Star Trek 40th Anniversary

September 8th, 2006 | by Sqotty |

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek. It was on September 8th, 1966, that Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise hit the air waves.

For 40 years, Star Trek has not only entertained us, but also inspired us, seeking careers in sciences as well as the arts. It is a series that issued the ultimate challenge: “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before.” And many friends of mine have done exactly that, including working on numerous NASA projects, from the Space Shuttle and the Hubble Telescope to the Cassini mission to Saturn and it’s solar neighborhood.

Others have pursued varying other aspects of the sciences, from mathematics and computer science, the biochemistry and engineering. Others also chose military service, whether as a career or for a term of duty (I am in the latter group…four years in the Air Force).

How many people Trek has influenced in their choice of careers, as a result of being “hooked on Trek,” is unknown. Certainly, there are many, as I recall Nichelle Nichols talking at one convention about a young woman who was inspired by the character of Uhura.

I remember the very first time I got to watch an episode of Stsr Trek. It was first season summer reruns, the episode “Arena,” in which Kirk must battle with the alien Gorn in single combat. I remember that during the school year leading up to my first viewing of Trek; there were kids in my class who would play Star Trek during recess, proclaiming which role they would take with cries of “I’m Kirk” and “I’m Spock” leaving me mystified as I had yet to see Star Trek. They would then ask if I wanted to be a Klingong, then tell me that I am their prisoner, leaving me asking, “what’s a Klingon?” I had no idea what lay in store for me ten years done the line.

Yes, I have been involved in Star Trek fandom for many years. It has been fun in many ways. It’s been a part of my life for many years, and, I suspect, will continue to do so for years to come.

Forty years is a long time for a show that lasted three seasons and 79 episodes. It’s been a long ride, and worth every minute. I hate to think what this world would be like if we never had Star Trek.

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