We mourn the passing today of Leonard Nimoy. Our sincere condolences to his friends and family.
Perhaps the most moving aspect of the outpouring of tributes to the actor is the degree to which those involved in real-life space exploration idolized Star Trek - and specifically Mr. Spock."NASA was fortunate to have him as a friend and a colleague," the agency's Administrator Charles Bolden said on Friday of Nimoy.
A low-rated TV show? Even in 1967, Star Trek was viewed by many in the space community as a viable vision of future spaceflight.
In 1967, Nimoy wrote to Star Trek producer Gene Roddenberry about the enthusiastic reception he had just received from scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Washington D.C.
I do not overstate the fact when I tell you that the interest in the show is so intense, that it would almost seem they feel we are a dramatization of the future of their space program, and they have completely taken us to heart - particularly since you and the rest of the production staff of STAR TREK have taken such great pains in the area of scientific detail on our show. They are, in fact, proud of the show as though in some way it represents them.
NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke and ESA European Space Agency Astronaut Luca Parmitano released the below video message on Friday.
Nimoy's Mr. Spock character provided inspiration for an inclusive vision in which mankind could first overcome internal differences, and then extend that spirit to our exploration of alien worlds. In a sense, through his portrayal of Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy served as an alien ambassador to Earth. Aliens might not be the monsters of our darkest imaginings, he showed. They could even become our friends...