Space – passing through the final frontier
For several generations of television viewers, space had been the “Final Frontier,” with the intrepid actors aboard the Starship Enterprise boldly going where no man had gone before. It was great television, but to be fair, it was much more science fiction than science. However, in October 2021 the by now 90-year-old William Shatner, who had played the role of Captain James Kirk, was able to link the two experiences when he flew into space aboard Amazon’s Blue Origin space shuttle. A case of life imitating art, and one which he could hardly have dared to imagine back when Star Trek was proving itself so popular. This was because space exploration in the real world, or maybe that should be beyond the real world, was just beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s. At that time, both the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (US) were involved in what eventually became known as the space race. This appeared to culminate when the US Apollo programme achieved the ambitious goal of putting a man on the moon in 1969.