Leonard Nimoy at the Phoenix Comicon back in 2011, he revealed that he had COPD in 2014 and succumbed to the illness on February 27, 2015.
At this point, we all have heard the tragic news that famed actor, poet, photographer and singer/songwriter Leonard Nimoy had passed away on February 27, last month. Most of us knew him as Spock, Kirk’s first officer (science officer) from the Star Trek TV and movies series, which had become incredibly popular only after the original show became syndicated. Needless to say, he will be missed but his legacy will continue to live on, not only through his fans but also through the inspiration Spock gives both old and new scientists, astronauts and engineers.
Astronaut Terry W. Virts tweeted this image from the ISS after having learned of Nimoy’s death.
Star Trek had given rise to the notion that anyone, of any color or any creed could travel in space. Dr. Mae Jemison (former astronaut), Colonel Terry W. Virts (astronaut), Harold White (NASA engineer) and even NASA Administrator Charles Bolden are just a few examples of people that were inspired by the show (and Spock) and went on to peruse their dreams. The people at NASA were so enamored with the original show that they christened one of their space shuttles the ‘Enterprise,’ with cast present for the ceremony.
The shows various tech devices have inspired engineers to bring them into reality and for the most part, they have succeeded. Engineer Martin Cooper headed up Motorola’s communications division back in the early 70’s and brought about the first mobile phone after being inspired by the communicators on Star Trek. Engineers from NASA and Britain’s National Health Services worked together to develop a Star Trek style medical bay that can diagnose diseases without invasive procedures. Star Trek fan and entrepreneur Walter De Brouwer designed a working tricorder called the Scanadu that is able to measure vitals such as heart rate, temperature and blood pressure by placing it on the patient’s forehead.
Batteries Not Included character models. (ComicCon 2012)
It’s easy to see how sci-fi shows and movies of all kinds can become a jumping platform for inspired fans to go on and become inventors or engineers. For me, it was the 1987 movie Batteries not Included. Seeing the robot characters move around, I knew it would be possible. I also knew they were all puppets, but I thought I could build one too. Somewhere lost in the boxes and junk of my youth, my first soup can robot sits.
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