Altair-4 is the homeworld of the extinct Krell and the scene of the rescue in the pathbreaking film Forbidden Planet. The planet is described as having .897 the gravity of Earth and an atmosphere 4.7% richer in oxygen.
Only 16.6 light years from Sol, Altair is a G-type star like Sol and thus one of handful of candidates for an early unmanned or manned interstellar mission. The possibility of finding either a habitable planet or terrestrial like life on an Earth-like planet orbiting a G-type or a K-type star appears greater than around planets orbiting other, more common M-type stars. Together with the stars Vega and Deneb, Altair forms the Summer Triangle.
Altair IV a.k.a. Alpha Aquila IV appears in "Prophet Motive," an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Altair-4 is used in the Stephen King novel The Tommyknockers, a place where David Brown is warped to when his brother, under alien influences, accidentally makes him disappear in a backyard magic show.
- Paul Gilster. 2004. Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration. Copernicus Books. ISBN 038700436X. p. 51.
- Charles Sheffield. "Fly Me to the Stars: Interstellar Travel in Fact and Fiction," in Interstellar Travel and Multi-Generation Space Ships, Yoji Kondo et al, ed.s, 2003. Apogee Books. ISBN 1896522998.