Society Track: Glen Swanson, Roger B. Chaffee Scholarship Fund, History: “The Making of an Enterprise: How NASA, the Smithsonian and the Aerospace Industry of the 1960s helped create Star Trek"
This presentation will explore how NASA and the larger aerospace community of the 1960s helped provide technical advice and support to Gene Roddenberry during the creation of the original Star Trek television series. Just as much as the fans themselves supported the show through letter writing campaigns and campus demonstrations, these other elements also contributed by conveying a level of credibility and approval along with a certain cachet that together, helped influence network executives into funding production of the show's three-season run before being cancelled. This was critical for the longer a series remained in production, the more episodes the network could choose to rerun resulting in more profits for the studio. It was in syndication that Star Trek became the phenomenal global success that it is today.