In September of 1962, President John F. Kennedy laid out his vision for the future of space exploration in the U.S.
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
A little less than 7 years later, that vision came to fruition when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon with these words,
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
In September of 1964, Gene Roddenberry laid out his vision for a future science fiction TV show.
In a time when westerns were at the height of popularity, Roddenberry pitched his idea as a space western, a “wagon train to the stars”, with “zap-guns instead of six-guns, spaceships instead of horses.”
Two years later, that vision came to fruition when “Star Trek” premiered on NBC with these words,
“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s five year mission: to explore strange, new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.”
This week, we commemorate the 47th anniversary of the first moon landing, and the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek”. On July 20, 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 landed on the moon. On September 8, 1966, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise landed a primetime slot on television, and today, July 22, 2016, “Star Trek Beyond” lands in theaters nationwide.
Is it coincidence the two events are similar in age? Would there be a lunar landing without “Star Trek”, and vice versa?
If there is one thing history and science fiction teaches, it is this: there is nothing we can’t accomplish when we work together for the good of human kind, the world and ultimately, the universe.