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Star Trek Honors NASA With Voyager Award
Star Trek: Voyager Honors NASAImage left: NASA Astronaut Dr. Janice Voss, center, accepts the award flanked by "Voyager" castmembers, from left: Ethan Phillips, Tim Russ, Robert Picardo and Garrett Wang. Photo Credit: Paramount

For years, the world of Star Trek has celebrated the bold space explorers of a fictional future. Now, it's celebrating NASA's real-life pioneers of the present.

Star Trek: Voyager and Paramount Home Entertainment recently honored the agency with a special "Voyager Award," to commemorate the success of current NASA missions and support the future of space exploration.

At a February 19 celebration at the Air and Space Museum at the California Science Center, members of the Voyager cast donated a commemorative DVD to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in salute of its recent achievements. Astronaut Dr. Janice Voss, a five-time shuttle veteran, was on hand to accept the award. (+ View Astronaut Bio)

Dr. Voss said she believes Star Trek in all its incarnations "inspires children to say, 'This is something really interesting and really cool, and if I study math and science, I can do that too.'"

Voss also commented on President Bush's new vision for space exploration. "The line I take from President Bush's speech is, This is not a race but a journey. And that's what all the Star Trek series are about. And if children can grow up with that lesson and enjoy the journey and be inspired to be the best that they can be, then Star Trek has fulfilled everybody's dreams."

"Star Trek: Voyager and the Star Trek franchise play unique roles in the imagination and vision that drives space exploration," Thomas Lesinski, President, Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Home Entertainment.

"There are many links between the Star Trek and space research communities. As a result, we wanted to honor the real life heroes - both those who go into space and those on the ground. With the success of the Mars landings and the President's call for renewed space exploration, we felt this was the right time to salute them."