Star Trek Celebrates 50 Years: Industry Insiders Reflect
The first episode of Star Trek aired on September 8, 1966, some 50 years ago. Although the original series ended after only three rather disappointing seasons, the franchise would go on to spawn many sci-fi series and blockbuster movies. Star Trek has inspired generations of scientists and engineers, who continue to attempt to bring into being the gadgets and technology written into the story line. For example, several years ago the United States Patent Office issued a patent on the first cloaking device, last year scientists at the U.S. Naval Research laboratory created transparent aluminum, IBM’s omnipotent computer known as Watson can easily be likened to the all-knowing Star Trek computer, and a real-life food replicator can prepare a meal in 30 seconds. Of course, countless scientists have theorized about the possibility of a real life transporter, which is described as the holy grail of Star Trek technologies. Indeed, just a few months ago Russia embarked upon a path to achieve transporter technology within the next 20 years, and researchers believe through the use of quantum mechanics they can create a transporter-like device for data.