The Science of Fiction – from creative to created

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBUP) — As we head into Halloween, costumes can get pretty detailed.

Creativity and imagination also play a big part in scientific discoveries.

A short time ago in a galaxy pretty close to home the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum had a live chat on science fiction props and costumes.

From lightsabers to the Millenium Falcon and pop culture to practical solutions, science fiction has played a role in advancing aerospace technology.

TIE fighters are fictional starfighters propelled by twin ion engines.

NASA uses ion engines on spacecraft like Dawn which is currently orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres.

The next generation of this engine is being considered for the Asteroid Redirect Mission which is a stepping stone on NASA’s journey to Mars.

For the science that is still beyond our galaxy, moviemakers have to rely on imagination.

Since the 1970s, the National Air and Space Museum has been collecting and telling these stories because these imagined visions of going to space play an important role into what it actually takes to get people into space.