By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) has taken Twitter to a new level and in doing so has entered a time warp. Hadfield, who arrived at the International Space Station just before Christmas, began tweeting about life in space 140 characters at a time and sending stunning photos of Earth via the social media site. All this unaccustomed orbital chitchat tweaked the long-dormant sensors aboard the Starship Enterprise and none other than Capt. James T. Kirk joined the conversation. "Are you tweeting from space?" William Shatner, the Canadian actor who played Kirk on the iconic 1960s TV series, asked. Without missing a beat, Hadfield replied: "Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain. And we're detecting signs of life on the surface." Shatner was soon joined by other space luminaries (real and imagined).
George Takei, who played Enterprise helmsman Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, tweeted, prompting Hadfield to issue an invitation to Leonard Nimoy to complete an "away team" for the mission. Nimoy responded with "LLAP" ("live long and prosper"). Even Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, chimed in. Former astronaut and second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin noted that he and Neil Armstrong would have tweeted from there if they could have but he's looking forward to tweeting from Mars by about 2040. Hadfield, who will become commander of the space station in a month, has said in interviews that watching Armstrong, who died earlier this year, and Aldrin on the moon inspired him to become an astronaut. It's his third trip to space and he'll be there until May.