Now that “The Big Bang Theory” has given a fan a trip to outer space, I was wondering if Simon Helberg has any thought of doing it for real?
—Matt Ercolani, Philadelphia, Pa.
Simon Helberg, 31, who plays Caltech engineer Howard Wolowitz, was at Comic-Con when a fan of “The Big Bang Theory” was awarded the $95,000 trip aboard XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx RLV by Warner Bros. Television. At that time, he joked that he should have called out his own name instead of the winner, but the reality is, according to the Los Angeles, Calif.-born actor, he might not be quite ready for blast-off.
“I might panic,” he admits. “It looks do-able. I would love to be there… Maybe I can just inject the memory of space, like in ‘Total Recall.’ I am scared to go—getting sick, dying, burning up in the atmosphere—things like that. But I would love to see Earth [from space].”
In the season finale of “The Big Bang Theory,” newly married Wolowitz was launched into space aboard a Russian Soyuz space capsule to accompany the telescope he built. But Helberg says in real life, he thinks there are easier ways to see the planet.
“I asked the guy [from XCOR] what it was like, and he said, ‘Google maps.’ I was, ‘You shouldn’t tell people.’”
Wolowitz will remain in space for the first couple of episodes of the new season, and Helberg says when Howard returns, he won’t be shy about letting people know. “It sounds as if Howard is going to be bullied in space, so it might be a sensitive topic, but he is going to definitely hype that and color that. He is going to wear the NASA shirt—even to take out the trash.”