Confession, despite being a veteran of comic cons and a hard core Trekie, I’ve never been to a Star Trek convention, much less as a member of the press. Consequently I am not sure what to expect. Trek’s 50th is a good opportunity to attend a Trek con. I’ve been anxiously watching for email notices from ReedPop. So far we’ve been notified of Star Trek Mission’s Gaming Zone and NASA’s Trek Talks.
The gaming track seems to have at its center a new VR game called Star Trek: Bridge Crew, by Red Storm Entertainment, a Ubisoft studio. With a release date of Nov 29th ’16, the demo we’ll be seeing must be close to the release version. I have to say it looks really fun and may get me to look seriously at VR technology. Click for preview of the game. Here’s a reaction to the game experience. It is on my list of must do floor events.
- Star Trek Online developed by Cryptic Studios
- Star Trek Timelines developed by Disruptor Beam
- Gale Force Nine
- Mayfair Games
In the Science Track, NASA’s lineup of panels at Star Trek: Mission New York look amazing, covering every thing from ST:TOS fantastic ideas, to Aliens, to Exoplanets and ending with First Contact. I am enthusiastically looking forward to so many hard amazing science panels with so much depth.
Getting NASA to come in such a big way is a huge “get” for ReedPop and is a very interesting twist on the pop culture con; while there are celebrity appearances at STM:NYC there is also the hard science to back it up. This should bring a bunch of hard core geeks to STM:NYC.
I am going to try and record a bunch of the Trek Tech panels & publish the Soundcloud links. I will be covering both the Science and Gaming Tracks & let everyone know what I thought. Look for my review after the con. Please let me know if you’re going to STM:NYC on the forum thread, here.
Tickets area still available for all days of Star Trek Missions, click to buy
Scheduled NASA panels include:
Trek Talks: NASA
Sunday, September 4th at 1:30pm (Main Stage)
NASA scientists, engineers and astronauts often cite Star Trek as inspiring them to pursue careers in their fields. In fact, Nichelle Nichols even helped NASA recruit astronauts in the 1980s. Today, NASA is turning science fiction into reality. Humans now live and work in space full time on the International Space Station. Scientists are exploring potentially life-harboring worlds in our solar system, while discovering thousands of new planets orbiting distance stars. NASA continues its goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s. How does NASA’s vision of the future mimic the world of Star Trek and where does it differ? What technologies in the Star Trek world have paved the way for real technologies being developed by NASA? This moderated discussion will be accompanied by special video content featuring both NASA and Star Trek talent. The panel will be moderated by Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager) and the panelists will include NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Deputy Director of Science Communications Michelle Taller, Program Executive for Solar System Exploration Dave Lavery, Senior Technical Officer Jeffrey Sheehy, and Adam Nimoy (son of the legendary Leonard Nimoy).
Trek Talks: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water: What Will Aliens REALLY Be Like
Saturday, September 3rd at 12:15pm (Room 1A23)
Andorians. Klingons. Romulans. Bolians. Look at nearly any alien in Star Trek, and they look a lot like us. But what would *real* aliens look like? And would they be as friendly as a tribble, or as aggressive as a Kzin? In this panel, real scientists will discuss real aliens: What they might look like, how they might act, and whether we should extend the hand of friendship or get all hands to battlestations. This Trek Talk will be hosted by Phil ‘The Bad Astronomer’ Plait and NASA’s Bobak ‘Mohawk Guy’ Ferdxowsi. (Side note: This panel has the potential to be really fun- Both Phil & Bobak are very entertaining)
Trek Talks: The Science of Exoplanets
Saturday, September 3rd at 3:30pm (Room 1A21)
Without beaming down an away team, astronomers have been using large telescopes on the ground and spacecraft in orbit to discover and learn more about new worlds outside of our solar system (called exoplanets). Hear about the science of finding exoplanets from NASA team members on the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) project. Several different methods have been used to find exoplanets to date; what are they and what do they tell us about the exoplanets that we find? Learn about what kinds of planets have been discovered so far and what it may be like for away teams on those worlds. How do all of discoveries and science efforts lead to finding another Earth – like world (a M-Class planet for an away team)? This Trek Talk will be led by NASA’s Matt Ritsko and Jeff Volosin.
Trek Talks: The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: NASA’s Next Mission to Find Strange New Worlds
Sunday, September 4th at 11:45am (Room 1A23)
In Star Trek, the Enterprise and its crew visited and discovered new worlds every week outside of our solar system. Today, there are over 3,000 confirmed exoplanets, worlds around stars other than our own sun. The discovery of these new planets has brought the dreams of science fiction into science fact. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, will be NASA’s next mission to continue to find and explore strange new worlds. Learn about how TESS will discover exoplanets, managing and building of the spacecraft (being the Captain!), and what the project team members hope the future holds for the next generation of exoplanet hunters. This Trek Talk will be led by NASA’s Matt Ritsko and Jeff Volosin.
Trek Talks: First Contact: Looking for Life in the Universe
Sunday, September 4th at 10:30am (Room 1A23)
Join Dan Werthimer (SETI, UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory) and Bobak Ferdowsi (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) to discuss the search for life from the local neighborhood to the great beyond. What are the challenges in finding life, and if we’re not alone, why haven’t we made first contact yet?