Space Station Science Officer joins Trek designer for Leonard Nimoy/Spock tribute

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spock_tribute_ISSGreat tribute image by NASA, ISS science officer Samantha Cristoforetti, and Star Trek designer Michael Okuda. I’ll let slide the Next Generation communicator pin and it’s too-high placement on the tunic, and just enjoy the Enterprise NCC-1701 no bloody A, B, C, OR D! floating outside the window.  I would say the shirt is the wrong shade of blue, but with the recent flap about the color of clothing flying around the Internet these days, I’ll just let it pass.

“Gravity” works, except when it doesn’t

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Gravity

They say you have to “suspend disbelief” to enjoy some movies, but when a movie is about something you’re really interested in, it becomes more difficult as the filmmakers take “artistic license” to the extreme.  The new movie “Gravity” is one such example.  Where to begin with all that’s wrong with this film?

First, let me tell you what was good.  The technical aspects were first rate.  The visuals, the micro-gravity, most of the movement were spot on.  It looked almost like it was filmed in space!  The scenes of the astronauts in orbit, the Earth, the space shuttle and space station looked incredibly real.  The story line was mostly good, but some really odd things popped in from time to time, making one wonder “what the hell was that?”  (the chinese guy talking with the barking dog and crying baby? huh?)

Now, for the bad…

[SPOILERS ALERT]

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“Ground Control To Major Tom”

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Recorded on the International Space Station.

The future just keeps getting better, one Tweet at a time!

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Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 12.22.11 PM

So you think an actor would be all cool about something like this…  you know, talking to someone famous.  Yeah, sometimes not so much!

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And of course, being the Star Trek/NASA/Space Cadet I am, I had to jump in, even if none of them see or notice my Tweet!

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If any of them respond, you’ll probably hear the squee from anywhere on the planet or in nearby space.

Update: Scrolling through the Commander’s Twitter feed, I came upon this gem:

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I took a lot of grief when I was young about my fascination (to coin a phrase!) with Star Trek. My, how times change!

Like I said… I love living in the future!

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shatner_hadfield

Joining an internet meme

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So full fledged Internet meme participation…  “I love living in the future!”  This image is a screenshot off my laptop computer, of video on NASA TV, beamed to Earth from the International Space Station.  Here the Dragon spacecraft has been grappled by the robotic arm, getting lined up to be berthed to the bottom side of the orbiting complex.  (“bottom side of the orbiting complex” was just now stolen by me from the NASA TV audio feed!)

12 year old Space Cadet JimmieJoe is green with envy over all the cool stuff in grown-up JimmieJoe’s life.  While all the computers are neat, I think he’s most impressed by the iPhone, which lets me watch things from outer space live on a hand held device, even in the basement dispatch center that was built to be an atom bomb/fallout shelter.  Most of the stuff grown-up JimmieJoe takes for granted these days has Space Cadet JimmieJoe beside himself, barely able to contain the giddy joy of life in the future.

He does give me a strange look now and then, though…

I know what he’s thinking.  (of course I do.  He’s me.)

It’s that whole flying car thing.

You’d think we could let that go, but…  no.  We were promised, dammit!

Space Station passed over my house last night

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Go to full screen to glimpse the station.

Space Geek: Another private spaceship begins testing

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Dream Chaser took to the air for the first time, in what is called a “captive carry” test.  Designed to test hardware, facilities, and ground operations, the test was conducted at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jefferson County, Colorado.  A heavy-lift helicopter…  lifted it.  Eventually, they’ll let it go, and see if it can fly!

This one sure looks more like a spaceship than the Dragon, which just successfully docked with the International Space Station, and splashed down today in the Pacific Ocean.  Of course, the Dragon is a working system, based on tried and true technology.  The Dream Chaser is following in the footsteps of the Shuttle, a very much more complex design.  I’m crossing my fingers.

Orion, Aurora Australis,ISS, and Home Sweet Home

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Taken on September 14, 2011, from the International Space Station.

Click to see the Bad Astronomy post, and the picture full size.

Atlantis lands, Shuttles retired, NASA’s next mission is… what?

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Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the pre-dawn hours of July 21, 2011.  42 years and one day after Apollo 11’s Eagle landed on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, the last shuttle to fly touches down on KSC’s runway 15.

It’s appropriate that this image shows the shuttle touching down in the dark, because the United States now has no manned access to space.

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