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NASA Founded 50 Years Ago Today July 29, 2008

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Science/Technology,Trek Franchise , trackback

On July 29th, 1958 President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law and NASA was born. Thus began the space race of the 60s, which sparked more popular culture interest in space. Since the shooting of the first pilot for Star Trek in 1964, there have been numerous references to NASA in Trek, all the way through to the last series Enterprise.

NASA and Trek
Starting with the multiple images of NASA probes shown in “The Cage,” NASA has been a big part of Star Trek from The Original Series, to the movies all the way to Star Trek Enterprise. Even the ‘delta shield’ logo is derivative of the NASA logo, and the TOS (and Enterprise) convention of assignment patches is borrowed from NASA’s many mission patches. Our friends over at the excellent site Ex Astris Scientia have put together a comprehensive feature article on all the references to NASA and Star Trek.

NASA has also helped out with Star Trek productions, providing images and information to make the show as real as possible. This still goes on today with Caroline Porco advising JJ Abrams on his new Star Trek feature as well as imagery being provided to the Trek Remastered team.


Voyager VI (aka V’Ger) from Star Trek The Motion Picture

Star Trek and NASA have also had an impact on each other in the real world. Many Star Trek stars have been involved in NASA activities from education to helping wake up the crew in the International Space Station. Trek artist Mike Okuda has designed multiple mission patches for NASA and in what may be the biggest real world Trek-NASA connection, the first space shuttle was renamed Enterprise in honor of Star Trek.


Roddenberry and the Original Series cast with the real life Enterprise

For more on NASA and Trek see Ex Astris Scientia and Memory Alpha.

From the staff at TrekMovie.com: Happy Birthday NASA! May you live long and prosper!

Comments

1. Norman - July 29, 2008

How did Zach Quinto get in that photo next to Gene???

2. INFINIG35 - July 29, 2008

WHERES CAPN’ KIRK IN THE NASA PHOTO? LOL

3. British Naval Dude - July 29, 2008

Happy annivers-arrrrrrry.

We wuz gunna call our agency BASA… British Airy-nauticals and Space Admin… but it sounded like we wuz shootin’ fish inta’ space…

Any chance ye’ can get a shuttie called tha’ “Ki’tang”?

I kids cuz I loves…

Arrrrrr…

4. Holger - July 29, 2008

Congratulations, NASA! I just love you!

5. THX-1138 The Fandom Menace - July 29, 2008

#2

He’s off shagging a NASA secretary. You do notice that it’s all men in the pic except for Nichelle.

6. Trekkie16 - July 29, 2008

OMG – Nimoy looks like Quinto in that photo.

7. Closettrekker - July 29, 2008

#1—No kidding, that’s amazing!

#5—Or a female Cosmonaut from the Ukraine. “What is it with him?”…lol.

8. PromoBoy - July 29, 2008

“Two things,” the wise man said, “fill me with awe:
The starry heavens and the moral law.”
Nay, add another wonder to thy roll, –
The living marvel of the human soul!

Stars and the Soul by Henry Van Dyke

Happy Birthday NASA- keep filling us with awe.

9. Ensign Ro- (short for Roland) - July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, NASA! May you receive the respect and funding you so deserve. I know the world has problems and money gets diverted to other areas…a war, for example. It’s just a shame that our administration, present and past, and we as a country have lost that childlike vision and curiousity for the wonders of space.

10. Jay - "The Real Jim Kirk" - July 29, 2008

Just wish the governments of the world would let agencies like NASA etc to tell the truth about ET’s

11. Shanaynay - July 29, 2008

>NASA Founded 50 Years Ago Today<

o i c.

12. SNAKE - July 29, 2008

hope theres a few NASA references in the new film…

if the trailers anything to go by im sure there will be..

13. star trackie - July 29, 2008

Happy B-day NASA!

Here’s hoping the next administration gives you a much larger budget.

14. CmdrR - July 29, 2008

Hope they packed one of them fine liesure suits onboard Voyager.

15. steve - July 29, 2008

They all look sooo young then. My eyes are a bit wet.

16. British Naval Dude - July 29, 2008

Doesn’t it cost ye’ Yanks 1.3 billion each time tha’ shuttie goes up? Perhaps aboot an average of 500 million each shot?

