Kirk and Picard will finally visit space in real life ... sort of

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

Seems like everyone with a dollar and a dream is tying things to weather balloons and sending them to the edge of space these days, so it was only a matter of time before a band of intrepid Trekkies decided it was high time James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard also made the trip, if only in action figure form.

The group of fans preparing the toys to boldly go where no plastic representation of William Shatner has gone before will launch six action figures, two starship models and five cameras into the stratosphere via weather balloon this Saturday. They'll float upward for three hours until they reach a height of about 120,000 feet, and hopefully it'll all be captured on film.

"Picard and Kirk are the greatest starship captains ever to exist and they've never been to space in reality, so I think it's about time we bring them there," said Logan Kugler, who launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise more than $6,000 for the effort.

The Kirk and Picard action figures will lead the mission, strapped to their respective Enterprise models, but they won't be alone. Kugler and company are also sending up action figures of Cmdr. William Riker and Lt. Cmdr. Data, along with custom-made action figures of 2009 Star Trek director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Robert Orci (but no Alex Kurtzman, oddly). Those last two are sure to draw the ire of Trek purists, but even still this is a pretty nifty endeavor.

"I'm a huge Star Trek fan, of course; I've seen almost 500 episodes, every movie," Kugler said. "I personally believe at some point in the future the world we see in Star Trek is going to become a reality and every step closer we get to that is very interesting and fun. This is an insignificant step, it's just fun, but it's that symbolic representation."