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Back to NASA, Press Passes, and Window Writers

Hey Chasers!

I just received our media accreditation from the Kennedy Space Center this morning. Atlantis’ final Roll-out to be put on display at the KSC is scheduled for this Friday November 2nd. 

This is definitely a “full circle” moment for us as we head down to Florida once again to see Atlantis put to rest. In June of 2011, we made our first request to the KSC for media accreditation. It was too close to the Atlantis launch (one of the most anticipated in history) to get the passes the first time around. We conceived of Chasing just prior to June and larger media agencies scooped up the spotlight before hand. We left on a day’s notice for Atlantis’ move to the VAB that we captured last March. Again too late.

Our plane tickets to see Atlantis’ final roll-out this Friday, November 2nd were already booked before we had the passes we got this morning so I have been anxious about the trip not knowing if we would actually get access. This uncertainty echoed of our first journey to Florida in July of 2011 when we weren’t even sure if the launch was going to happen; Florida drenched in Summer rainfall. We also have much more of the vision for Chasing to show. Last time we were applying for media passes on good intentions and charm (not always a bad place to start. Certainly marketable qualities) but this time we have footage, interviews, stills, the improved site. With something more tangible to show our odds increased. However, this was one of those “who you know” situations as well. The incredible people we have been able to meet while filming Chasing as been a remarkable part of this journey as well as how we met all of them. Jim Kennedy we met through a damaged air conditioner in Paul’s PT Cruiser. Bodyshop owner happened to know him and mentioned it when Paul brought up the project in casual conversation at the dealership. Our latest connection to NASA public relations came through window writers. The day before we left on our first journey to Florida, I passed a toy store and thought it prudent to buy some window writers and decorate our car (with Mel’s and Paul’s assistance given my utter lack of artistic talent) with the web address and twitter feed. A month after returning, we were connected through twitter to a series of people who helped us climb the ladder until we had the direct contact information needed to submit our media accreditation. Not sure what the life lesson is from that. Shameless promotion? Colorful branding? I’d like to think it’s that the smallest opportunity can lead to incredible experiences if we let them.

We will be keeping you posted over the next few days on our latest Florida expedition to Chase Atlantis one last time. Be sure to join us on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and our newsletter! Also keep an eye out for our impending IndieGoGo campaign to help complete the film that will be posted by the end of the week with a new trailer! So stoked!


Day 7 In the Race for Space

Hey Chasers,

Now passing 15K votes in the Race for Space. 2500 more and I move up into 12th place overall in the Canadian competition. I’ve sent out the information about the event to a number of news media outlets now and it has started to get picked up. Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario’s  posted an article about the Race for Space to share with my hometown community where both Paul and I were born. A shout out to James Murray at Net News for posting the article and helping to spread the word. The article on NetNews can be found  here.

Overall, I have noticed that the average number of votes per hour is starting to increase. I think I can definitely catch top 10 by the end of the voting period and, if things go even more awesomely, maybe even hit the top of the chart. Burnaby Now is also going to be posting an article as I’m presently out at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus East of downtown Vancouver.

Thank you all again for your continued votes. You can continue to vote at my entry on the competition’s page here Remember, you can vote 10 times a day on any computer or mobile device you’re on. So, for example, if you vote at work/school, home and on your phone, that’s 30 votes a day!

To get an idea of why this is so exciting, I’d invite you to read the description of the flight experience here:

Thank you for continued support and for helping me continue this new chase!


Matthew &8-)

Day 6 in the Race for Space!

Day 6 in the Race for Space

Hey Orbiters,

It’s now Day 6 in the Race for Space! Yesterday I was setup with my booth at SFU. Got to talk to some folk who are also space geeks. Printed flyers with QR codes on them so that everybody could scan on their smart phones straight from the booth. 

Matt at the Race for Space Booth

The Link to vote went down for a few hours last night. I believe there was a confusion on end of voting dates. It was supposed to close last night in the US but remain open until April 5th in Canada. I e-mailed the competition and they have since e-mailed me back apologizing for the confusion and have re-opened the voting link. The awesome thing is that now, if you go to the gallery page and sort by top entries

You can now find my entry on the first page! Huzzah. Thank you all! 

To continue to vote, just click the link here  Only 1800 more votes and I move up 3 more places! Already 16th, that would put me in number 13 edging in closer on the top ten! Remember, you can easily vote 30 times a day. 10 per device you’re on. 10 at work, home and on your phone. 



Day 5 In the Race for Space

Day 5 In the Race for Space

It’s been 5 days competing in Metro’s Race for Space, a competition to win a trip on one of the first space tourism flights with aerospace company SXC.

As of right now, I just hit 8500 votes. Amazing! I thought I’d be struggling to hit 1000, and here we are. I want to make the top ten voted individuals. They are not specific as to which of the highest ranked will be considered, but I think that is a fair challenge. 

