On Saturday night, William Shatner took to social media with a question. It was simple in nature but when the Captain of the USS Enterprise wants a status update, you better hope someone is manning the comm station for a full briefing.
How is @NASA doing today?— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) August 2, 2014
Luckily for NASA — forerunner to the august body known as Starfleet — they were on standby. Everyone will be glad to know ISS is running at peak condition. However, they could have been a bit more prompt in their report. Hopefully Commander Swanson reprimands his crew for such a lapse in response time. An hour and a half of radio silence is unacceptable!
But Shatner was unfazed. Perhaps he was merely glad all is well and their long silence was not due to some emergency. After all, Away Team transporter technology has yet to go into human trials.
@NASA Very good news!— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) August 3, 2014
Of course, this wasn't the first time Shatner checked in with ISS. Back in January he went straight to the commander for a full report. Looking at the hard math, NASA needs to reconfigure their hailing system. Even Commander Hadfield took an embarrassingly long two and a half hours to answer the Captain's query.
@WilliamShatner Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain. And we're detecting signs of life on the surface.— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) January 3, 2013
Perhaps this dedication to the well-being of our astronauts — and to checking quality control on their communication response — spurred NASA to bestow Shatner with the Distinguished Public Service Medal in April.