Thinkin’ aboot that, I don’t mind supportin’ a Queen at all… at least we can get her to go for a ride more than twice a year…

Oh, NASA contributed ta’ tha’ wonder o’ tha’ world…

I guess we just get fuddy duddy as we age…

But a billion bucks?

Arrrrrr…

17. Spock with a Crowbar - July 29, 2008

Probably irrelevant, but I was just watching one of my friends’ souvenir video from Space Camp. Fun times :)

18. CmdrR - July 29, 2008

BND, I do believe there are some members of the Royal Family who’d be happy to launch Liz into space.

19. Izbot - July 29, 2008

Awesome. The birth of Starfleet (well, NASA then ISA then UESPA then Starfleet).

*Notice the red sideways delta shield on the NASA logo. You think it’s just a coincidence that it looks similar to the 22nd century Starfleet logo?

20. British Naval Dude - July 29, 2008

18. Hmmm… ’tis true. Poor lass. Ya’ can’t pick yer relatives… ya’ can’t exactly pick yer Queen either, but that’s OK… I guess you Yanks can’t exactly pick yer presi… Oh, I’ll be silent on that now…

But limey Lift-Offs like that’ll never happen as me tax quid is bein’ spent on me doctor and me drugs (ya’ know- healthcare) so, sadly, we dunna have tha’ immense fundin’ ta’ shoot HRM up in a big ol’ orgasm-inducing shuttie… guess she ain’t gunna touch tha’ face o’ God… poor lass…

Arrrrrr…

21. Beam Me Up - July 29, 2008

Can someone translate that last post for me?

22. VERG - July 29, 2008

It’s only been 50 years… sheesh, seems longer then that. Just think what space travel will be like 50 years from now! I can has spaceflight?

23. Orb of the Emissary - July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday NASA!! May you receive an increase in funding from the government as a birthday gift! Live Long & Prosper.

24. The Last Maquis - July 29, 2008

nice bell bottoms.

25. TOS Purist aka The Purolator - July 29, 2008

NASA and I share birthdays – as does Will Wheaton!

26. OM - July 29, 2008

…For NASA’s birthday, I considered finding the 50 most notorious anti-NASA politicians and hippie rabble rousers, putting them on top of a big cake, and then setting their heads on fire in lieu of candles. The only problem is whether the wish NASA would get for blowing the candles out would be greater than just letting those 50 bastards burn :-)

27. OM - July 29, 2008

“NASA and I share birthdays – as does Will Wheaton!”

…As he pointed out on Twitter along with noting that there was a quake in SoCal. Coincidence? Mox nix…so long as everyone out in that area is otay and unharmed.

28. British Naval Dude - July 29, 2008

21.

Well, I suppose I could translate myself from my unintelligible diatribe above. Please duly note, I appreciate NASA’s contributions from, say, thirty years ago- the awe and wonder you Yanks provided the whole world.

My disapproval of government funded space agencies stems from their exorbanant expense and complete lack of giving anything practical back to society.

In other words: Your federal space agency has a perverse, depraved cost and it contributes nothing at all anymore.

I know, I know… I’m a sour space puss… and if yer footin’ tha’ bill, why should I complains, eh? If going inta’ space is America’s priority, who am I ta’ tell ya’ where ta’ put yer dollars?

Tha’ sea is me home, not tha’ stars far above- however much I may dream so softly of them; but I wish ta’ take care o’ tha’ folks here on earth rather than go play in tha’ dust o’ Mars… Star Trek made space somethin’ worthwhile cuz it had all tha’ aliens in it ta’ learn from and enrich ourselves off o’… Right now, all that be alien here is tha’ fungus on me bottom…

Arrrrrrr…

29. Anthony Pascale - July 29, 2008

OM,
that is totally inappropriate dude…and in general I think you need to lighten up

30. Rhett Coates - July 29, 2008

#1 and others, YEAH – I noticed that right off the bat in the photo. Truly, there’s a remarkable resemblence in the two men. I suppose Spock would say, “Fascinating!” ROBERTO: you guys should note that to Zachary, the next time you are in contact with him. I can just hear him now: “Whoah…!” (–maybe said with a slight, sly “Sylar” grin, just for laughs–)

31. British Naval Dude - July 29, 2008

29. You’re absolutely right, sir. Bad form of me. This is your home you’ve welcomed us into; a home I do so much appreciate and enjoy. And that’s no way fur a guest ta’ act. I do apologize so please pardon me on my rather poorly enacted post.

