The European Parliament is about to go intergalactic. Walter Koenig, better known as Pavel Chekov in Star Trek, will be beaming down into the strange otherworldly environment of the Parliament on 18 October for a debate on science and technology in the European Union.
Also boldly going where no self-respecting man has gone before will be Frank de Winne, the first European to take charge of the International Space Station. He is Belgian and is now head of the European Space Agency's Astronaut Centre.
The aim of the debate is to emphasise the importance of science fiction as a way to get young people interested in science, and it comes amid discussions on Horizon 2020, the EU' s 2014-20 research and innovation programme.
Two other astronauts, André Kuipers and Andreas Morgensen, are also down to attend: they are accustomed to spending long periods of time in places with no atmosphere, where the scenery is liable to collapse at a moment's notice.