Results tagged “Star Trek”

I first wrote this for StarTrek's official website in 2002 the day after the "Enterprise" episode "Carbon Creek" first aired. The story was clearly inspired by my friend Homer Hickam's book "Rocket Boys" Well, that episode was on TV last night.

My Star Trek Episode at Everest

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, I thought I'd write about how many experiences in my life have intersected with- and have been affected by its legacy.

NASA: On the Edge of Forever

When Star Trek originally aired in 1966, NASA's space program was still in its infancy. But Star Trek allowed us to imagine what could be, if we dared to boldly go where no one had gone before.


The Aerospace Industries Association, in partnership with Challenger Center for Space Science Education, sponsored a first-of-its-kind crowd funding campaign to place a trailer before Star Trek Into Darkness beginning May 17 to educate the public - most especially young people - on the exciting human spaceflight programs now underway. The trailer will play in more than 50 cities nationwide.

NASA hosted on Google Hangout today a discussion with veteran astronauts Michael Fincke and Kjell Lindgren and cast members from the just opened "Star Trek Into Darkness" movie.

The director, a writer and some actors in the film "Star Trek Into Darkness" will join NASA as it hosts a Google+ Hangout from noon to 12:45 p.m. EDT, May 16, about how work aboard the International Space Station is turning science fiction into reality.

Warp Drive Research at NASA JSC

"This paper will begin with a short review of the Alcubierre warp drive metric and describes how the phenomenon might work based on the original paper. The canonical form of the metric was developed and published in [6] which provided key insight into the field potential and boost for the field which remedied a critical paradox in the original Alcubierre concept of operations. A modified concept of operations based on the canonical form of the metric that remedies the paradox is presented and discussed. The idea of a warp drive in higher dimensional space-time (manifold) will then be briefly considered by comparing the null-like geodesics of the Alcubierre metric to the Chung-Freese metric to illustrate the mathematical role of hyperspace coordinates. The net effect of using a warp drive "technology" coupled with conventional propulsion systems on an exploration mission will be discussed using the nomenclature of early mission planning. Finally, an overview of the warp field interferometer test bed being implemented in the Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory: Eagleworks (APPL:E) at the Johnson Space Center will be detailed. While warp field mechanics has not had a "Chicago Pile" moment, the tools necessary to detect a modest instance of the phenomenon are near at hand." More

Someone Has Created a Holodeck

A Queen's University researcher has created a Star Trek-like human-scale 3D videoconferencing pod that allows people in different locations to video conference as if they are standing in front of each other. "Why Skype when you can talk to a life-size 3D holographic image of another person?" says professor Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab.

NASA: To Boldly Go or To Loudly Whine?

NASA cannot have it both ways. Either it embodies the spirit of what can be done or it can whine about how hard it is. Trust me, whiners are not going to explore the universe.

Using T-Rays To Make Tricorders

T-rays technology could help develop Star Trek-style hand-held medical scanners

"Scientists have developed a new way to create electromagnetic Terahertz (THz) waves or T-rays - the technology behind full-body security scanners. The researchers behind the study, published recently in the journal Nature Photonics, say their new stronger and more efficient continuous wave T-rays could be used to make better medical scanning gadgets and may one day lead to innovations similar to the 'tricorder' scanner used in Star Trek."

Video: Hacking Kinect - NASA Applications?

Think for a moment: Remember all of the things in "Avatar", "Star Trek", and other SciFi films that were controlled by people waving their hands over sexy looking devices, wandering around holodecks, or using remotely controlled bodies. When Kinect was first released, Microsoft was against anyone hacking it. A similar thing happened when LEGO Mindstorms was released and hobbyists began to fiddle with the software. As was the case with LEGO, Microsoft has done a complete 180 and has overtly embraced the notion that people can take technology and do things that its originators never imagined. How could Kinect hacks change the way that NASA does things? What would it be like to use Kinect as a whole body interface with 360 degrees of movement while living in microgravity aboard the ISS? Could NASA control Robonaut this way?

Inventing the Tractor Beam

NASA Studying Ways to Make 'Tractor Beams' a Reality (with video)

"Tractor beams -- the ability to trap and move objects using laser light -- are the stuff of science fiction, but a team of NASA scientists has won funding to study the concept for remotely capturing planetary or atmospheric particles and delivering them to a robotic rover or orbiting spacecraft for analysis."

Backward Pulling Force from a Forward Propagating Beam, Chen et al

"We show explicitly that the necessary condition to realize a negative (pulling) optical force is the simultaneous excitation of multipoles in the particle and if the projection of the total photon momentum along the propagation direction is small (as in some propagation invariant beams), attractive optical force is possible. This possibility adds "pulling" as an additional degree of freedom to optical micromanipulation."

Tractor beam, Wikipedia

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