NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke on Star Trek

Mike Fincke (NASA Photo JSC-2004E07440) On 2005 May 13, Mike Fincke, who credits Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science for his interest in becoming an astronaut, became only the second person who has actually lived in outer space to appear on the popular series of science fiction television series and motion pictures called Star Trek. On that Friday evening, Mr. Fincke appeared in the series finale episode ( part of a two-episode finale, both episodes aired that evening; Mr. Fincke was in the second of these two episodes and the very-last episode of the series), "These Are the Voyages...", of the four-year UPN (United Paramount Network) television series, Star Trek: Enterprise. In the episode, Mr. Fincke has a short walk-on part as a Star Fleet (NX-01) engineer. Mr. Fincke has two short lines in the show (at 20 minutes into the show), when he talks to Chief Engineer Charles "Trip" Tucker III about the ship's engines:

In the Engineering Section of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Chief Engineer (Rank: Commander) Charles "Trip" Tucker III is talking to Armory Officer (Rank: Lieutenant) Malcolm Reed about Shran's plan to rescue his kidnapped daughter, who they believe is being hidden on Planet Rigel 10.

"Trip" starts talking about the ship's injectors. Lieutenant Reed asks why Trip is so concerned with engine details, when the Enterprise is about to be mothballed. Trip replies that, so long as he is in charge of Engineering, the engines will be properly maintained.

Then, Trip has a short exchange with another engineer, played by NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke:

Trip: "Are the Deuterium filters clear?"

Engineer (Mike Fincke): "We've done all but three."

Trip: "Make it quick."

Engineer (Mike Fincke): "Aye, sir."

Trip and Lieutenant Reed, then, resume their conversation.

At the end of the program, during the display of the program credits, Mike Fincke's credit was displayed as the last credit under "Co-Stars":

CO-STARS

(several credits were displayed; Mike Fincke's credit was the last credit displayed under "Co-Stars")

E MICHAEL FINCKE
ENGINEER

Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space (launched as a Mission Specialist on the Space Shuttle Endeavor on 1992 September 12), was the first actual space traveler to appear on a Star Trek series episode. In the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (distributed to television stations via first-run syndication) titled "Second Chances", which aired on 1993 May 24, she portrayed a teleportation operator, Lt. Palmer, for one of the U.S.S. Enterprise's transporters. This is the episode when a transporter malfunction resulted in the creation of two identical copies of Commander Riker.

Here are links to other information about the Star Trek: Enterprise series finale, "These Are the Voyages...":

StarTrek.com--News Article *** StarTrek.com--Episode Summary *** Television Listings Episode Summary

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NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke on Star Trek

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