"It speaks to some basic human needs, that there is a tomorrow -- it's not all going to be over in a big flash and a bomb, that the human race is improving, that we have things to be proud of as humans. No, ancient astronauts did not build the pyramids -- human beings built them because they're clever and they work hard. And 'Star Trek' is about those things." Gene Roddenberry, from the "Star Trek" 25th Anniversary special (1991)
On September 8, 1966, the first episode of Star Trek aired on NBC. The original series addressed polarizing social issues of the day such as the Vietnam War and racism, "under the guise of science fiction," where a lot of other shows could not, noted original series writer Dorothy Fontana. The television series, along with its many spin-offs and films, continues to be a relevant element of pop culture and an influential part of both Hollywood and space-based locales around the world.
Fun fact: No one in the original “Star Trek” ever uttered the words: “Beam me up, Scotty.”