Blog Archives

Happy Star Trek 50th Anniversary

Hey Chasers!

Yesterday marked Star Trek’s 50th birthday! September 8th 1966 saw the first episode of Trek as we know it now with Kirk, Spock…and Bones…though he took that day off.

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Star Trek has been an enormous inspiration in my life. Trek was what first brought my heart and mind to the stars. Some of my earliest memories are of watching the Original Series movies. The first movie I remember seeing in a theatre was Star Trek IV. I flew a die cast Klingon Bird of Prey around a paper cut out sun suspended from our apartment ceiling to make it go back in time and save the whales. The show was not only my gateway to the wider universe I perceived out there, but the stories of camaraderie and IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) became virtues that are foundational to my life. I was raised by Trek. Even when I didn’t go into sciences, my undergrad in international studies was founded upon Trek inspiration. In my mind, the crew of the Enterprise was travelling through the Universe and doing good, so too then would I in the world if I couldn’t in the stars.

To celebrate Trek’s 50th, we’ve put together a tribute video made from interviews with Trek cast, crew, and fans over the years. We’re so humbled by their willingness to be a part of our story especially since I have felt like a part of theirs.

Live Long and Prosper!

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Hours Until Juno Arrives at Jupiter

Hey Chasers,

Typically we’ll post production updates here, but every so often a piece of space news occurs that is so awesome I want to ensure we share it.

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Rendition of Juno Probe and Jupiter – NASA

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Epic Close to 2014! And Happy New Year!

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.

Matt and Paul with Shuttle Atlantis in the Background

Matt and Paul with Shuttle Atlantis in the Background

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45 Years Later, The Cosmos Makes a Giant Leap Toward Us…

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.

Get this on an Awesome T-Shirt from I F$%#ing Love Science

Click to Get this on an Awesome T-Shirt from I F$%#ing Love Science

 

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.

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A NASA #globalselfie for Earth Day!

Hey Chasers!

Happy Earth Day!

To help celebrate, I decided to jump on the “Global Seflie” shuttle that is being promoted by NASA Today. NASA is hoping to create a mosaic of the Earth from the ground up rather than from space down with the participation of selfies from all across the globe in celebration of Earth Day.

I’m stoked about this campaign by NASA because I think it demonstrates a growing trend connecting space sciences with global and social awareness. My other website www.nobordersfromorbit.com uses space and science fiction to promote social change. As my formal education is in international development, I am always thrilled to bring both my interest in space and social change together and indeed I truly believe both fields inspire one another (which I spoke about recently at TEDxUTSC full video coming soon!) Apollo astronauts said that in going to the Moon, we discovered the Earth. Indeed, nobody had seen the world like Apollo saw it; a blue marble adrift in a giant black ocean. Certainly puts things in perspective.

Our knowledge of the Universe gives us a perspective that inspires us to treasure our tiny blue dot and remember that our world, and the life that it cradles, are fragile and precious. Let’s take care of it! And, on that note, to the Global Selfie I took. It started as a chalk drawing I did at Simon Fraser University Residence where I live and work. My drawing skills are not amazing, but I thought it would be fun to do something that could be captured from the roof of the building I live in. The idea is that you show where you are on Earth right now. I am standing generally in British Columbia (based on my semi-accurate chalk drawing 😉 )

 

Initial Stages:

NASA Global Selfie Initial Stages

 

Final Work

Finished Global Selfie Setup

 

From the Roof

Global Selfie Shot from the Roof

I encourage you to take your own Global Selfie today! Just remember to use the hashtag #globalselfie

Keep Chasing!

-Matthew

Two Years of Chasing Atlantis

Hey Chasers!

July 8th marks the second anniversary of Atlantis’ final liftoff from Earth.  Just a few days ago, Atlantis’ new home was opened to the public as she rests at a precise 43.21 degree angle, proudly displaying both her scored heat shielding and open cargo bay in celebration the Shuttle’s legacy. Oh yeah, and that’s the Canadarm extending from the bay if you hadn’t noticed it. (Below)

Shuttle Atlantis in New Shuttle Exhibit cr. Ryan Horan

Shuttle Atlantis in New Shuttle Exhibit cr. Ryan Horan

Two years ago, we were tightly huddled within a forest of tripod legs anxiously waiting to see if Atlantis would fly. Literally one million people stood beneath rain clouds in hopes of a patch of clear skies that would be needed to avoid a scrubbed mission. We only had one shot to capture the launch on film. If the mission were scrubbed, we didn’t have the funding at the time to make a return journey. Despite the weather and the risk, the million gathered on the shores; some having traveled much farther than us to witness this (potentially) historic moment. As you might know by now, the clouds did part, and just in time. At T – 30 minutes, those gathered around radios heard “Atlantis…you are go for launch” crackle through the radio. The roar of the crowd in celebration was second only to the  exuberance of the launch itself.

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Chasing Atlantis Yuri’s Night Celebration Trailer

In celebration of Yuri’s Night, Chasing Atlantis released a new trailer that yesterday was exclusive to those who participated in one of the over 300 parties around the world to celebrate humanity’s entry into the final frontier.

Today we are releasing the trailer online! Be sure to check it out!

Next Stop: The Canadian Space Agency and NASA

Hey Chasers,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Following our last post, which found us in Toronto, we headed over to Montreal to film at our own Canadian Space Agency. The CSA has been in the news a great deal lately with Chris Hadfield’s launch to the International Space Station in December. Paul was able to capture the launch celebration at the CSA with Jenny Chan, one of our associate producers. At the event, Paul met several key CSA personalities, and we thought it fitting to make a return journey to do some interviews at the CSA, and learn more about the role that Canada plays in the exploration of space.

CSA

A shot of the Canadian Space Agency. The building is amazing. I wanna have an office there.

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Toronto and Clara Mooney: Our First North America Tour Stop

Hey Chasers,

Today was the first day of our epic North America tour.  We were able to sit down with Toronto Grade 1 student, Clara Mooney and her family. Clara is one of the brightest young people I have ever met. She spent the morning with us talking about her love of space, her Chemistry science fair project, her favorite episodes of start trek, and all things geek.

I was really glad to be able to meet Clara. She reminded me of where I started my space adventure at a very young age also watching episodes of Star Trek and having planet models adorning my room. We have had several opportunities to speak to those who have worked for decades in the space program and have even since retired from NASA. Many of them spoke of a childhood inspiration which guided their careers toward the stars. If we could go back in time and interview these individuals as a child, myself included, I think they would all share a great deal in common with this extraordinary young girl.

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I’m stoked to show the very fun and very cool interview that Clara did with us. She will be joining the many other amazing crew we have had the privilege of meeting during our chase of Atlantis and will be among the film’s interviews. In the meantime, Clara’s “Chasing Atlantis” tagline!!

Remembering Carl Sagan

January is approaching.

Geeky as it may be, one of my favorite things to do toward the end of the month is flip the pages on all my various astrophotograpahy calendars. People know I’m into that kind of thing so I tend to have several going at once. One of my friends was kind enough to already get me one in anticipation of 2013. Anyhow, in counting down the days on the calendar in my office, it reminded me with important dates marked out, that today is the anniversary of  legendary Carl Sagan’s passing

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

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