In episode 127 of the Hugo Nominated SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks our irregulars to weigh in on: NASA vs. Star Trek!
Expanded topic description:
Does science fiction, and specifically Star Trek, lead to unrealistic expectations by the general public of space exploration, and an overall dissatisfaction with NASA in general for a perceived ‘lack of progress’?
Recently, Scott Pace, the current director of the Space Policy Institute at The George Washington University and a former NASA associate administrator, was asked to comment on the April 12th failure of the North Korean rocket launch. He noted that sending a vehicle into space is still a significant technical challenge, and added, “In many ways, the worst enemy of NASA is Star Trek…Captain Picard says ‘engage’ and the ship moves. And people think ‘How hard can this be?’”
Filmmaker James Cameron supposedly made a similar comment about Star Trek’s depiction of space travel several years ago. This, so the argument goes, leads to unrealistic expectations in the public mind about where we should be these days on the Final Frontier. Reality has fallen far short of the galaxy-hopping future envisioned by Star Trek, and NASA takes the blame.
This week’s panel:
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