NASA logo

NASA insignia

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was the designation for an early Human space exploration agency created by the Earth nation United States of America in 1958. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

NASA oversaw the launch of a vast majority of the major US spaceflight milestones of the 20th and 21st centuries.


Ranger 5

Diagram of Ranger 5

Enterprise OV-101

Space shuttle orbiter

ISS model, ENT opening credits



NASA Logotype, ca. 2037 on Charybdis debris

A display graphic not seen on screen in the episode but featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission [page number?edit] shows that the spaceship Jacob was subsequently launched to conduct a follow up mission on locating the Charybdis.
In reality, Cassini–Huygens was launched in 1997, started orbiting Saturn in 2004, and the mission ended in 2017. However, the mission was represented in a distinct retro manner, using a more classic look for the mission patch and pre-digital technology effects, raising questions about these dates being the same within the Star Trek universe.
Many of the dates in this list are derived from real-world information.
The similarity of the Starfleet logo/crest to that of NASA design (not to mention the similarity of the mottoes) suggests that the NASA component might have had an influential role.



Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard in 1971

A few starships were named for NASA astronauts: USS Shepard (Alan Shepard), USS Grissom (Gus Grissom), and the two USS Armstrongs (Neil Armstrong).
As well, a number of shuttles were named for NASA astronauts: Armstrong, Conrad, McAuliffe, and Onizuka.


Vehicles and rockets

Background information

During the 1970s, Nichelle Nichols worked for NASA, helping recruit women and ethnic minority astronauts, including the first female American astronaut Sally Ride and 2010s NASA administrator Charles Bolden. [1]

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration received "grateful acknowledgment" in the closing credits of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as well as the closing credits of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

To achieve a more realistic and gritty look for Deep Space 9, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine production team looked at NASA photographs of the space shuttle orbiters and other space vehicles. (Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before)

For the rendering of Earth seen in DS9: "Past Tense, Part I" and "Past Tense, Part II", David Takemura used an eight-by-ten NASA transparency of the planet to create the footage. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

Three "real" NASA astronauts have appeared in Trek productions – Mae Jemison (the first African-American woman in space) played Lt. Palmer in TNG: "Second Chances", while E. Michael Fincke and Terry Virts (though Virts was uncredited) appeared together as Lt. M. Fincke and Ens. T. Virts, respectively, in the Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages...".

NASA is featured heavily in the opening credits for Star Trek: Enterprise, including a diagram of the Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle, the space shuttle orbiter Enterprise, the Apollo program, a Saturn V rocket, and the Mars Pathfinder rover Sojourner.

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