This picture was taken from a propaganda book from 1973, which commemorates the creation of the USSR, then 50 years earlier. The book focuses on the marvels of Soviet science, and there are many: the first dog in space, the first man in orbit, the all-new laser technology, but also the natural sciences (as in this picture showing inspectors riding through the woods in Kazakhstan). Flicking through the book, I wondered if Gene Roddenberry had seen it too: the portraits of curious scientists, the total belief in progress. Indeed, the whole atmosphere of the book reminded me of the crew of the Enterprise with their sense of purpose, their cooperative manners and their utopian way of thinking. Future perfect tense: in the case of the USSR, their bright future never became a reality.