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NASA Honors William Shatner With Distinguished Public Service Medal 111

Posted by samzenpus
from the set-phasers-to-stunned dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Red Orbit reports that after nearly 50 years of warping across galaxies and saving the universe from a variety of alien threats and celestial disasters, Star Trek's William Shatner was honored with NASA's Distinguished Public Service medal, the highest award bestowed by the agency to non-government personnel. 'William Shatner has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today,' said David Weaver, NASA's associate administrator for the Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington. 'He's most deserving of this prestigious award.' Past recipients of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal include astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, former NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory director and Voyager project scientist Edward Stone, theoretical physicist and astronomer Lyman Spitzer, and science fiction writer Robert Heinlein. The award is presented to those who 'have personally made a contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission. The contribution must be so extraordinary that other forms of recognition would be inadequate.'"
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NASA Honors William Shatner With Distinguished Public Service Medal

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  • by Moheeheeko (1682914) on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:48PM (#46862861)
    Ive been pretending to have sex with green women for years! WHERES MY MEDAL NASA?!
    • Re:But... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday April 28, 2014 @06:23PM (#46863685) Journal

      The reason why has to do with not what you said, but how you said it. Here, I'll help:

      I've been. pretending, to have - SEX - with... green women! For Years!

      ...and that's why Shatner got one and you didn't.

      • The reason why has to do with not what you said, but how you said it. Here, I'll help:

        I've been. pretending, to have - SEX - with... green women! For Years!

        ...and that's why Shatner got one and you didn't.

        You forgot the finish:

        KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN!

        There. You're welcome.

        • um, isn't it

          KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN

          ?

          and here's a bunch of extra text that is even less funny than the previous text

    • You need to take your shirt off as well.

  • Denny Crane.

    I'm kookoo for Cocoa Puffs.

  • INteresting (Score:1, Troll)

    by geekoid (135745)

    "“William Shatner has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today, "

    I listen to a lot of science podcast, shows, help with engineering programs and I have never heard his name in anything but an ST reference.

    • Re:INteresting (Score:5, Informative)

      by mythosaz (572040) on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:52PM (#46862905)

      Star Trek has inspired countless people to explore science.

      He wasn't Gene, but Shatner has pretty much always embraced his role in Trek.

      • Re:INteresting (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:54PM (#46862931)
        Meh. Kids nowadays think everything is solved by an inverting the deflector array and emitting a tachyon pulse. It did more harm that good.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2014 @05:08PM (#46863089)

          In my day, we had to reverse the polarity of the signaling array while jettisoning the warp core!

          While walking uphill in holographic snow for zero net distance but 16 kilometers worth of grueling exercise!

          Then the Vulcan chef gave us a pot with some kind of flesh-eating sunflower that we had to fight and kill ourselves for dinner, using nothing but a double-axis Andorian spork!

          • by Artifakt (700173)

            Yeah, well we had to reverse the polarity of the Neutron flow while hiding behind our couches.

          • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @12:45AM (#46865399) Journal

            Pffft. Amateurs.

            You do the following:

            1. Climb into a Jefferies tube;
            2. Run a level-two diagnostic;
            3. Bypass the power-flow converters;
            4. Realign the sensor array;
            5. Do all of the above before the next commercial break, and then notify the Captain you're ready for Warp 9.

            Now, the next time you walk into a meeting with a bunch of MBAs sitting at the table, staring at you and your STEM degree, hit them with the above.

          • I'm glad something as stupid as a spork isn't an exclusively human invention...

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by CronoCloud (590650)

          no no no you don't invert the deflector array, you modulate the plasma stream input to create a verteron pulse you insensitive clod!

      • He wasn't Gene, but Shatner has pretty much always embraced his role in Trek.

        Well, that and TJ Hooker really, really sucked.

        • by Kittenman (971447)

          He wasn't Gene, but Shatner has pretty much always embraced his role in Trek.

          Well, that and TJ Hooker really, really sucked.

          Barbary Coast too.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        I see, it's because he was in Star Trek. I thought maybe he had done something else in the last 40 years.

        And NO he certainly has not always embraced his role in Trek..

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        but Shatner has pretty much always embraced his role in Trek.

        I realize you italicized pretty much, but in one of his books, he talks about living out of the back of his truck in the 70s while doing not very good gigs.. IIRC dinner theater and such... being annoyed by Trek.

    • I have never heard his name in anything but an ST reference.

      I think Stephen Hawking said he was inspired to study theoretical physics after hearing Shatner's version of Rocket Man.

  • makes us want to escape this planet!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Oh do come on. He boldly went were other no other actor went before... unfortunately.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:58PM (#46862981) Homepage

    NASA, doing what they do best - issuing press releases.

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:58PM (#46862993) Homepage Journal

    KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!

  • I don't recall Kirk ever saving the universe. I could be mistaken, but I think saving the universe is a bit of a stretch for Kirk or any other character that Shatner has ever played.
    • by bobbied (2522392)

      I don't recall Kirk ever saving the universe. I could be mistaken.....

      Of course he did, One piece at a time.

      OK, just the parts that mattered (and a few that didn't) then..

  • ...I'm not a trekkie, but I can't forget when mr. Shatner told his fans to get a life http://www.myvideo.de/watch/12... [myvideo.de] ...yeah yeah...that's probably a humorous parody, but he really "killed" it for a lot of people back then. The no #1 rule of Hollywood is to always cherish your fans, never spit on them. He always told in interviews after that, that trekkies really don't have a life etc. You can find this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W... [wikipedia.org]

    Citation from Wikipedia: The much-discussed sketch accurate
    • You don't generally piss where you eat.

      But someone had to tell 'em.

