TIFF Bell Lightbox Trek, Trek, Trek!!

Last night was a simply amazing night at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The first of the Trek Talks happened with Lt. Col. Jeremy Hansen sharing his thoughts, experiences, and how Star Trek has shaped the work we do in outer space, on the ISS, and may influence our future explorations with An Astronaut’s Voyage to the Final Frontier.

Hansen did exactly what the best of Star Trek does, inspire, amaze and teach, and he did it in such an engaging, and fun way, sharing stories, images, video of his work, of our planet’s work as we step free from the shackles of Earth and leap towards the stars. Honestly, I couldn’t help but sit there with a big grin of childish wonder on my face, and a glimmer of a tear in my eye, as I saw what we, as a species, are capable of when we put aside our petty differences and greed. We can be amazing. Just like in Star Trek.

He examined some of the technology we were presented with in Star Trek, and compared them to modern day tech, and it’s amazing to see how both fiction and fact have married, evolved, and continue to form a symbiotic relationship as the communicators of Kirk and company are the cell phones of today, docking arms like the Canada Arm, and advancements in Space Robotics, and observation of the universe allow us to explore the wonderment around us.

Hansen imbued his talk with a sense of excitement that was completely contagious, and I found myself smiling nodding, and ready to answer the call…

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With discussions on Elon Musk, Space X, Mars, Europa, and the continued work of not only NASA, but the planet’s space agencies, it made for a brilliant evening.

An evening, which only got better, when director Nicholas Meyer introduced the Director’s Cut of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I’ve been a fan of Meyer’s since I first saw Khan, and have seen all of his films, so it was a real honor to listen to his humorous retelling of his involvement with the film.

It also makes me very excited for my next Trek Talk this evening, because both gentlemen will be on a roundtable discussion, joined by Margaret Weitekamp, the space history curator from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The name of this Trek Talk –  Space, Diplomacy and the United Federation of Planets.

Just the title is enough to make me say, “I’m in!” and after having heard both Meyer and Hansen speak last night, I am very eager to see how the roundtable plays out this evening. I expect discourses on politics, exploration, perhaps the commercialization, and privatization of space, how we would handle first contact, and should we even set up a Prime Directive?

I cannot wait for this!

Check out everything the TIFF Bell Lightbox has going on for Star Trek’s 50th anniversary here, and boldly go…

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