Seven years after Star Trek went off the air in 1969, fans engaged in a letter-writing campaign to have NASA's first space shuttle christened the Enterprise. Now, fans of modern sci-fi have a similar opportunity to impact our culture. Until March 20th, NASA is accepting votes to name the third node to be installed on the International Space Station. "The name should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by the space station, and follow in the tradition set by Node 1- Unity- and Node 2- Harmony," they suggest. In addition to writing one in, voters can choose one of four default choices:
Naturally, fans of Joss Whedon's short-lived series, Firefly, and its subsequent feature film, Serenity, see only one choice out of the four — and I have to admit, there's a certain logic to it. It is the trend for science fiction to become science fact, as evidenced in one episode of Firefly when pilot Wash remarked, "That sounds like something out of science fiction," to which his wife reminded him, "We live on a spaceship, dear." Additional nodes on the ISS expand, in just the smallest way, humanity's ability to colonize space, which is surely a step in the right direction. So don your browncoats and cast your votes to launch Serenity once again!