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NASA to Hold Science of 'Star Trek' Convention

Aug 24, 2016 04:30 AM EDT
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NASA is certainly opening up to the public. Aside from allowing their research to be freely accessed by the community, the space agency is now taking part in the upcoming "Star Trek: Mission New York" convention. These five "Trek Talks" would hopefully shed light on the real final frontier.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the "Star Trek" franchise, NASA will take part in the convention this September. The agency will talk about the reality behind the science fantasy film. Experts from the agency will talk about alien life, the exploration of new worlds, and how the science fiction film has influenced technological development and space exploration.

"NASA's Trek Talks at Star Trek: Mission New York will give fans the opportunity to be fully immersed in the fascinating ways in which Star Trek has impacted space exploration, from paving the way for new technologies, to fostering an interest in the exploring beyond Earth, and dreaming up alien life," stated Lance Fensterman, the global senior VP of Mission New York organizers ReedPOP.

The "Star Trek: Mission New York" will run at the Javits Center from September 2 to 4. For those interested in the NASA "Star Trek" talks across the weekend, the schedule is as follows:

  •  "Ugly Bags of Mostly Water: What Will Aliens Really Be Like?" - Topic led by Phil Plait and NASA's Bobak Ferdowsi at Room 1A23 on September 3 at 12:15.
  •  "The Science of Exoplanets" - Topic led by NASA's Matt Ritsko and Jeff Volosin at Room 1A23 on September 3 at 3:30.
  •  "First Contact: Looking for Life in the Universe" - Topic led by SETI's Dan Werthimer and Ferdowsi at Room 1A23 on September 4 at 10:30.
  •  "The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: NASA's Next Mission to Find Strange New Worlds" - Topic led by Volosin and Ritsko at Room 1A23 on September 4 at 11:45.
  •  "NASA" - Topic moderated by Robert Picardo at the main stage on September 4 at 1:30. Panel members will include NASA Astronaut Kiell Lindgren, Program Executive for Solar System Exploration Dave Lavery, Deputy Director of Science Communications Michelle Taller, Adam Nimoy, and Senior Technical Officer Jeffrey Sheehy.

As to how much the film is close to reality as possible, David Allen Batchelor of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center claims it is pretty close to science compared to other sci-fi series.

"Generally, Star Trek is pretty intelligently written and more faithful to science than any other science fiction series ever shown on television," stated Batchelor in a press release, adding, "Star Trek also attracts and excites generations of viewers about advanced science and engineering, and it's almost the only show that depicts scientists and engineers positively, as role models. So let's forgive the show for an occasional misconception in the service of an epic adventure."

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