Star Trek: Mission NY Enlists NASA for Trek Talks on Star Trek’s Impact on Space Exploration

NASA Astronauts, Officers, and Scientists to Lead Series of Trek Talks at Star Trek: Mission New York on the Lasting Influence and Inspiration Star Trek Provided For U.S. Space Program The […]

NASA Astronauts, Officers, and Scientists to Lead Series of Trek Talks at Star Trek: Mission New York on the Lasting Influence and Inspiration Star Trek Provided For U.S. Space Program

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is beaming up to Star Trek: Mission New York in September with a stellar lineup of Trek Talks given by Astronauts, scientists, engineers, and Star Trek alumni. Taking place throughout Labor Day weekend, the talks will cover topics including alien life, exoplanet exploration, and the ways in which Star Trek has influenced NASA, space travel, and modern technology. Star Trek: Mission New York is produced by ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events, in collaboration with CBS Consumer Products and will take place at the Javits Center in NYC on September 2-4, 2016.

NASA’s lineup of panels at Star Trek: Mission New York includes:

Trek Talks: NASA

Sunday, September 4th at 1:30pm (Main Stage)

NASA scientists, engineers and astronauts often cite Star Trek as inspiring them to pursue careers in their fields.  In fact, Nichelle Nichols even helped NASA recruit astronauts in the 1980s.  Today, NASA is turning science fiction into reality. Humans now live and work in space full time on the International Space Station.  Scientists are exploring potentially life-harboring worlds in our solar system, while discovering thousands of new planets orbiting distance stars.  NASA continues its goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s. How does NASA’s vision of the future mimic the world of Star Trek and where does it differ?  What technologies in the Star Trek world have paved the way for real technologies being developed by NASA?  This moderated discussion will be accompanied by special video content featuring both NASA and Star Trek talent.  The panel will be moderated by Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager) and the panelists will include NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Deputy Director of Science Communications Michelle Taller, Program Executive for Solar System Exploration Dave Lavery, Senior Technical Officer Jeffrey Sheehy, and Adam Nimoy (son of the legendary Leonard Nimoy).


Trek Talks: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water: What Will Aliens REALLY Be Like

Saturday, September 3rd at 12:15pm (Room 1A23)

Andorians. Klingons. Romulans. Bolians. Look at nearly any alien in Star Trek, and they look a lot like us. But what would *real* aliens look like? And would they be as friendly as a tribble, or as aggressive as a Kzin? In this panel, real scientists will discuss real aliens: What they might look like, how they might act, and whether we should extend the hand of friendship or get all hands to battlestations.  This Trek Talk will be hosted by Phil ‘The Bad Astronomer’ Plait and NASA’s Bobak ‘Mohawk Guy’ Ferdowsi.


Trek Talks: The Science of Exoplanets
Saturday, September 3rd at 3:30pm (Room 1A21)

Without beaming down an away team, astronomers have been using large telescopes on the ground and spacecraft in orbit to discover and learn more about new worlds outside of our solar system (called exoplanets). Hear about the science of finding exoplanets from NASA team members on the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) project. Several different methods have been used to find exoplanets to date; what are they and what do they tell us about the exoplanets that we find? Learn about what kinds of planets have been discovered so far and what it may be like for away teams on those worlds. How do all of discoveries and science efforts lead to finding another Earth – like world (a M-Class planet for an away team)? This Trek Talk will be led by NASA’s Matt Ritsko and Jeff Volosin.


Trek Talks: The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: NASA’s Next Mission to Find Strange New Worlds

Sunday, September 4th at 11:45am (Room 1A23)

In Star Trek, the Enterprise and its crew visited and discovered new worlds every week outside of our solar system. Today, there are over 3,000 confirmed exoplanets, worlds around stars other than our own sun. The discovery of these new planets has brought the dreams of science fiction into science fact. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, will be NASA’s next mission to continue to find and explore strange new worlds. Learn about how TESS will discover exoplanets, managing and building of the spacecraft (being the Captain!), and what the project team members hope the future holds for the next generation of exoplanet hunters.  This Trek Talk will be led by NASA’s Matt Ritsko and Jeff Volosin.


Trek Talks: First Contact: Looking for Life in the Universe

Sunday, September 4th at 10:30am (Room 1A23)

Join Dan Werthimer (SETI, UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory) and Bobak Ferdowsi (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) to discuss the search for life from the local neighborhood to the great beyond. What are the challenges in finding life, and if we’re not alone, why haven’t we made first contact yet?


“NASA’s Trek Talks at Star Trek: Mission New York will give Fans the opportunity to be fully immersed in the fascinating ways in which Star Trek has impacted space exploration, from paving the way for new technologies, to fostering an interest in the exploring beyond Earth, and dreaming up alien life,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP.

Star Trek: Mission New York, under license by CBS Consumer Products, is the ultimate destination for Star Trek fans, filled with interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, screenings and much more. Its creation adds to a year filled with Star Trek events and experiences celebrating the franchise’s milestone 50th anniversary.  Star Trek: Mission New York will take place September 2-4 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. For more information, please visit and the Star Trek: Mission New York social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

The arrival of Star Trek: Mission New York marks the return of the Star Trek fan fest to the Big Apple. The first Star Trek convention, which helped spark the fast-growing experiential fan event industry, took place January 21-23, 1972 at the Statler Hotel – now the Hotel Pennsylvania. Originally planned for 500 guests, the event became an instant blockbuster with more than 3,000 in attendance.  ReedPOP, global experts at producing and curating the world’s best fan experiences, will develop a unique program that will entertain and engage thousands of Star Trek fans for a new and different stand-alone experience.

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