    • Re:Get a life... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Monday April 28, 2014 @06:23PM (#46863695) Homepage

      ...I'm not a trekkie, but I can't forget when mr. Shatner told his fans to get a life http://www.myvideo.de/watch/12... [myvideo.de] ...yeah yeah...that's probably a humorous parody, but he really "killed" it for a lot of people back then. The no #1 rule of Hollywood is to always cherish your fans, never spit on them. He always told in interviews after that, that trekkies really don't have a life etc. You can find this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W... [wikipedia.org]

      It was funny, because it is so true. The people he inspired are those that excelled in sciences and in school, not people who are so obsessed with belonging to the "community" that they have to go dress up and go to conventions. Bill inspired me to get my degree in Physics. And I also laugh at the so-called-fans who can quote lines from the show, but never understand or even care to understand the science underlying it.

    • by SirSlud (67381)

      Fortunately, those who did use him as an inspiration to get a life/career were also well adjusted enough to have a good laugh.

    • by thoth (7907)

      ...I'm not a trekkie, but I can't forget when mr. Shatner told his fans to get a life http://www.myvideo.de/watch/12... [myvideo.de] ...yeah yeah...that's probably a humorous parody

      Probably? Come on, that skit was from Saturday Night Live.

  • James Doohan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by worf_mo (193770) on Monday April 28, 2014 @06:07PM (#46863549)

    Not to take anything away from Shatner but it was James Doohan (Scotty, for the whippersnappers out there) who inspired a lot of people to become engineers [wikipedia.org]. Shatner was more the alpha-male-chasing-the-girls type.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Mr Scott got to chase the girl on occasion...

      Wasn't he and Uhura an item at one point? Also season 3 episode 18 "The Lights of Zetar" Scottie has a girlfriend.

      • Wasn't he and Uhura an item at one point?

        Yes, but since that knowledge requires watching movie #5 it's pretty much a secret.

    • by torsmo (1301691)
      ...and he was at Normandy on D-Day.
  • Apparently they've never read any of his books. If they had, they'd know that irrelevant of any good he's done in his life, some things you just can't redeem.

  • by towermac (752159) on Monday April 28, 2014 @06:43PM (#46863837)

    But you know what? Kirk was the captain, so I guess he had to be first; hopefully they recognize Spock before he passes.

    Because he's the one that inspired me. Kirk was kinda like dad; he was cool, and I respected him; but I'm never gonna be him.

    Spock, I could be. (well if i tried really hard and put down the beer and weed and went back for those advanced math classes and wasn't so damned lazy...)

    Seriously, as a kid, it was Spock all the way.

    • by bussdriver (620565) on Monday April 28, 2014 @08:40PM (#46864531)

      SPOCK! duh!

      I haven't heard of Shatner doing anything besides acting alpha male in TV and some Movies. The creator/writer of Trek deserves far far more credit.

      Nimoy, has at least done voice overs for many TV shows that were real science shows over the decades. He also helped keep the movies going (not that the movies were inspirational... but they kept things alive before TNG got started up which may not have happened otherwise.)

      Scotty also deserves more than Shatner, for getting people to be engineers. He even has a term named after him which any wise engineer uses ("The Scotty Principle.") But perhaps that keeps NASA away from him (plus he is dead.)

      Although Nimoy's blessing on the disgraceful reboot... that shouldn't be overlooked; perhaps that cost him the honor? maybe it should?

      • SPOCK! duh!

        I haven't heard of Shatner doing anything besides acting alpha male in TV and some Movies. The creator/writer of Trek deserves far far more credit.

        Nimoy, has at least done voice overs for many TV shows that were real science shows over the decades. He also helped keep the movies going (not that the movies were inspirational... but they kept things alive before TNG got started up which may not have happened otherwise.)

        Scotty also deserves more than Shatner, for getting people to be engineers. He even has a term named after him which any wise engineer uses ("The Scotty Principle.") But perhaps that keeps NASA away from him (plus he is dead.)

        Although Nimoy's blessing on the disgraceful reboot... that shouldn't be overlooked; perhaps that cost him the honor? maybe it should?

        Yes... this.

        As much as I love Shatner, I despise him in comparison to Nimoy and his contributions.

        Sadly, the reboot is bad. You can't destroy Vulcan. It's just something you cannot do. There were better ways of rebooting than the destruction of an entire area of canon. But that's just me. Other may disagree.

  • by vandelais (164490) on Monday April 28, 2014 @07:21PM (#46864081)

    He said, "Never let them Klingon."

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday April 28, 2014 @07:59PM (#46864279)

    Never has. There been a. Greater spokesperson for the. Exploration of fictional. Space than. Mr. William. Shatner.

  • For me, the creator of the show is the one who was inspiring, though unseen. But Shatner did a lot more than just act in the show, and that is probably a lot more important for this award than just his years on Star Trek.

    Does anyone know if Roddenberry also pushed kids to study science? Star trek still inspires me to what is possible, and it's more than just technology. The society he envisioned is also something to work towards.

  • Who, AFAIK and comparing their biographies, did far more for NASA recruitment?
    • According to Nichols, she wanted to leave the show but Dr Martin Luther King persuaded her to stay in it. For some reason he thought that representing black people in the future was important.

      I also want to say that in her 80s, as she is now, she is still one damn fine woman.

    • I second the motion to nominate Nichelle Nichols. She's one hell of a public speaker and was responsible for recruiting Sally Ride as an astronaut (if we can believe Wikipedia. Can anyone confirm?).

  • There was a time NASA had better things to do than be concerned about the Social issues and Entertainment industry (and their actors).

    Bread and circuses. Your tax dollars at work.

    (And of course you all agree do to all humorous comments hitherto.)

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