I have been noticing some interesting signs popping up around our local high school and tech college recently. And when I spot one, I have to smile. Or I should say, my “inner Trekkie” makes me grin from ear to ear. As you can see from the photo above, the signs are recruitments for the new US Space Command.
As an aging baby boomer, I remember watching reruns of the old Star Trek science fiction television series. By the time I discovered Star Trek, the original series had been cancelled. But reruns of the episodes played over and over in the after-school time slot on my local TV station, and I glued myself to our television to watch and rewatch the episodes.
The daring adventures and the brave crew members of the starship Enterprise fascinated me. Looking back, I believe a huge part of the appeal of Star Trek was the promise of the future. Earth had finally gotten its act together. We lived in peace. The problems of hunger and poverty had been solved. Things were good on Earth.
As a plus, Earth was also part of the United Federation of Planets, an interstellar governmental body that governed countless worlds. The Federation promoted things like liberty, equality, and peaceful co-existence.
Of course, the Federation had enemies, such as the Romulans and Klingons, that needed to be dealt with. But the Federation and Earth were the good guys. Perhaps, it is just a desire to hope for a better future, but I have always preferred the hopefulness of the original Star Trek series over more doomsday science fiction fare.
As the years went on, I followed the Star Trek franchise less closely. I admit to watching some of the later Star Trek series and movies but not all of them. As an adult, I simply had less time.
However, my “inner Trekkie” never completely left me. To this day, I look up at the sky and wonder what other life might exist out there in the vastness of space.
I realize that the US Space Command is part of our military, and I wish this wasn’t necessary. Unfortunately, it probably is. Just as in Star Trek, there are dangers out there in space. In fact, the US Space Command website states, “The space environment is far more competitive and dangerous today than ever before.”
The Space Command site also states, “The United States, along with our allies and partners, will champion and promote the responsible, peaceful, and safe use of space. However, should our nation call, United States Space Command will always remain ready to prevail against any foreign space-related aggression.”
I wish that space would become and remain a miraculously safe and wonderful place for the future generations to explore. Yup, my “inner Trekkie” is hoping for both peace on Earth and in space.
I still fondly remember the narrated introduction to every episode of Star Trek, and I envy the future generations who hopefully will be able to do this and do so in peace: “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no
man human has gone before.”