It’s a terrible thing ta’ shake up dreams… Dreams like space… For dreams are what drive us onto better things in life…

I shall continue then wit’ me much more light-hearted and humble “arrrrrrrrs”….

Arrrrrrrr…

32. Jimtibkirk - July 29, 2008

Always thought it would be cool for one of the shows or movies to explain the origin of the uniform patch originally created by Bill Theiss, TOS Costume Designer. Anyone know for certain he was inspired by NASA’s logo? I believe the delta shield origin has been explained in one of the novels too. My idea was for some alien planet or race that used that symbol to be saved from utter destruction by Starfleet, which then added it to the uniforms as a reminder of their good work. However, in TOS different ships had different symbols. Maybe the new film will touch on this.

33. Xplodin' Nacelle - July 29, 2008

I always wanted NASA to make the Enterprise shuttle spaceworthy. Then I recently realized that if they had stuck to their refit plan, then Enterprise would’ve been the one that blew up instead of Challenger. ie. they were going to make Enterprise the second flightworthy shuttle after Columbia, but decided that it was cheaper to refit Challenger instead of EnterpriseCan you imagine the ultra negative plubicity that a teacher in space dying aboard the Enterprise. If would’ve been a major black eye on the franchise, as well as probably set back the space program even further. Thankfully economics interveened, & I don’t feel so jipped. I still feel a bad taste in my mouth for the 3 disasters we did have, but thankfully none of them involved an Enterprise. Imagine the dedication at the beginning of TVH lamenting the Enterprise 7. It would’ve made it 100 times worse.

34. S. John Ross - July 29, 2008

NASA! I remember them!

Good times, good times.

35. LoyalStarTrekFan - July 29, 2008

Happy birthday NASA!

Trek and NASA have routinely been in contact and there have been many connections. Ex-Astris-Scientia.org has an in-depth article about it. Hopefully soon NASA will send a man to the moon again and send the first human to Mars. NASA has a great history and space exploration is a worthwhile goal. Hopefully NASA will get more funding from the government in the future.

36. CmdrR - July 29, 2008

BND — Alas, even HRM can’t afford a ride on the space shuttle. Times must be tough in the former British Empire. (Maybe she has a nice washing machine in Windsor Castle’s basement?) So now, we have Richard Branson offering joy rides of 4 — count ‘em 4 — minutes into technical space. I don’t know how it can be a real space trip if you don’t even get to k-noodle with a green chick. The price? $200,000. Maybe QEII could pry a ruby from her girdle and take a jaunt.

37. Adam E - July 29, 2008

If everything goes as planned NASA has a busy 50 years ahead of it – Back to the Moon and to Mars.

I wonder how far we would be if we had the Vulcans holding us up… just joking – I’m sure we would welcome their help – but they won’t talk to us until we go FTL

38. CmdrR - July 29, 2008

37 – It’s no fun to play with the stupid kids.

39. British Naval Dude - July 29, 2008

CmdrR-

Aaaaahhhh… wuz it Mr. Bond’s Moonraker that maketh a young man (or an old Queen) dream of no-gravity smiles?

Blindness comes ta’ me picturing tha’ Queen
Making tha’ rumbly washing machine so very unclean

I doubt HRM has ever operated such a device
And I doubt Sir Richard will e’er lower his price

But if she does rides, hope she rides far, far away
Tha’ Brits love her so and would all gladly pay

All tha’ alien wonders I could ever see doesn’t need such a ransom
They be found down in Missouri- walkin’ through that there Branson

Arrrrr… CmdrR- She may surprise ye’- gotta hand it ta’ tha’ Queen’s stick-to-it-tiveness… most girls go belly up in this economy… and now Sir Richard can get ye’ all “spaced” wit’out worryin’ about Simon Pegg light-saberin’ ye’….

RICHARD BRANSON: Ah, the wonders of it all… the lofty beauty few ever see for themselves… the height we have acheived for mere ordinary common millionare passengers… brilliant!

BND: What’d I miss? I wuz in tha’ loo! Where does that go anyways whens I flush? Huh? Arrrr we thar’ yet? What? We’re returnin’??? Awwwk! That peanut I ate grew in me belly and is now burstin’ out! Aaaaa!

