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Space, Still the Final Frontier

Yes, you will be able to get your picture taken on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. And, please, don't pretend like you're not excited.

Two space-related items, only one of which is actual "news." As in: Leland Melvin could have been a Dallas Cowboy. The former University of Richmond wide receiver was drafted in 1986 by the Detroit Lions -- in the 11th round -- but he pulled his hamstring two weeks into his first training camp, and he was cut. The next year, the Cowboys invited Melvin to training camp -- where he did the exact same thing, putting an end to his already non-existent career as a pro baller. Which was just as well: Tomorrow, the NASA astronaut is leaving on the space shuttle Atlantis for an 11-day trip to the International Space Station. Turns out, says this story, "He studied materials science engineering at the University of Virginia while training with the Dallas Cowboys." Just like ... Nate Newton?

And for those who only dream of space travel -- and, oh, green-skinned slave girls -- it was announced today that some time next year, the brand-new Star Trek: The Tour will make its way to Dallas, well after its January bow at the Queen Mary Dome in Long Beach. No doubt Paramount took one look at the crowds that have been jam-packing that Star Wars exhibit that came through Fort Worth over the summer and figured, Yeah, we could totally do that. And, no, I've never dreamed of sitting in Captain Kirk's chair, far as you know. --Robert Wilonsky

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