Join High Touch High Tech in celebrating,
Live Long and Prosper Day
If you were ever a fan of Start Trek, the phrase, “Live Long and
Prosper” is a familiar one. Often spoken by Starship Enterprise’s resident Vulcan
and scientist, driven strictly by logic, Mr. Spock. As we celebrate this
special day and meaningful phrase, we take a look at the pop culture icon that
is Mr. Spock, but also the history behind the sentiment and the long-lasting
impact of these simple words.
The greeting, “Live Long and Prosper” is an abbreviated version of
a traditional Jewish religious blessing. It is translated from the Vulcan
language phrase, ‘dif-tor heh smusma‘, which was so uttered in Star
Trek: The Motion Picture. The phrase echoes the Hebrew ‘Shalom aleichem’
and the Arabic ‘Salaam alaykum’, which roughly translate as ‘peace be upon
Star Trek television series, the phrase was the spoken greeting/blessing that
accompanied the hand gesture called the Vulcan Salute.
In his 1975 autobiography, I am not Spock, Leonard Nimoy, who was Jewish, wrote that he based the Vulcan Salute on the Priestly blessing performed by Jewish Kohanim with both hands, thumb to thumb in this same position, representing the Hebrew letter Shin (ש), which has three upward strokes similar to the position of the thumb and fingers in the gesture. The letter Shin here stands for El Shaddai, meaning “Almighty God”, as well as for Shalom. Nimoy wrote that when he was a child, his grandfather took him to an Orthodox synagogue, where he saw the blessing performed and was impressed by it.
Due to its popularity and impact on pop culture, the Vulcan Salute became a permanent fixture in written language with a dedicated Unicode Standard (U+1F596 🖖) and emoji symbol. The emoji’s American English short name is “vulcan salute” with keywords “finger”, “hand”, “spock”, and “vulcan”.
House referenced the Vulcan Salute in its statement on Leonard Nimoy’s death,
calling it “the universal sign for ‘Live long and prosper'”. The
following day, NASA astronaut Terry W. Virts posted a photo on
his twitter feed from the International Space Station (ISS) showing
the Salute as the ISS passed over Nimoy’s birthplace of Boston,
their common theme of space exploration, NASA has had perhaps the most
intimate connection with Star Trek of any government agency.
NASA even has a section of its website dedicated to the relationship between
NASA & Star Trek. On the 50th anniversary of the show’s final episode, NASA
published an article detailing 50 years
of NASA and Star Trek connections!
The first NASA space shuttle was called the Enterprise named after the Star Fleet’s most famous Starship in response to a letter-writing campaign from fans of the television show. The Star Trek cast and crew even visited NASA’s Dryden (now Armstrong) Research Center for a photo opportunity when the Enterprise was rolled out.
Many Americans have been inspired to become astronauts after watching Star Trek, and some astronauts have even made guest appearances on the show. The casting of African American actress Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura broadcast a powerful message about the position of minorities and women during the height of the civil rights movement; Nichols even actively recruited a diverse crew of new astronauts in real life, including Guion Bluford (the first African American astronaut), Sally Ride (the first female American astronaut), Judith Resnick and Ronald McNair. Mae Jemison was inspired to become the first African American woman in space, and later Jemison became the first real astronaut to appear in a role on Star Trek when she played Lt. Palmer in 1993.
article, The Science of Star Trek, NASA scientist David Allen Batchelor
explores various features of Star Trek according to how
scientifically accurate or inaccurate they are, and comments upon the feasibility
of the show’s inventions. In some cases, these inventions had already been
following Leonard Nimoy’s death on February 27, 2015, there were many tributes
shared by those who were inspired by his achievements both on and off the
television and movie screen. U.S. Representative Adam B. Schiff submitted his personal tribute
to Mr. Spock which can be found in the official congressional record.
in the words of the beloved Mr. Spock, “Live Long & Prosper”!
your love of space is limited to the fictional world of Star Trek or the
real-life exploration of space & the final frontier, try this week’s
at-home experiment and make your very own STEM Satellite! Find the lesson plan
and supply list below.
Satellite Lesson Plan:
pictures with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HighTouchHighTechScienceMadeFun