‘Trek’ Stars Support The Planetary Society

Robert Picardo

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Stars from across the “Star Trek” galaxy are lending their support to The Planetary Society, among them George Takei, Kate Mulgrew, Tim Russ, and John de Lancie, and perhaps no one more so than Robert Picardo, who played The Doctor on “Star Trek: Voyager” throughout its seven-season run. The Planetary Society’s goals, as stated on their official website, are to increase discoveries about the worlds of our solar system and beyond, elevate the search for life as a space exploration priority, and decrease the risk of Earth being hit by an asteroid or comet.

Picardo serves on the Board of Directors of The Planetary Society and has been a member of the Advisory Council since 1999. The actor — whose other credits include “The Howling,” “Total Recall,” “The Wonder Years,” “China Beach,” “Stargate SG-1,” “Stargate: Atlantis,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Dickenson,” according to the Internet Movie Database — frequently appears in videos designed to share news about the organization’s latest activities. For several years, he wrote a monthly column about The Planetary Society for StarTrek.com, the official “Star Trek” site. One of Picardo’s longtime friends is Bill Nye, well known to the public as Bill Nye, the Science Guy, whose science education television show of the same name ran for 100 episodes across six seasons from 1993 to 1999. Nye is The Planetary Society’s Chief Executive Officer and has been in that role since 2010.

In one of his Planetary Posts for StarTrek.com, published in June of 2016, Picardo wrote, “Inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and technology has always been a part of the (“Star Trek”) legacy. I have particularly admired how Nichelle Nichols influenced so many young women to pursue careers at NASA and in STEM since the 70s. As a new board member of The Planetary Society, and through my monthly video newsletter, The Planetary Post, I hope to join Nichelle and promote the message that, if you love Star Trek, you love space exploration and science.”

Picardo Meets with Young Scientists

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De Lancie, who played the powerful, seemingly omnipotent being Q on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and “Star Trek: Voyager,” and who is currently reprising the role on “Star Trek: Picard, recorded a video for The Planetary Society that was posted to the group’s social media accounts on April 15, 2022. In it, he notes, “Probably the biggest thing that differentiates ‘Star Trek’ from almost everything else is the community in which you enter. Well, The Planetary Society is that type of a community.”

John de Lancie on Space Exploration’s Infinite Possibilities 

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Takei, who has been associated with “Star Trek” for 56 years thanks to his role as Sulu, recorded a video for The Planetary Society’s official Facebook page that dropped on March 18, 2022. Among his comments, Takei says, “As you know, I have been very proud of my association with ‘Star Trek.’ ‘Star Trek’ was a show that looked to the future with optimism, boldly going where no one had gone before. I want you to know about a very special organization called The Planetary Society. They are working to make the future that ‘Star Trek’ represents a reality.”

Takei Boldly Supports The Planetary Society

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Kate Mulgrew starred as Captain Janeway on “Star Trek: Voyager” and is currently voicing a holographic version of the character on the new animated show, “Star Trek: Prodigy.” Picardo interviewed Mulgrew by Zoom for a 26-minute video that’s available on The Planetary Society’s YouTube channel. In the video, which premiered on February 16, 2021, they swapped personal stories about being inspired by space in their roles as The Doctor and Captain Janeway.

The Doctor and Janeway Share a Love of Space 

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Tim Russ is another “Voyager” co-star who has supported The Planetary Society. He played Tuvok on the show after having made appearances as other characters on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and in “Star Trek: Generations.” His video was uploaded to The Planetary Society’s social media channels on October 2, 2020. “I very much followed the Apollo and Gemini programs all the way to the point where we landed on the moon,” he says at the beginning of his segment. “Since that time I have been absolutely fascinated with all things space and, in fact, I actually started pursuing the hobby of astronomy when I was in my 30s.”

Russ Talks ‘Trek’ Versus Reality

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Carl Sagan, Louis Friedman, and Bruce Murray founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Sagan was a widely respected scientist, astronomer, and author, who died in 1996. According to Memory Alpha, one of his children, Nick Sagan, wrote two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and five episodes of “Star Trek: Voyager.” According to The Planetary Society’s website, it is supported by 50,000 members in over 100 countries, and by hundreds of volunteers around the world.

To learn more about The Planetary Society, visit www.planetary.org.

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