Houston Matters

50 Years Later: How Star Trek Has Influenced Space City

Houston Matters discusses the legacy and impact of Star Trek on Greater Houston with Matt Abbott, flight director at Johnson Space Center, and Dr. Dorit Donoviel, deputy chief scientist with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.

Houston Matters Star Trek 50th Anniversary Logo - Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaFifty years ago today, on Sept. 8, 1966, Star Trek debuted on American television.

The original television series lasted just three seasons, but a legion of fans kept Trek culture alive for a decade, leading to a series of films, which spawned a new TV series, which led to three additional series, and more movies, and then a reboot, and even now another series is launching.

But Star Trek’s influence extends well beyond popular culture: it has inspired generations to get involved in aerospace, to pursue technological advances that have had extraordinary impact on medicine (think medical scans), communication (smart phones, anyone?) and many other critical aspects of our lives.

The influence of Star Trek is especially evident here in Space City, home of Johnson Space Center and the Texas Medical Center, where Houstonians have pursued careers that owe at least a small nod to concepts first introduced on a science fiction TV series 50 years ago.

We discuss the legacy and impact of Star Trek on Greater Houston with Matt Abbott, flight director at Johnson Space Center, and Dr. Dorit Donoviel, deputy chief scientist with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, director of the Biomedical Innovation Lab and assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine Center for Space Medicine.

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Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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