“A boy, a girl, and a robot in space.” Hardly an inspiring endorsement, but that was my dad’s valiant effort to entice his young daughters to see their first sci-fi movie. Although we scoffed at first, we were eventually smitten with the somewhat campy charm of Star Wars, and my obsession with space shows began. From reruns of the original Star Trek series and its subsequent spinoffs to Battlestar Galactica, Earth 2 (unjustly canceled after one brilliant season), and Babylon 5, my young mind was introduced to and seduced by the possibility of space travel (and the appealing misconception that everyone in space wears skintight leotards). Held in celebration of the 40th anniversary of NASA’s founding and in tribute to Carl Sagan, “Space 2000: Space Exploration at the Millennium” is an extravaganza of panel discussions, displays, and exhibits focusing on expanding awareness of Earthlings’ future role in the universe. Attractions include an exhibit of space memorabilia, screenings of ’50s television episodes on space exploration featuring Wehner von Braun, a model Sojourner rover on a simulated Mars landscape, a 30-foot space-shuttle replica, and discussions with space notables such as astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Kathy Sullivan (the first woman to walk in space), Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Robert Picardo (pictured), who plays a lovable but acerbic holographic life form on Star Trek Voyager. Don’t be square like a Borg ship and miss this. From 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, at American University’s Bender Arena, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Free. For reservations call (202) 885-2430. (Liz Eckstein)