Richard Garner is not only a space enthusiast, but a lifelong fan of science fiction. As a fan of both Star Trek and The Orville, Garner felt a sense of obligation to help further the positive social impact made by the two franchises. “I believe that we have a responsibility to encourage positive social change in any way that we can,” Garner said, adding, “TV and film have always been an incredible medium in which to do that. You need only look at the Star Trek fanbase to see the positive social impact that comes with growing up on the Roddenberry philosophy.” Garner feels that The Orville is now a part of this philosophy, “whether intentional or not”. With his connections at NASA, he was able to secure a place on board the Cygnus spacecraft to bring part of The Orville to space in an effort to not only promote the series, but to promote the positive ideals put forth by The Orville.
“The Orville, much like Star Trek, challenges the social conventions and problems we face as a society today, [making] us think about where these problems could lead us if left unchallenged.” Garner said. “As one of the generations who grew up on Star Trek, the philosophy behind the show, a philosophy shared by The Orville, has guided much of my life, so the impact really is substantial.”
Garner shared his excitement for the launch on social media on Saturday, thanking NASA and aerospace contractor Northrop Grumman for their support. He tweeted again Monday morning with a screenshot of the Cygnus spacecraft a mere 250 meters from the ISS, using the simple phrase “There she is!”
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