Cassini’s Carolyn Porco Talks About Saturn, ‘Star Trek XI’, and J.J. Abrams

Cinema Boffin has a fascinating interview with Dr. Carolyn C. Porco, who leads the Imaging Science Team on the NASA/ESA Cassini mission. Dr. Porco talks a lot about her work on Saturn but also about her latest role: serving as a science consultant on J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated Star Trek film.

Carolyn Porco

Porco said she first met Abrams when he attended a talk that she gave. About seven months later, Abrams called her about getting involved in the Star Trek film as an adviser on science and planetary imagery.

“His secretary called and said, ‘We have J.J. Abrams on the phone to talk to you,’ and I had to say, ‘J.J. who?’,” Porco admitted. “I don’t watch television, I’m not keeping up with it, I’ve never seen Lost….I’m just too busy. I’ve been living on Saturn for the past 14-18 years.

“So anyway, he talks to me and he says, ‘I was at the TED conference, I heard you talk, I was spellbound. I’ve been getting your emails. I’ve been thinking about you and I really felt that I had to reach out to you and involve you in this movie somehow,'” she added.