I am currently prepping a booth to put out at Simon Fraser University’s Convocation Mall for tomorrow where, during the day, I will be campaigning to leverage the support of the student population. I’ve got some nifty decor picked out for the booth including some star and planet models, a lego shuttle, and my 80mm Skywatcher telescope. I figure that should draw some attention. 

Thank you all again for your continued support, and remember you can vote up to 10 times per day on any connected device that you are on from now until April 5th. So, for example, that’s ten votes at work, ten at home and ten on your phone each day! I know we can crack the top ten! Here’s the Link!


Day 2 in the Race for Space

Hey Chasers,

Only a day and a half in and I’ve already grabbed 3400 votes for my entry in Metro Newspaper’s Race for Space Competition. Thanks to everybody who’s been voting for the support. Here’s the current strategy.

The top voter is still a ways off from where we’re at. However, we have moved to 30th place out of approx 2000 entries. Not too shabby. The goal is to get into the top ten meaning we’ll have to hit about 15 000 ish votes. It can be done! Still averaging about 50-100 votes per hour presently. And there are surges here and there as well. Once we get to the top ten, we end up closer to the front page meaning it is easier for people on the interwebs to see the post!

So keep those votes coming by going to the link: and remember that you can vote up to ten times a day every day from now until the contest closes on April 5th!

Thanks, Team!




Help Put Matthew Into SPACE…Literally

Hey Chasers,

Metro newspaper is running a competition to put one of their readers on a sub-orbital flight that literally crests the edge of the atmosphere. As you might know from our project, I really dig space, and always wanted to get up there somehow. This is an opportunity to do just that. 

The competition is based on entry and by vote. My entry is below. You can vote multiple times a day. Any support would be greatly appreciated!!



Scale of the Universe 2: Help Get some Perspective Today

I found this post on George Stroumboulopoulos’ blog on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.) George is one of our favorite evening show hosts and focuses his interactions with the most amazing and interesting artists, scientists and social activists. On today’s post, George highlighted an interactive program that helps one navigate the scales of our Universe from the quantum tiny to the Astronomically Huge. There is now a more interactive version of the first Scale of the Universe program that went viral. 

Strombo’s post is below along with the direct link to the interactive scale program


Lost in Space

On February 19th, I made a post regarding cuts to NASA’s budget that puts future human space flight missions in jeopardy

I had a few direct responses to the post, some for and some against, but I also came across this critique to the general sentiment of my post that made me second guess my original argument.

“NASA, we have a problem, why America is Lost in Space”  by Brett Biddington, Adjunct Professor, School of Computer and Security Science at Edith Cowan University states in his article:

“Some commentators have already been fast to criticize the cuts, suggesting they are minimal relative to the buckets of money lavished on the US defence establishment (which include classified and unclassified space programs).”

He continues by arguing that NASA has lost focus on space exploration, lost touch with the public, and is in danger of becoming a cold war relic. This final point struck me. It rang true with many of the interviews we conducted with both active and retired personnel at NASA during the shooting of Chasing Atlantis. Many who started early into the program were ashamed that NASA astronauts were not being lifted from the globe by Chinese technology insinuating that America had lost some of its pride. From a country that has a space program which has always hitchhiked its astronauts into space, I cannot fully relate. Canada has always been proud to have any of our citizens or technology (Canadarm/Canadarm II) in orbit at all. I also just finished watching Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In his latest book, Space Chronicles, Tyson says that when the moon landing happened in 69, predictions were made suggesting that we would be on Mars by 1980. We’re still not there, and it doesn’t look like we are going any time soon. Why? Tyson says that with the pressure of the cold war over, the impetus on extra terrestrial travel was lost.

It would seem both authors are correct then. In the absence of a war, we have made no further progress to put humans elsewhere in our solar system and NASA, according to Biddington continues to exude habits formed during the cold war in terms of its reluctance to participate in international programs.

So what is the solution? More funding? Smarter allocation? Public engagement to create a new-found sense of relevancy? I am uncertain. However, I do echo Tyson’s concerns he shared on the Daily show, currently our civilization seems to be regressing. Reduced funding for education, technology development, a labored economic system. Perhaps a new frontier is exactly what we need right now.



Riptide Studios On Twitter

Hey Chasers,

Our parent label, Riptide Studios, which was founded by Chasing Director Paul Muzzin, is now on Twitter. Let’s help get those initial follower numbers boosted! You can find Paul’s project here:





Don’t forget, you can also find Chasing Atlantis on Twitter where we tweet about doc stuff, reviewing footage, the latest in space news and all around geekdom. Follow us @chasingatlantis

Or, you can also find us on Facebook!

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