NASA honors Star Trek on its 50th anniversary, and how it influenced the space agency
Today marks an important milestone for Stark Trek, a milestone that most properties will never have the chance to experience. On September 8, 1966, Star Trek (The Original Series) first debuted on television. In the 50 years since, it has had a huge impact on society, including the real-life space exploration efforts. To celebrate the anniversary, NASA released a pair of videos discussing the show’s impact on a larger scale.
The first video features a few of the stars of the original series discussing their excitement for the work NASA is doing, and how their own work loosely connects. The video includes interviews with William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, and George Takei.
“All these imaginative exercises in science fiction is merely food for the imagination of scientists who are actually working with technology that is,” said William Shatner.
All three stars from the show highlight how far NASA has come, and how far it can still go.
“All that space, all that knowledge, all that challenge, and the human animal is an adventurous animal,” said Takei. “And sure there are risks involved, but we boldly take those risks and hunger for that information, that knowledge that lies out there.”
The second clip features NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. In the video, he highlights interviews with Nichols and Takei and how they helped to bring diversity to the field of science and contributed to breaking down stereotypes in fiction, which had a greater impact on the world in general.
Nichols recounts a story that has gained almost legendary status. At one point, Nichols considered leaving the show during its initial run. She spoke to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who convinced her that her prominent role on the show was an important step for equality. The show made her visible, and it also featured both Nichols and Takei in roles of command, a rare sight for minorities in the 60s.
Both clips just go to highlight the impact Star Trek has had in its 50 years – and the property shows no signs of slowing down.