Actor William Shatner has received NASA's highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Public Service medal.
Shatner's award came as a result of several projects he has worked on with NASA over the years. Shatner hosted the NASA documentary celebrating the 30th anniversary of space shuttle missions. He also recreated his famous Star Trek television introduction ("Space … the Final Frontier …") in one of the last wake-up calls for the astronauts of the STS-133 mission.
“William Shatner has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today, ” said David Weaver, NASA’s associate administrator for the Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “He's most deserving of this prestigious award.”
The medal was presented to Shatner in Los Angeles at his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show, where he raises money for a variety of children’s causes. The citation for the medal reads, “For outstanding generosity and dedication to inspiring new generations of explorers around the world, and for unwavering support for NASA and its missions of discovery.”
Over the years, many people have been honored with the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the public version of the Distinguished Service Medal reserved for astronauts. These include Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2004; Carl Sagan in 1977; and Shatner's old boss, Gene Roddenberry, in 1993.
Shatner, a prolific Twitter user, responded to the honor on his account.
I want to take a moment and give @NASA my thanks for the honor bestowed on me! I am always willing to help highlight your wonderful work.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) April 29, 2014
Image via NASA