But none has had more universal appeal and greater inspirational success than the Gene Roddenberry's original 1960s Star Trek television series which was the catalyst for many of today’s gadgetry such as hand-held medical scanners, iPad, video conferencing screens & the mobile phone.
The Fidelity Chess Challenger was the first chess electronic unit available to the generl public. Based on a Z80 8-bit micro-processor, it started production in 1977 with its most popular model, the Fidelity Chess Challenger 7, selling over 600,000 units. Its inventor Sidney Samole got the idea for computer chess after watching an episode of Star Trek in 1976 where Spock played chess against the starship's computer.
Universal Language Translator - 'First Contact'
Public Popularity of Star Trek Influenced Space Shuttle programme
The Space Shuttle was NASA's most successful and longest running programme. It was based around a fleet of manned re-usable orbital spacecrafts that flew 135 missions between 1981 and 2011.
The first orbiter commissioned in 1976 was to be called the Constitution in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the American Constitution. But the US President Gerald Ford changed the name to Enterprise as a result of a mass letter writing campaign by fans of the Star Trek series who wanted it called after Kirk's starship.
The space shuttle Discovery's last mission ended in March 2011. On the final day of their stay at the International Space Station (ISS), the crew were woken up by the sounds of an amended version of the Star Trek theme. William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk, provided a special message to the crew editing the original introduction to, "Space, the final frontier. These have been the voyages of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her 30 year mission: To seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before."
The Discovery's last mission was the first time that the public had been given the opportunity to vote for the wakeup songs. Such has been the enormous influence of this science fiction series on the attitude of the American people to science and space exploration, that the theme from Star Trek received the second highest number of votes.