Space Exploration And Star Trek

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“There are certain things men must do to remain men. Your computer would take that away.” Wise words from Captain James T. Kirk. “The Ultimate Computer,” an episode from Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek: The Original Series, effectively details human reaction toward technology and how far advancement should extend. Star Trek scrutinizes the consequences of space travel and exploration, advancement of technology, and militarization. In the episode “The Ultimate Computer,” the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise faces the potential eradication of their occupations by a machine who can do what appears to be anything a human can do, faster and more efficiently. In a test run of the M-5, a computer capable of completely commanding a starship meant to be …show more content…
Just before and during the time Star Trek was broadcasting to every television in the United States and even around the world, space exploration was a hot topic. On April 12, 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human ever to reach Earth’s orbit and less than a year later, John Glenn became the first American to do the same, orbiting Earth three times before returning to the ground (“Space Exploration”). While frustrations were high in the American people that the Soviets beat the United States to space, there was still a fervor to set out, to step foot into the unknown territory of space. John F. Kennedy states in his speech at Rice Stadium in 1962, “Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, ‘Because it is there.’ Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there.” Kennedy’s speech inspired the country to continue forth on its desire to extend its hands to the furthest reaches. Star Trek further influenced the nation into continuing the fight to reach farther out into space. Kennedy wasn’t the only one to encourage space travel. Roddenberry’s Star Trek series further pushed the interest of exploration of space. Kirk quotes a small piece of John Masefield’s poem titled “Sea Fever” to Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy, expressing how space exploration is much like exploration by a sea ship. “Even if you take away the wind and the water, it’s still the same. The ship is yours. You can feel her. And the stars are still there,

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