Melissa Navia Credit: Paramount/CBS

Navia Plays Lieutenant Ortegas in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”

We’re thrilled to have… Melissa Navia hosting our conference this year… her work in the seminal space show ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ has endeared her to legions of space-savvy people.”

— Dr. Anthony Paustian, ISDC 2024 Chair

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA, USA, April 8, 2024 / — The National Space Society is pleased to announce Melissa Navia, who portrays Lieutenant Ortegas in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” will be the host of the 2024 International Space Development Conference® (ISDC®). The ISDC will be held on May 23-26, 2024, in Los Angeles, California at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX.

Though best known for her work on “Star Trek,” early in her career, Navia started in feature films starting in 2011. By 2013 she had won the Best Actress Award at the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival for her role in “The Paragon Cortex.” Her work in television includes a recurring role in “Common Charges,” and Navia portrayed an astronaut in Showtime’s “Billions.” In 2018 she moved on to appear in AMC’s “Dietland.”

“We’re thrilled to have the gifted Melissa Navia hosting our conference this year,” said the ISDC 2024 conference chair Dr. Anthony Paustian. “She is a gifted performer, and her work in the seminal space show ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ has endeared her to legions of space-savvy people.”

NSS Events Manager Aggie Kobrin commented, “The NSS is pleased to have Ms. Navia hosting our annual conference. Her portrayal of the strong-willed Lieutenant Ortegas has been inspirational to women everywhere.”

Navia is known for her engagement in STEM outreach and space advocacy, using the power of storytelling and interdisciplinary collaborations to engage and inspire. She also performs a one-person comedy entitled “The Girl with Short Hair.” She also practices martial arts.

Kobrin added, “The ISDC is the only major space conference that is intended for everyone, from space professionals to students to the lay public. It is the largest and longest running space conference anywhere.”

Other notables at this year’s ISDC include “Star Trek” star William Shatner, former NASA astronauts Susan Kilrain and Jose Hernandez, Dr. Pascal Lee of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames, CEO of Vast Space Max Haot, planetary scientist and New Horizons mission Chief Scientist Dr. Alan Stern, Chief Engineer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Rob Manning, Jordan Noone of Embedded Ventures, “Janet’s Planet” host and NSS Governor Janet Ivey, “Ad Astra” magazine Editor-in-Chief Rod Pyle, and Melissa Navia, star of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” A full list of featured speakers can be found on the ISDC website.


The National Space Society was founded in 1987 via a merger of the National Space Institute and the L5 Society. The NSS is the preeminent citizen’s voice on space exploration, development, and settlement. To learn more about the NSS and its mission to establish humanity as a spacefaring species, visit us on the web at

Aggie Kobrin
National Space Society
+1 949-836-8464
email us here

Originally published at

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