# Star Trek: 40 Years

1. Feb 20, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
What an incredible story: An unpopular and short lived series refuses to die, and now, along with its offspring, Trek spans forty years that have inspired countless young minds.
http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/ [Broken]

[The History Channel is currently running a two-hour documentary in honor of Treks 40th birthday.]

Many, many, scientists and engineers will tell you that Star Trek played a significant role in their early love of science. Trek devices and ideas have inspired real technolgy and science, and we have even named a space craft, Enterprise, in honor of Roddenberry's contribution to the spirit and love of space exploration.

You'll never catch me at a Trek convention, and I can't cite Trek statistics or tell you the going price for dilithium crystals, but Trek captured my heart in 1966 and never let go. I for one consider Roddenberry a hero, and the success of Star Trek nothing less than a cultural phenomenon; visionary and, at least in its influence, on par or far exceeding the work of Verne, and Orwell. It is hard to do better than inspiring entire generations of scientists and science lovers.

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2. Feb 20, 2007

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Can we really attribute the name Enterprise to Star Trek? http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-e/entrp5.htm" [Broken] was first commissioned in 1877, The second Enterprise played a historic role in WWII, the 3rd and current USS Enterprise was commissioned in 1965, still 2 years before Star Trek. I always thought that Star Trek simply adapted a historic name to connect to a past we were familiar with. Isn't is a bit of circular logic to give credit to Star Trek for the name of the space shuttle?

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3. Feb 20, 2007

### Cyrus

I like the TNG series. I enjoy the actors/plots. I dont care for any of the new stuff though.

4. Feb 20, 2007

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
Well they were going to name it Constitution but Trek fans wrote to the president until they gave in and called it Enterprise. If I remember correctly Star Wars fans not wanting to be out-done campaigned to get it called millenium falcon but thats just silly.

Yey! Well done Star Trek

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5. Feb 20, 2007

### Janus

Staff Emeritus
Kurdt's right, They were going to name it differently and had their minds changed by the write-in campaign. Gene Roddenberry and most of the original cast were special guests at the dedication ceremony. It was even rolled out of its hangar to the Star Trek theme.

Ironically enough, Gene was not all that happy with the name. He felt it held too much of a military heritage and felt that the shuttle should have been named after a famous ship of exploration instead. (Of course it could have been worse, if they had kept one of the original concept names for the ship in Star Trek, our first shuttle could have been the "Yorktown".)

So while the Starship Enterprise was named after earlier ships from history, It was the Starship Enterprise that inspired the name of the Shuttle Enterprise.

However, the Star Wars fans part is a bit off, as the Enterprise rolled out of its hangar in 1976, almost a year before Stars Wars came out. They may have campaigned to change the name of a later shuttle though, I don't know.

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6. Feb 20, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

TNG is my favorite. They lost me with Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

7. Feb 20, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Heh - I didn't know that about the space shuttle. I had always assumed it was based on the ship(s). I was always surprised there wasn't also a space shuttle "Intrepid" (we've had 4 and the British 8 ships with that name). We've had 8 enterprises (the British 14). Constitution would have been a reasonble name too, though.

Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
8. Feb 20, 2007

### Janus

Staff Emeritus
To further betray my Star Trek geekiness:

Of course, if they had known at the time that the first shuttle would never be made space-worthy, The fans would have better serve their purpose by waiting to have the second shuttle named Enterprise. The funny thing about this is that it would have been a closer parallel to the Star Trek universe. In Star Trek mythos, the Enterprise is a Constitution class starship and the second of its line( the Constitution, NCC-1700 being the first).

9. Feb 20, 2007

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
Oh well seems i've fallen victim to an urban legend. I can always claim I'm too young to know any better anyway :tongue2:

10. Feb 20, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Which I remember very well. It was a stellar day for geeks!!!

11. Feb 20, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
The miniture NCC-1701-D, sold at Christies for $500,000. Picard's flute [name that episode] sold for$40,000. Patrick Stewart was clearly thrilled to hear this, but he had to laugh as he pointed out that the flute doesn't even play.

On a sad note, the original NCC-1701 miniature only snatched a quarter million.

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12. Feb 20, 2007

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
I'd have loved to be able to be at that sale and buy something

13. Feb 20, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
I think there was only one item that sold for less than \$2K. Many people there were completely unprepaired and absolutely blown away by the bids.

14. Feb 20, 2007

### turbo

I didn't even make the transition to TNG well. My favorite space opera is Babylon 5. Good character development, with people changing over time, as people do, and usually some good plots, based on themes covering racism, slavery, alcoholism, nationalism, personal growth, betrayal, etc.

15. Feb 20, 2007

### Schrodinger's Dog

Babylon-5 was excellent, well developed plot written far in advance, and the humans finally weren't the big I am in the galaxy, just a player and a small one at that; this kind of appealed to me, the idea that we go from space travel to being the big Federation very quickly given there were already plenty of races, never sat very well with me. Not that I dislike Star Trek, in all its incarnations it was great entertainment, but it's nice to see something a little more real, if you see what I mean.

For this reason I think Battlestar Gallactica is another excellent series, it has some real depth, certainly a departure from the original. Which was fun but no where near as gripping.

I'd recommend Stargate also.

16. Feb 20, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

That's one of my favorite episodes.

17. Feb 20, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
To me, the difference between Trek and the other shows was that Trek pioneered new ideas and explored the remote recesses of theoretical physics for its inspiration. IMO, the rest are just space operas and never have captured my interest, with the exception of Stargate SG1.

We once spent an entire QM lecture discussing the Heisenberg compensators.

Me too, Evo.

There were also the social contributions made: MLK once contacted Nickelle Nichols [Uhura] to tell her what an inspiration she [her character] had been for black women everywhere. She was a black woman who held a command position, the first ever seen in such a role, and when she kissed Kirk, it was the first interracial kiss on TV.

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18. Feb 20, 2007

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
There is a satisfaction in recognising the concepts behind certain equipment from their names such as the Heisenberg compensators and you mention and the Bussard collectors etc. Also as you mentioned in the original post it inspired a lot of now available equipment, mobile phones for a rather obvious example.

19. Feb 20, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

I'm still waiting for a replicator.

Tea....Earl Grey...hot!

20. Feb 20, 2007

### turbo

My problem with Trek was that it was Gunsmoke in outer space. The same core cast of characters playing off the same relationships. I mean, put a vest and a cowboy hat on the McCoy character and have him say "Dammit, Matt, I'm a doctor not a miracle worker!" Then Miss Kitty would stand him to a beer. Don't get me wrong - I liked the original Trek, but then again I liked Gunsmoke, Maverick, etc, too. There just wasn't much good programming on TV during the '60s, unless you count comedy-variety shows like the Smothers Brothers and Laugh-In.

Last edited: Feb 20, 2007