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September 18, 2006

The Next Episode of Space Trek

Star Trek fans (yes, I admit to being one!) have been bemoaning the fact that there is no new series planned. But we can take heart in knowing that many aspects of the show that were once considered fanciful dreams are now things we take for granted.

For example, for the next two days, a dozen humans, 2 women and 10 men, are in space in three separate spacecraft operated and coordinated by countries on two different continents, with crewmembers from four nations (five if you count Ansari's country of birth), and one who is flying as a tourist.

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who included a black woman and a Russian on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, would be proud of us.

And maybe the Vulcans are, too? Planets have been discovered around the star that is supposed to be their home system: Epsilon Eridanus. So who knows, once some young engineer designs warp drive, maybe they'll show up.

While we work on designs for the future, we should celebrate how far we have come. Three spacecraft with people in them, going 5 miles/second and crossing into and out of daylight every 45 minutes are more amazing than any special effects on TV.

The next episode in “Space Trek” is scheduled to air in the wee hours of Wednesday. The three-person Soyuz crew is scheduled to dock with the space station at 28 minutes after midnight (CDT) on Wednesday morning, September 20. Atlantis is scheduled to land at KSC at 4:57 AM (CDT) that same morning.

If you miss these events in real-time, don’t worry. There will be reruns. And our bolt-wrestling, free-falling, cool heroes will be back with a new show in December.

Marianne Dyson

Posted by m_dyson at September 18, 2006 12:40 AM



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