heat shields, Parker Solar Probe will also be launched with a microchip containing several names of the public that NASA has promised to "send to the sun". Since Shatner was the great spokesperson for this campaign during April 2018, his name was first included in the microchip.
So even though Shatner probably will never go into space unless we make some major improvements in space travel very soon, his name will visit the sun later this year, going where no name has come before.
As the probe successfully completes the last of its many tests and inspections, it is ready to launch from Cape Canaveral on July 31, 2018. The microchip, like the The rest of the probe will be well protected: the car's size probe will be protected by a 4.5-inch (11.5-centimeter) thick plating composed of carbon, designed to withstand approximately 2500 degrees Fahrenheit (1370 degrees Celsius) from the sun's corona .
With the probe, NASA hopes to learn more about the mysterious weather patterns of the sun and other quirks we've never understood, such as why the outer corona ems to be hotter than the sun's surface. And that's where Shatner and the approximately 1,137,000 people who added their names to the microchip list will end (in a sense).
Everyone on board! A memory card containing 1,137,202 names sent from around the world was mounted on a plate and installed in Parker #SolarProbe on May 18. Get more information and find out what other information the trip will do: https: // t.co/ejaSuAB1Gh pic.twitter.com/RTC5hZpbMd
– NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) May 21, 2018
Interestingly, this is not the first time that Shatner "has gone" into space "either, last year, NASA" transmitted "a voice message from Shatner to the Voyager 1 probe in interstellar space for its 40th anniversary.
Because if someone ever gets their voice in space, Captain Kirk always seems to be the first choice.