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Space, the final frontier...

George Takei & Nichelle Nichols at the 2009 GLAAD Awards
George Takei & Nichelle Nichols at the 2009 GLAAD Awards

We have a very special segment shaping up on tonight's edition of The Last Word. Two cast members from the original Star Trek, George Takei (Captain Sulu) and Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Uhura), will be joining us to talk about the final NASA shuttle launch. Both have worked with NASA for years helping with recruitment and diversity initiatives. As Mr. Takei told me when I talked to him earlier, "It's funny because they think we're the heroes. But to me, they've always been the real heroes."

The two also feel America will be better in the future with NASA fully-funded because so many everyday things have come from our nation's quest to reach for the stars (cell phones, the computer mouse, your favorite pair of Converse shoes). Ms. Nichols told me, "This is the end of an era. But it is not the end of NASA." During our discussion before tonight's show, I also asked Mr. Takei what he thought would help get America really interested in space travel, again. He paused and said, "We need another Gene Roddenberry."

Also joining us tonight will be veteran space and science journalist, Miles O'Brien, who's now the Science Correspondent for PBS Newshour. You can see his latest report online right here. But to see all three of these amazing people on the air at once... you'll have to tune in to tonight's edition of The Last Word!

**Bonus video: Elmo was at today's shuttle launch**