(But four minutes is more than I needs
Ta’ de-Virgin tha’ galaxy)

Arrrrrrrr….

40. Xai - July 29, 2008

Did NASA invent that Universal Translator yet?

Arrrrr…

41. Xai - July 29, 2008

BND, ;-)

42. British Naval Dude - July 29, 2008

Xai- Arrrrrrr…. all tha’ edumaction I had ta’ teach me how ta’ talk like a bangke fooga respectable gentleman… we Englsh have tha’ best schools, we dos… So how comes they always mess me order up at tha’ drivethru?…

Arrrrrrr…

43. Adam E - July 29, 2008

40. Xai – July 29, 2008
Did NASA invent that Universal Translator yet?

Check this out – it’s a step in the right direction:
http://www.voxtec.com/phraselator/

44. South African Dude - July 29, 2008

Did anyone notice how much Leonard Nimoy looks like Zachy Quinto in that picture with the space shuttle Enterprise?

Freaky

45. Bernd S. - July 30, 2008

Happy Birthday NASA!

May you continue to boldly go where no one has gone before.

46. Jörg - July 30, 2008

…and Happy Birthday from me as well!

May there be many more NASA references on Trek we can add in the coming years/decades! :-)

47. bdrcarter - July 30, 2008

BND…I don’t think Anthony was calling you out. He references OM in his post.

Keep ‘em coming! You’re one of the most entertaining contributors to this site.

48. British Naval Dude - July 30, 2008

47. It would really help if I could read and write, ya’ know…

49. British Naval Dude - July 30, 2008

Oh, and thanke’…

50. aries127 - July 30, 2008

34 -

Anyone who doesn’t see that NASA is kicking a$% right now isn’t paying attention.

The shuttle is no longer the most complex piece of machinery ever built. The ISS is HUGE! There are 3 crew members (soon to be 6) plus 7 visiting shuttle members living on a station bigger than a 3-story house.

How are we going to live on the Moon and Mars before we learn to undergo large-scale construction in space?

I mean, getting to the Moon was spectacular, but we basically did it in a tin can compared to what we’ve got going on up there right now.

NASA isn’t the most impressive when they recover from near-disaster. They’re the most impressive at times like this, when they’re doing everything to perfection.

51. Dr. Image - July 30, 2008

Back in ’76 I attended a lecture with Michael Collins (Apollo 11) in which he pointed out, for many technical reasons, that the shuttle was a disaster waiting to happen.
How right he was.
Now we’re going back to capsules and splashdowns.
(That is, IF the political tides are in fact with NASA after the election.)

52. aries127 - July 30, 2008

51 –

I can’t agree with you that Shuttle has been a disaster. We’ve made huge strides living and working in space with the program. EVA’s that were unthinkable during Gemini & Apollo are now routine on Shuttle-Station.

The contracts for Constellation have already been issued, and the test vehicles are already being built.

And we’re going back to capsules and splashdowns because that’s the method required for the new mission. If you think shuttle was a disaster, why do you deride the old, proven methods for interplanetary travel?

Back in the so-called “day” we dreamed of living and working in space, and not just sending test-pilot jocks on (admitedly spectacular but comparatively simple) moon-shots. Just recently, Dan Tani got back from a long-duration flight, after which he described a scene from the station. He said he went from one end of the station to the other and saw 10 men & women of 4 different nationalities living and working in space; some were spacewalking on an EVA, others were guiding the robotic arm doing station construction, one was excercising, one was conducting experiements, and a few were preparing the shuttle for departure the following day. All at the same time.

That’s it. We got there. Human history is a lot longer than the three tiny decades of Shuttle. There’s no way we could do what we’re about to do without Shuttle-Station. My hat’s off.

53. HisDivineAssassin - July 31, 2008

Yeah happy birthday nasa,
Great work on covering up the truth… Publics totally buying it.

54. braxus - August 1, 2008

Happy Birthday NASA. Maybe the new Constellation program go off without a hitch and be ready as soon as the shuttle winds down.

55. Glenn Hendrickson - August 3, 2008

Thanks for this tribute to NASA/Star Trek. That last photo with the cast and Gene is pretty sweet!

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