‘Star Trek’ rates Elon Musk with Wright Brothers

'Star Trek: Discovery'
The starship Discovery’s captain, Gabriel Lorca (played by Jason Isaacs), lists Elon Musk among the pioneers of propulsion in a 23rd-century scene from “Star Trek: Discovery.” (CBS via All Access)

SpaceX founder Elon Musk hasn’t yet scored a cameo on the Star Trek stage, as fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos did last year, but he won a high-level shout-out on this week’s episode of “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Apparently, Musk will be held in as much esteem as the Wright Brothers and the builder of Earth’s first warp drive, Zefram Cochrane, by the year 2256.

That’s the time frame for “Star Trek: Discovery,” the latest manifestation of the 51-year-old space saga on CBS All Access, the TV network’s streaming video service.

Musk, who celebrated this year’s 14th successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rockettoday, gets name-checked during a key scene in the Oct. 8 episode, during which the captain of the starship Discovery tells the science officer that his careful study of space mushrooms would have to be put aside for a high-risk activation of an experimental “spore drive.”

“How do you want to be remembered in history?” Captain Gabriel Lorca asks. “Alongside the Wright Brothers, Elon Musk, Zefram Cochrane? Or as a failed fungus expert? A selfish little man who put the survival of his own ego before the lives of others?”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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