In case you missed this piece of awesomeness, Commander Chris Hadfield, whom we had the privilege of interviewing for Chasing Atlantis, connected live with William Shatner while Chris is on board the International Space Station
Gravity staring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock releases today! The trailers for the film. are absolutely thrilling – in a terrifying sort of way. Perhaps more terrifying is the fact that the accident depicted in the trailer is set during present day (slightly in the past as the Space Shuttle is still in operation) complete with an exploding International Space Station.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with Dr. Kevin Grazier who served as Scientific Advisor for Gravity. Kevin specialized in planetary sciences and worked on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Cassini/Huygens project. (You can thank Kevin as part of the team that brings you AWESOME photos of Saturn like this) Kevin has also worked as advisor for some of our favorite shows like Battlestar Galactica – So Say We All!
Today marks the day of Chris Hadfield’s return to Earth after service as Commander of the International Space Station since March of 2013. Hadfield departed for the ISS in December 19th of 2012. Live footage, as of the time of this post, is available right now!! The link is below.
Being a station astronaut is remarkable in and of itself. But in addition to living in space for half a year, Hadfield has helped make space cool(er). Hadfield’s outreach to engage the public with all things space has been extraordinary. His updates from space, thoughtful tweets about the borderless world he floats above, and the fragility of the Earth have helped to make Chris Hadfield perhaps as well known as Neil Armstrong. And whether rocking out with the Barenaked Ladies or speaking live with William Shatner, Chris has made space main stream. To top it all off, he left us with his “Space Oddity” Video recorded on the ISS as a final send off. The video even received a retweet from David Bowie himself.
Chris was our first Chasing Atlantis interview. Personally, being able to sit down with him was the initial validation I needed to show that our film was on the right track. We came out of that interview in a daze. “We just interviewed Chris Hadfield…” I recall repeating to Paul “…and he invited us to watch his band.” which we did at a local Space Coast pub shortly thereafter. Chris described his experiences in space and the perspective that the experience creates to put humanity and our planet in context; a fragile blue marble in the heavens. I don’t think we could ask for a better ambassador of humanity in space.
Below is a highlight of several of our interviews with an opening narration by and segments of our interview with Chris Hadfield. Below is a link to the live feed of Chris’ landing which, at the time of this post, has just begun!
We are proud to follow up on the story of our own Chris Hadfield taking the wheel (so to speak) of the International Space Station. We were fortunate enough to have Chris as our FIRST Chasing Atlantis interview back in July of 2011 when he was on the road to the Soyuz launch this past November and subsequent 6 month tour aboard the station, taking command yesterday. Chris becomes not only the first Canadian Commander of the ISS, but the first Canadian commander of any space vehicle.
Though orbiting hundreds of kilometers above the Earth’s surface, Chris has remained highly connected with our Pale Blue Dot in the Universe through social media becoming somewhat of a Internet phenomenon. Articles have been writing stating that Hadfield’s journey and subsequent efforts at engaging the world’s population looking up at the night sky have made him the most recognizable name in space since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Chris’ words always connected with me, even when I was very young, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to interview him for the film. When interviewed or reflecting on this time in space, Chris spoke mainly of Earth, what it looked like from above, its fragility and its unity without borders or colored maps. This was the perspective I wanted to experience as well as share if I ever had the opportunity to become an astronaut; the Earth as small and fragile and shared by many who MUST co-exist. While I may not be able to do this from space directly, I am excited to find other means of doing the same such as sitting down with Chris directly, as well as the multitude of others we have talked to while shooting Chasing Atlantis who proudly carry a message of peace; that we’re all really made of star dust and share this one tiny speck in the cosmos.
You can check out these articles from space.com and Universe Today about Chris Hadfield’s command transfer below and I’ve also included a snippet of the interview that we did with him prior to his launch to the ISS.
Paul, Chasing’s Director and Jenny Chan, who has partnered up with on several Chasing Adventures now, are presently in Montreal and will be filming tomorrow’s media event at the Canadian Space Agency observing Chris Hadfield’s launch to the International Space Station. Hadfield’s mission will last 5 months and he is scheduled to take over as commander of the station this March. He will be the first Canadian to command a space vessel.
Stay tuned to our site for updates as well at Twitter for images coming in live from the event. You can also watch both the media event as well as the launch from the Canadian Space Agency’s Website here: http://asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/webcast.asp The webcast begins at 6:45 EST December 19th
Last week did not bode well for SpaceX’s first attempt at launching dragon. Aborted launches at 4am are not fun for viewers (I’m on the West Coast) never mind for the engineers that had to build, test and attempt to put the craft into space.
However, with a successful launch this past Tuesday, Dragon has now officially docked with the ISS to become the first commercial vehicle to do so. If deemed a success, this mission will secure a resupply contract for SpaceX to run similar missions in the future. The flight will also determine the capsule’s fitness for future human space missions.
And I also learned today that James Doohan (Scotty from Star Trek) ashes were also brought to space along with the capsule! May you continue to boldly go!
History is about to be made with the first private launch to the International Space Station.
The automated Dragon cargo ship, the product of private space flight company Space X, is due to launch at 4:55 EST. You can watch the launch live at NASA’s public “Ustream” http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv
The launch represents NASA’s new strategy to use private space companies such as Space X and the parallel Orbital Sciences Corporation to supply the ISS. Seed funding as well as access to NASA patents was provided to both companies to catalyze the transition.
Space X’s Dragon Capsule (below) will be used for cargo on this flight to the ISS, however the capsule has been designed to sustain a human crew planned for future launches
Below: A mockup of the capsule I captured while in the Vehicle Assembly Building this past March
Be sure to catch the launch at just before 5AM!