NASA has named Asteroid 391257 after Star Trek: The Next Generation’s own boy genius Wil Wheaton.
Wil Wheaton played the boy genius Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation and is still a staple of nerd and science fiction culture today. Wheaton may be best known for TNG, but he has appeared on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and hosts his own online show about tabletop gaming, appropriately named Tabletop.
Still all his accolades from television and film aside, some of the best work Wheaton has done are in education. Wheaton has been a strong proponent for science education at all levels. If you haven’t seen his inspiring speech on STEM education at USA Science and Engineering Festival you’re missing out.
So for all of these reasons it’s no wonder that NASA decided to honor Wheaton by naming Asteroid 391257 after him.
It’s no secret that there’s a special relationship between the real life explorers and scientists at NASA and Star Trek. So many NASA astronauts and scientists credit Star Trek with inspiring their interest in exploring the cosmos. NASA even has an entire page on its website devoted to Star Trek!
NASA actually even created a special 50th anniversary tribute video for Star Trek this year.
NASA even made it possible for William Shatner to speak to real astronauts on the ISS.
The special relationship between NASA and Star Trek is just more proof of why Star Trek is the most important piece of science fiction ever. What other science fiction series has inspired so much real life science?
NASA also used a Star Trek replicator challenge to help get kids interested in space and science.
The honor that NASA has bestowed on Wil Wheaton though might be the best yet. Wheaton will now live on as an object orbiting our sun, that’s boldly going.
What do you think about Wil Wheaton getting an asteroid named after him? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.