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#historyread – Star Trek at 50 #rwpchat

September 7, 2016
Kirk's Ship

A model of the USS Enterprise from the Star Trek television series.  (Copyright Brendan Hunter)

Space was my final frontier in Surrey in the 1960’s.  Having grown up in the space age of Gemini my press cuttings folder was full of the flights that paved the way for Apollo.  In July 1969 Apollo 11 went to the moon, I went to a new school and we watched Star Trek.

Real life was only imitating art as we were immersed in Star Trek – that was the future and  we were on the way there.  The bridge of the Enterprise was our window on the Galaxy and in 200 years it would all be real the transporters, communicators, tricorders and phasers (on stun of course) all deployed in peace for the Federation of Planets.

The voyages of the Starship Enterprise on its five year mission took us to worlds that often looked like ours – possibly for budgetary reasons rather than fore knowledge of exoplanets. However the science of Star Trek gave us a knowledge of the properties anti-matter which could be useful in CERN.

The stories sneaked in a social and political awareness, we saw societies where people who were half black and half white fought because the halves were on different sides. War was played out in booths for voluntary euthanasia rather than destroy towns and cause pain. And of course the kiss between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura……. Which didn’t mean much to us as he was always kissing someone, but it certainly made an impression in some places. We loved Chekov anyway.

Star Trek the original, the Next Generation, Voyager, the films and all the spin offs kept us going in the lean years without space travel. The prototype of the Space Shuttle named Enterprise forever linked NASA to Star Trek. And now we have the new Star Trek to enjoy in our twilight years until we beam up.

Happy Birthday Star Trek – Live long and prosper.

Sue, Surrey Libraries

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