Stardate 20153.7: People in the United States were the first to boldly watch what no TV viewer had seen before.
In more ancient (i.e., today’s) terms, it was on September 8, 1966, that the first episode of Star Trek, now subtitled The Original Series, aired on NBC.
—Perhaps one of the most famous TOS scenes.
In the 44 years since that day, the fictional series—part Western in space, part morality play—has spawned movies, spinoffs, conventions, countless spoofs, a complete alien language, and one of the weirdest photo websites I’ve *ever* seen.
In a few weeks Star Trek: The Next Generation will turn 23—that show premiered on September 28, 1987, and it went on to become the highest rated of all the Star Trek TV series.
In honor of these two perfectly random birthdays, I invite you to enjoy a sampling of NG News articles about Star Trek-inspired technologies coming soon to a starbase near you:
Transporters: “Physicists Teleport Quantum Bits Over Long Distance” [January 29, 2003]
Tricorders: “Bioweapon Sensor Mirrors Star Trek Tricorder” [July 11, 2006]
Deflector shields: “Star Trek Shield May Protect Astronauts” [November 4, 2008]
Antimatter engines: “Antimatter-Rocket Plan Fuels Hope for Star Trek Tech” [May 4, 2006]
Romulan cloaking devices: “Two New Cloaking Devices Close In on True Invisibility” [May 6, 2009]
As an added bonus, check out this interview with Star Trek (2009) production designers and model makers about what it would take to actually build a starship like the U.S.S. Enterprise.