NASA Teams with 'Star Trek' to Explain the Real Final Frontiers

Star Trek Beyond Still 4 - H 2016
Kimberley French/Paramount
Representatives from NASA will take part in five 'Trek Talks' throughout September's 'Star Trek: Mission New York' convention.

Whether in the 21st or 23rd century, space remains the final frontier — and as part of next month's Star Trek: Mission New York convention, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the franchise, NASA will provide a track of programming talking about the reality behind the science fantasy of Kirk, Spock et al.

Experts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will lead five "Trek Talks" at the three-day convention, which takes place across Labor Day weekend, with topics including alien life, exploring (and discovering) strange new worlds and the ways in which Star Trek has influenced the reality of space exploration and technological development.

In a statement, Lance Fensterman, global senior vp of Mission New York organizers ReedPOP, said, "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."

NASA's Trek Talks across the weekend will be:

  • Ugly Bags of Mostly Water: What Will Aliens Really Be Like? (Sept. 3, 12:15 in Room 1A23, led by Phil Plait and NASA's Bobak Ferdowsi)
  • The Science of Exoplanets (Sept. 3, 3:30 in Room 1A21, led by NASA's Matt Ritsko and Jeff Volosin
  • First Contact: Looking For Life in the Universe (Sept. 4, 10:30 am in Room 1A23, led by Ferdowsi and SETI's Dan Werthimer)
  • The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: NASA's Next Mission To Find Strange New Worlds (Sept. 4, 11:45 am in Room 1A23, led by Ritsko and Volosin)
  • NASA (Sept. 4, 1:30 on the main stage, moderated by Robert Picardo, with panelists including NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, deputy director of science communications Michelle Thaller, program executive for solar system exploration Dave Lavery, senior technical officer Jeffrey Sheehy and Adam Nimoy).

Star Trek: Mission New York runs Sept. 2-4 at the Javits Center in New York City.