Comic-Con @ Home had two science-focused panels this year and they were both fascinating to watch. The first, which discussed the Fox science series Cosmos, was a more theoretical look at the future of humanity. The second, which we’ll discuss here, dealt with making the theoretical a reality.
The panel, hosted by none other than William Shatner. include NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Kjell Lindgren as well as space technology expert LaNetra Tate, and spacesuit engineer Lindsay Aitchison, who is working to get humanity back to the moon and beyond!
In hindsight, there’s really no one better to lead the audience through NASA’s next steps than Shatner. Though he was the captain of a starship on the science fiction show Star Trek for only a couple of years it was long enough to spark the imagination of decades dreamers and helped propel NASA to where it is today.
Shatner was open with the fact that his technical knowledge isn’t the same as the rest of the group so as moderator he became audience surrogate asking important questions that the layman would like to know. Half the fun of watching the panel was seeing Shatner’s reactions to the state of the space agency today.
NASA, in case you didn’t know, is planning on not only sending humans back to the moon in 2024 but setting up a permanent base there as well by 2028. Many of those on the panel, such as Nicole Mann and LaNetra Tate has been instrumental in designing the technology to make that possible.
Listening to these engineers and astronauts talk about the next two to three decades of space travel for mankind was surrealistically beautiful in the context of Comic-Con @ Home. This, after all, is a pop culture convention with a foundation built on science fiction and fantasy. The members of this panel have taken that inspiration and used to it to propel us into space using real science and technology.
As someone that has attended comic conventions most of my life, this was insanely gratifying. Though the pandemic was a large part of making this panel possible it would be great to see more scientists and engineers with panels at comic conventions in the future. That way the dreamers, both young and old, can see that sometimes fantasy can become reality.