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'Star Trek' Star William Shatner All Praises for NASA

Sep 05, 2016 04:00 AM EDT

Though "Star Trek" may be purely fictional, one of its biggest stars, William Shatner, begs to disagree. For Shatner, "Star Trek" is as close to reality and has, in fact, helped NASA scientists in discovering endless possibilities in science and outer space.

During the weekend at "Star Trek: Mission to New York," Shatner along with NASA scientists talked about the symbiotic relationship between science fiction and science. The three day panel not only featured Shatner by a few highly-notable individuals namely Jeff Volosin of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, Dan Wertheimer of UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, and Bobak Ferdowsi of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"NASA works by science -- it's all mathematical. But science fiction is totally imaginative, it's the exact opposite. All these imaginative exercises of science fiction are food for the imagination of scientists who are actually working with technology," stated Shatner.

A big fan of NASA, Shatner has expressed praises for the space agency. The same goes for NASA that had awarded Shatner with the highest award given to a non-government personnel. In 2014, Shatner was given the Distinguished Public Service Medal.

"William Shatner has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today," stated David Weaver, the associate administrator at the NASA Headquarters' Office of Communications.

This is not the first time Shatner has lent his time for NASA's events. Shatner had spoken his famous lines for the final frontier during a wake-up call for astronauts aboard the STS-133 mission. As for the ties between "Star Trek" and NASA, a film critic for The Guardian, Jordan Hoffman claims that people working at the space agency are fans of the sci-fi series.

"People who work in NASA and important tech labs tend to be Star Trek fans. As much as everyone loves Star Wars, that stuff's fantasy. Star Trek comes with the idea that (technological advancement) is possible, and it has influenced so many people to try to bring these things to life that humanity has actually moved forward because of it," says Hoffman.

 NASA's International Space Station Paves Way for Farther Space Travel, 'Star Trek' Warp Travel Possible?
 'Star Trek' Stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto Test their NASA Knowledge in a Space Quiz

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