- Mar 20, 2004
The Smithsonian Channel documentary Building Star Trek is set to premiere on September 4 at 8p.m. ET/PT. The program will feature a star-studded lineup of astronauts, engineers, writers, innovators and Star Trek actors who'll celebrate to the 50th anniversary of the show that inspired the space age. Among the participants are Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Professor John Howell of the University of Rochester; Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum; Dr. Sonny Kohli, Team Leader of Cloud DX, one of the finalists for the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE; David Grier, Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Soft Matter Research at New York University, who is developing a real-life Tractor Beam; and Dr. Rob Afzal, Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow Laser Sensor and Systems, who is working to harness the power of lasers.
The documentary shows museum officials fighting against decades of damages to fix the 11-foot (3.4 meters) "Star Trek" ship model, used in filming the original series, before putting the ship on display.
In between exclusive clips at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, the documentary — called "Building Star Trek" — also shows the construction of a new "Star Trek" exhibit at the EMP Museum in Seattle, featuring props used in the original series.
The special airs Sept. 4, just four days before the 50-year anniversary of the first broadcast of "Star Trek." Besides showcasing awesome props, the show has inspired nearly two generations of scientific innovation, the documentary reveals.
"The 2-hour special also profiles a new generation of engineers and scientists who are making 'Star Trek's' visionary technology real, pushing the boundaries of physics with inventions first conceived on the iconic series: warp drives, medical tricorders, cloaking devices and tractor beams," Smithsonian representatives said in a statement.