NASA Astronauts Discuss 'Enterprise' Finale RoleBy Christian
May 16, 2005 - 9:41 PM
See Also: 'These Are The Voyages' Episode Guide
Besides TNG veterans Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), the Enterprise series finale featured guest appearances by two other professional space travelers: real-life astronauts Mike Fincke and Terry Virts.
"It was neat to see the magic of Hollywood make something cardboard and plastic look real," Fincke was quoted in an article on the official NASA site. "I've spent my whole career learning switches and buttons. On the set, none of the switches or buttons does anything."
Fincke is the astronaut that talked with Enterprise actor Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) earlier this year, using a direct connection from the International Space Station (story). Virts hasn't gone up to space yet, but suggested that when he does finally go on a mission, it will be partially thanks to Star Trek. "As a kid, I became interested in shows like the original Star Trek series and the first Star Trek feature movies," he said. "They definitely had an impact in motivating me to a career with NASA."
Fincke and Virts both played engineers on the NX-01, with Fincke even getting to speak a line. Virts said that "after seeing how talented the actors are," he wouldn't be quitting his day job. But Fincke added that also had a lot to do with the attractiveness of his own career. "It was interesting and fun to get a glimpse of how it's done in Hollywood, but there's nothing like the real thing."
For more from the two astronauts, as well as a photo of them posing with Scott Bakula in their Starfleet uniforms, head over to the NASA web site.