Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2016

The photonics of Star Trek: 6 ways sci-fi imagined the future that is today

Sci-fi meets reality in this 1975 NASA photo: The Shuttle Enterprise rolls out of its Palmdale, California, manufacturing facilities with Star Trek television cast members on hand for the ceremony. From left to right are James Fletcher (NASA), DeForest Kelley (“Dr. ‘Bones’ McCoy”), George Takei (“Mr. Sulu”), James Doohan (“Chief Engineer Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott”), Nichelle Nichols (“Lt. Uhura”), Leonard Nimoy (“Mr. Spock”), Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, an unnamed NASA official, and Walter Koenig (“Ensign Pavel Chekov”).


Fifty years after Gene Roddenberry launched the Star Trek series on American television, many of the then-futuristic devices and ideas on the award-winning show have become commonplace on Earth.
Roddenberry’s creativity and extensive homework in consultation with scientists and engineers of his day infused the show with technology such as photodynamic therapy, laser weapons, and handheld sensors and communication devices. In the process, his sci-fi world color…