“Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marvelled at the beauty of our planet.
People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty — not destroy it!”
— Yuri Gagarin, 1st human in space.
It’s Yuri’s Night! Today, April 12th marks the 54th anniversary of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s epic journey into space; the first time a human ever ventured across the threshold of Earth’s atmosphere into the Cosmos.
One of my fav bloggers/science evangelists/astronomers is Phil Plait AKA, the “Bad Astronomer” said that:
This past weekend we had front row seats to a conjunction of the Moon, Mars, and Venus; our three closest celestial neighbors.
One of the advantages of my day job working on campus at Simon Fraser University is having a roof access key to the residence dorm towers. It made for a great view of the conjunction especially as it approached the horizon. Here is a collection of some of my favorite shots from this past Friday and Saturday. By Saturday, the Moon had moved away from Mars and Venus in the sky, but it still made for a spectacular view. The shots were taken with 24mm, 50mm, and 300mm lenses on my DSLR. The last photo of the Moon and Mars was through my 80mm telescope at 600mm focal length also using my DSLR.
Happy New Year, Chasers!
The last few months have been absolutely amazing as we have headed into closing our primary videography for Chasing Atlantis. In October, we shot an amazing interview with Star Trek’s Rod Roddenberry, and more recently, through November and December, we “caught” Atlantis in her new home at the Kennedy Space Center as well as witnessed the historic launch of the Orion capsule.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, Chasers!!
A friend of mine sent this to me today and I wanted to share it with all of you! It is “Happy Holidays” written out by early galaxy formations! So Awesome. Below the image is a link that provides info on each of the galaxies as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey!
Wishing you and yours all the best this Holiday Season and an epic, adventurous, creative and Final Frontier breaking 2015!
Just a quick update to let you know that we’re in Florida for the Orion Test Flight! The launch is set for 7AM EST today and we have press passes. We’ll be about 10KM from the launch site. This is even way closer than we were for the Atlantis lift off 3 years ago.
Orion’s flight is exciting for a few reasons both historical and personal. Historically, this launch represents the next steps on the path to bringing humanity further into the Solar system, perhaps even to Mars which is the current plan. But personally, it is huge that we were able to get press credentials for this launch. 3 years ago, when we started this journey, we had made little inroads yet with the space community here in Florida. We were just a group of travelers on a road trip to see a space shuttle. So much has happened since then and we’ve met so many people who have opened so many doors for us. And now, here we are on the eve/morning of this historic event with front row seats. One historic launch to another.
Be sure to tune in to the launch live! You can watch it here on NASA TV In fact, there is a live view of Orion on the launch pad right now. We’ll be there as well so if you’re around at the cape, be sure to Tweet me @chasingatlantis or @nobordfromorbit
Keep Chasing and Go Orion!!
Hey Chasers! In case you hadn’t already heard the news, we’ve landed on a comet!
This morning the Rosetta mission landed on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Huzzah for space! You can check out the story on CBC here and be sure to follow the Rosetta mission twitter thread @ for more updates including images from the comet’s surface!
As Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry and I talked about Star Trek in the living room of his home, both a sense of excitement and a question were on my mind. I was excited as it was difficult to believe I was sitting in the house of the caretaker of the Star Trek legacy. Like space itself, a fictional universe, such as Star Trek, can seem unreachable. And yet, while speaking with Rod, I felt like I reached out to that universe and this time it reached back. With Star Trek having the impact on my life that it has, talking to Rod about the philosophies of Star Trek, and the legacy left by his father, Gene Roddenberry, was an opportunity to better understand myself and what Rod called the “family” of fans created by Trek and sci-fi kind. This brought me to my question: Why does space create a home for this family?
We’re back in Los Angeles. Last time that we were in the City of Angels we had an awesome adventure hanging out with the team from SpaceVidCast (now TMRO), Kevin Grazier, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
This time we have another exciting line-up of interviews and adventures. Tomorrow, Benjamin Higginbotham of the TMRO team has setup a tour at SpaceX. Not sure exactly what’s in store for us yet, but hoping to get a glimpse of all the space revolutionizing awesomeness that Elon Musk is giving to the world. Likely we will not be able to take any footage at SpaceX, but we might be able to take some stills. We will post them if we can.
If you are in the Toronto area, you can check out the last weekend of the Canadian National Exhibition where Chasing Atlantis has its own display.
The CNE is an annual fair leading up the Canadian Labour day weekend that hosts about 1.5 million people each year at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. It is Canada’s largest annual fair which began in 1879 largely to promote agriculture and technology in Canada. The exhibits are accompanied by amusement park attractions, a band shell concert space with big name tickets and an air show.
Last year, we were contacted by the CNE’s Candice McCavitt to host a display as part of the CNE’s theme of looking toward the future. This year, one of the exhibits is centered on pop culture. We are featuring footage with Bill Nye the Science Guy, Ann Lemay of the video game series Mass Effect, and Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield. If you’re passing through, be sure to check out the Pop Culture display. If you find us, post a photo of the display on our Facebook Page or send us a tweet to @chasingatlantis
Thanks once again to Candice McCavitt for inviting us to be a part of the CNE two years running!
45 Years ago today we landed on the Moon for the very first time. The Apollo 11 team of Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin took the first “Giant Leap for Mankind” (humankind) putting the first steps of humanity on a world beyond our own; a world characterized in the words of Buzz Aldrin by “Magnificent Desolation.”
There has been a lot of buzz (pun intended) about the 45th anniversary from screenings of the original landing to renewed debates about the moon landing hoax to an AMA by Buzz Aldrin on Reddit which you should check out. There has also been questions about why we have yet to return.
That is a good question. At the same time, we need to remember that since the late 60’s we have learned an incredible deal about space as we currently find ourselves in a Golden Age of Astronomy. We launched the Voyager Probes in the late 70’s which have just recently reached the edge of our solar system and crossed into inter-stellar space. The 80’s saw the dawn of the space shuttle program leaving the legacies of the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope. We got MIND BLOWING images in the 90’s from the Sojourner probe, part of the Mars Pathfinder Program when the Internet was first becoming ubiquitous. As a kid growing up in the 90’s where you could actually download images from Mars…amazing. I believe we actually crashed the NASA servers. We have since returned to Mars recently with Curiosity.