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Gene Roddenberry Chosen for Hall Of Fame Induction

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, center, on the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture with Leonard Nimoy, left, director Robert Wise, DeForest Kelley and William Shatner. (Photo: Everett Collection)

The New Mexico Museum of Space History and International Space Hall of Fame Foundation are pleased to announce this year’s inductee into the Hall of Fame. One individual will join the ranks of such notables as Neil Armstrong, Walter Cronkite and Arthur C. Clarke.

On November 12, 2016, the New Mexico Museum of Space History will be inducting Mr. Gene Roddenberry into the International Space Hall of Fame.

“Mr. Roddenberry was chosen because of his vision of what space exploration could, be his commitment to promoting the future of space exploration and his work that inspired people worldwide to believe in the reality of the “final frontier”,” said museum executive director Christopher Orwoll, adding that, “Roddenberry’s leadership brought to the forefront social, political and cultural issues that impacted the world then and continue to do so now.”

Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up in Los Angeles. His father was a police officer, and after serving as a pilot in the Army Air Force during World War II and a commercial pilot, Roddenberry followed in his father’s footsteps. It was during this time that he began writing television scripts for a variety of series. The first series that he created and produced was The Lieutenant in 1963, which was about the lives of enlisted Marines and officers during peace time. Of note, the lead character’s middle name “Tiberius” was the same middle name Roddenberry later chose for Star Trek’s lead character James T. Kirk.

Westerns were popular in 1960s era television and when Roddenberry created Star Trek in 1964 he pitched it to producers as Wagon Train to the StarsDesilu eventually bought into the concept and the series debuted in 1964 but only ran for three seasons. It was the reruns that Desilu was famous for that kept Star Trek alive and increasingly more popular. Spin-offs and movies eventually came and fans became a worldwide legion of Trekkies. Roddenberry continued his involvement as a consultant and shared his vision of the future with millions. He passed away in 1991 and years later actually travelled to space himself as he became one of the first humans to have his ashes carried into earth orbit.

Special guests for the Induction will be David Gerrold who wrote the script for the Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” and renowned science fiction author; David Stipes who is an Emmy award winning special effects artist and worked on Star Trek spin-offs; and Bill Kraft, a serious Star Trek fan who led a successful 13 year campaign to have Star Trek commemorated with a stamp.

The Induction Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the celebration of the museum’s 40th Anniversary and will feature Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt as guest speaker. Schmitt was the last man, and only scientist, to walk on the moon and is a 1977 Inductee into the International Space Hall of Fame. He attended the museum’s dedication ceremony in 1976 and has remained a strong supporter of the facility.

Dubbed “Cowboys & Astronauts”, the Anniversary Celebration and Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 12 beginning at 6 pm inside the museum. Tickets are on sale now. The cost for non-members is $45 per person or $85 per couple. The cost for museum members is $40 per person or $80 per couple. Purchase tickets online at the museum’s website or contact the museum at (575) 437-2840.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs.  For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website atwww.nmspacemuseum.org. Like us at: www.facebook.com/NMSpaceMuseum.