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Thursday October 20th, 2016

New Exhibit to Showcase Gene Roddenberry’s Vision

Induction Gallery Set to Beam Up

(Alamogordo, New Mexico, October 20, 2016) - With a little help from friends, like the Smithsonian and a couple of Star Trek collectors, the New Mexico Museum of Space History will open a new exhibit inside its Induction Gallery to honor Gene Roddenberry as the newest Inductee into the International Space Hall of Fame. An exclusive private opening of the exhibit is planned for the evening of Saturday, November 12, when the museum will induct Roddenberry into the Hall of Fame as part of its 40th anniversary celebration and annual induction ceremony. The exhibit will open to the public on November 13 at noon.

IMAGE: Barbie & Ken finally made it out of this world in this Star Trek collector’s edition from the collection of Museum Curator Sue Taylor. This and many other collectibles will be part of the exhibit showcasing the impact that Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek had

Barbie & Ken finally made it out of this world in this Star Trek collector’s edition from the collection of Museum Curator Sue Taylor. This and many other collectibles will be part of the exhibit showcasing the impact that Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek had

“Inducting Gene Roddenberry this year has been the most exciting for me! I have wanted to do an exhibit on Star Trek for quite some time. The influence that this show has had on science, technology and the space program is phenomenal. But how do you meld science fiction with science fact? Well, we just did,” said Museum Curator Sue Taylor.

The introductory panels for the exhibit highlight Roddenberry himself, his history as a filmmaker and the legacy of his Star Trek series, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Exhibit cases throughout the gallery document just how widespread the Star Trek phenomenon has become. Collectibles of just about every kind are represented, from Barbies to stuffed bears to pizza cutters, and everything in between. The series, although relatively short-lived in the beginning, touched on many social and moral issues particularly how women were viewed. One exhibit case is dedicated to “The Women of Star Trek”. Another pays homage to the various “Starships of Star Trek” and a third features photos, videos and other images from the series.

But the smallest exhibit cases may be the ones that hold the real treasures, straight from the vault of the Smithsonian. The Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles, written by David Gerrold who will be a special guest on opening night, revolves around furry little critters that multiply at an incredible rate and who also have a serious dislike for Klingons. Although the Starship Enterprise was overrun by tribbles at the time, only a very few remain in existence today. The tribble visitors will admire inside its eight inch case was actually used in that episode and is on loan to the museum from the Smithsonian.

In another original series episode, Catspaw, the intrepid crew of the Enterprise encounters a sorceress who seals a small model of the ship into a clear glass block with definite intentions to harm the crew with her magic. The show actually aired right before Halloween and is the only one specifically tied to a holiday. The miniature Enterprise was donated to the Smithsonian by Gene Roddenberry and is now on loan to the Museum of Space History as part of the Induction exhibit.

The largest artifacts on display for the exhibit actually have a rather unusual New Mexico connection. The episode Galileo Seven finds members of the crew stuck on a desolate planet being attacked by hostile giants with spears. Watching the show from far away New Mexico was former Director of the Paleo-Indian Institute at Eastern New Mexico University, Dr. George Agogino. Dr. Agogino immediately recognized a resemblance between the spear points being used in the show and Folsom points, which were discovered in New Mexico in the late 1920s. The doctor wrote a letter to Star Trek pointing out the connection and requested that the spears used in the episode be donated to the Blackwater Draw Museum, and they were. The fifteen foot long spears have been on exhibit there ever since, until just a few weeks ago when they were loaned to the Museum of Space History for display.

If enjoying the vintage collectibles and imagery is not enough, just turn the corner and behold Alamogordo’s very first transporter! A smaller replica of the one that was actually used on board the Enterprise, guests for the Anniversary event and Induction Ceremony on November 12 will have the opportunity to get professional photographs taken inside it.
The Induction Ceremony for Gene Roddenberry will be held in conjunction with the celebration of the museum’s 40th Anniversary and will feature Apollo 17 Astronaut and Senator Harrison “Jack” Schmitt as guest speaker. Schmitt was one of the last men, 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 at www.nmspacemuseum.org. Like us at: www.facebook.com/NMSpaceMuseum.