Grecchus:The great thing about ST is that after the people revolution it espoused had come and gone, the real scientific adventure, where new ground started to be broken in terms of expanding our ideas about the Solar System, came into force even though it was robots that were going out there to boldly go. TMP underlined all that just as 2001 was sparked off by the reality of man stepping onto the surface of the moon.
I'd say that all this holds true, especially when it's considered that Carl Sagan's Cosmos premiered on PBS shortly after the release of this film.
Whereas 2001 had all that Apollo program mojo helping to propel its popularity, with its "lets just get a man onto the surface of the moon" objective, so Star Trek: The Motion Picture with its insistence that humankind's interior development was just as consequential as its spacecraft development, was in a sense piggybacking on the thesis propounded by Sagan that we humans are "a way for the cosmos to know itself".
Pretty heady stuff for a story series that began as a pulp sci-fi network show.