Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Friday, February 10, 2012

Real Rocket Scientist Marc Millis Discusses Starship Travel at St. Louis Science Center

By Carmelo Turdo
A real (former NASA) rocket scientist, Marc Millis, gave a lively presentation of what it would take to achieve future interstellar space travel using the example of a Star Trek starship.  The event, part of series of "Second Thursday" lectures at the St. Louis Science Center, coincides with the current Star Trek: The Exhibit.  Millis, noted author and President of the Tau Zero Foundation, compiled a surprisingly broad catalog of possible technologies that could enable travel to the stars while working at NASA.  What started as a side interest became part of his government research responsibilities, to his delight.  The bottom line of starship travel is that it takes a tremendous amount of energy and new technologies that do not presently exist, but solving the problem of interstellar travel is like eating a million pound burger: one bite at a time!

Marc Millis' animated speaking style made rocket science interesting to the audience of several hundred:

The presentation included a primer on quantum mechanics:

After the more than hour-long presentation, Millis stayed to answer specific questions:

Marc Millis with St. Louis Science Center's Gregg Maryniak, organizer of the event:

Future Star Trek Events:

Star Trek First Fridays
Put on your Spock ears and come to the Science Center on the first Friday evening of each month during the run of Star Trek: The Exhibition! In addition to touring the exhibition for a special evening rate, you can participate in a Public Telescope Viewing outside the Planetarium or unique activities throughout the museum and top off your evening with a free showing of a Star Trek movie or episode in the OMNIMAX Theater. Each First Friday will have its own theme so watch the calendar for more information.

Friday, March 2 – Special Program: Journey to Mars
Friday, April 6 – Special Guest: Star Trek writer, David Gerrold (The Trouble with Tribbles)
Friday, May 4 – Star Trek Costume Contest

Star Trek Lecture Series
Join us on the second Thursday of every month for our Star Trek Lecture Series. Each month, a different guest scientist will discuss a different topic related to Star Trek from androids to virtual reality to three-dimensional printing to the search for life on other planets. Watch the calendar for more information.

Thursday, March 8 – Why NASA and DARPA Are Reaching for the Stars
Thursday, April 12– The Immersive Virtual Reality Environment: Today’s Holodeck?
Thursday, May 10 – To Boldly Go: The New Horizons Mission to Pluto

For more information on future events, visit

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