SDCC 2016: There's More Star Trek Coming to TV Than You Think

Friday, 22 July 2016 - 9:24PM
Star Trek
Friday, 22 July 2016 - 9:24PM
SDCC 2016: There's More Star Trek Coming to TV Than You Think
By now, everyone has heard about the new Star Trek TV series that will soon be streaming on CBS All Access, but did you know there's another Star Trek iteration heading to television later this year.

The Smithsonian Channel will be premiering a two-hour special called Building Star Trek on Sunday, September 4 at 8 p.m. The special will showcase the real life scientists who are working on making Star Trek technology a reality, as well as telling the story of how the Starship Enterprise came to be displayed at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

The trailer was screened at Comic-Con, and it looks absolutely awesome. The trailer calls out phasers, tractor beams, tricorders, communicators, invisibility cloaks, and warp speed as the technologies that might soon come to life. The special also includes interviews with Star Trek stars from both past and present, like Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and Nichelle Nichols. 

Two of the scientists from the special were on hand at Comic-Con to discuss what they're working on. David Grier, director of the Center for Soft Matter Research at NYU, has invented a tractor beam that is capable of using waves of light to pull microscopic particles rather than push them. One application for the technology is in space research, where a tractor beam could be shot out of a spacecraft from a safe distance to sample dust from a comet, therefore avoiding damage to the craft. Dr. Sonny Kohli, team leader of Cloud DX, has created a real life tricorder. The tricorder consists of three parts: A wearable that fits around your neck (and that Dr. Kohli wore to the panel) that sends your vitals to a phone app, a receptacle for blood and saliva samples, and a third piece that's designed to look like the original tricorder; capable of diagnosing diseases like asthma, COPD, and more.

The special looks to be an exciting look at the future while also paying homage to 50 years of the franchise's history, which is fitting since much of the new technology being worked probably wouldn't exist without the inspiration of Star Trek.
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