This morning saw the interview of all interviews. Star Trek actor William Shatner called up to the ISS to talk to Commander Chris Hadfield about the NASA space program, going to Mars, and taking risks. The roughly 14-minute interview went by quickly, but Hadfield had some great responses to Shatner’s questions.
When asked if America’s space program was beginning to fall behind due to the end of the Shuttle program, Hadfield said that wasn’t the case, and that “we’re just right now in between vehicles,” meaning that it takes time for new programs to begin, just like with the transition from Apollo to the Space Shuttle program.
The two even talked about taking risks with space travel, to which Hadfield replied that “to accomplish anything worthwhile in life, it’s going to take risk. Even if you stay at home and sit at your kitchen table, eventually the ceiling will fall. There’ll be a hurricane or tornado. You can’t live a worthwhile life without risk.” Hadfield even said that science-fiction movies like Star Trek inspired him to take risks, like traveling to space, and said that the experience of simply being in space is worth the risk.
Shatner starred in several Star Trek films and TV series as Captain James Kirk who manned the starship Enterprise. It seemed like the two of them wanted to continue their discussion, and it seems they plan meet in person at some point in the future, with Shatner saying he looks forward to sharing a cigar and whiskey with Hadfield after his return home.