NASA to celebrate Star Trek’s vision of diversity, inclusion

Created in the midst of turmoil during the 1960s, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trak project a future vision of diversity and inclusion.

At a time of racial conflict in the United States, the series included female, Black, Asian and even a mixed-species characters – all of whom held positions of authority and were respected by their crew mates. The series even had a Russian character – Pavel Chekov –at a time when the Russians (and the Soviet Union) were viewed by many as ‘the enemy.’

NASA is helping to celebrate that legacy of inspiration, hope, and diversity fostered by the creator of Star Trek to live long and prosper.

The agency will observe the late 100th birthday with a special program called, Celebrating Gene Roddenberry: Star Trek’s Bridge and NASA – a panel discussion airing on NASA Television, the agency’s website, the NASA App, and NASA social media at 2 p.m., Eastern Time, Aug. 19.

The program includes introductory remarks by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson followed by a panel discussion moderated by Rod Roddenberry, son of Gene Roddenberry. Special guest George Takei, Star Trek actor and activist, will participate in the question-and-answer session.

The NASA panelists includes:

* Tracy Drain, Europa Clipper flight systems engineer
* Hortense Diggs, director of the Office of Communications and Public Engagement at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
* Swati Mohan, lead for Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Operations at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California
* Jonny Kim, NASA astronaut

Coinciding with the program, NASA will broadcast into space a 1976 recording of Gene Roddenberry’s remarks on diversity and inclusion through the agency’s Deep Space Network of radio antennas. NASA also is inviting people on social media to join celebrating Roddenberry’s 100th birthday on Thursday by posting a Vulcan salute selfie with the hashtag #Roddenberry100.

More information about Roddenberry’s centennial is available at http://roddenberryfoundation.org/centennial. Learn about NASA’s missions, discoveries, research, and people at http://www.nasa.gov.

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