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Sat, May 16, 2009

BEST Seat (EVER) For Star Trek Movie

You Can't Top This For Sci-Fi Coolness

Moviegoers pretty much are required to sit in crowded theaters to watch the new "Star Trek" movie, which premiered on May 8, but not NASA astronaut Michael Barratt. He will have the opportunity to watch the film aboard the International Space Station, while he and two crewmates fly 220 miles above Earth. The only thing missing will be the popcorn.

Paramount Pictures transferred "Star Trek" to NASA's Mission Control in Houston, which then uplinked the film to the space station on Thursday, May 14. Barratt plans to watch the film on a laptop computer inside the Unity module.

"I remember watching the original 'Star Trek' series and, like many of my NASA coworkers, was inspired by the idea of people from all nations coming together to explore space," said Barratt. "'Star Trek' blended adventure, discovery, intelligence and story telling that assumes a positive future for humanity. The International Space Station is a real step in that direction, with many nations sharing in an adventure the world can be proud of."

There is a collection of DVDs and uplinked movies aboard the space station. The DVDs were delivered during previous shuttle and station missions and will remain aboard for the enjoyment of future crews.

Some crews have had movie nights as regular activities. Former station astronaut Greg Chamitoff and his crewmates viewed the entire "Star Trek" series as a regular weekly event.

Aside from watching movies and television shows, space station astronauts have a number of options for their leisure and personal time, such as reading books or magazines, listening to music, and playing musical instruments and board games. Chamitoff played chess in orbit with ground teams from station control centers around the world and the public. During one game, the public voted on the next move, choosing from four possibilities that students from Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash., suggested.

Films, books and music are important aspects of psychological support for astronauts on long-duration missions.

Barratt launched to the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in March. He is scheduled to return to Earth on space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission in June. His station crewmates are Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. All three will become part of the station's first six-person crew, Expedition 20, when three new crew members arrive on May 29.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/station, www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/star_trek.html

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