We’re continuing with the updates of our amazing second North America Tour of late July/Early August that are “backblogged.” Apologies for the delay. Real life caught up with me for August/September orientation and student move-ins at Simon Fraser University. Now that all the new generation of students have arrived on residence, where I live and work, it was time to review the rest of the incredible locations/interviews of this recent trip. (By the Way. Simon Fraser University is considered to be like Sci-Fi Headquarters. It has been a filming set for Battlestar Galactica, Halo: Forward Unto Dawn, Underworld. Very cool place to visit if you are in BC)
Following our meetup with Bill Nye (BILL BILL BILL) in Los Angeles we headed North to the Seattle Museum of Flight. Within the Museum’s many awesome exhibits ranging from WWII combat aircraft, an actual retired Concorde, an SR-71 Blackbird, and hands-on simulator experiences is the Full Fuselage Shuttle Trainer.
The Full Fuselage Trainer (FFT) is a 1:1 scale replica of the Shuttle itself used to train every astronaut who ever flew to space on any of the shuttle missions. From Chris Hadfield to Story Musgrave to John Glenn, all these astronauts stepped foot in the FFT. It is as close as one can get to being in the shuttle without actually being in the shuttle; something that nobody will ever do again.
The Museum of Flight let us get inside the trainer and grab some incredible footage. While we were filming, Paul asked me to sit down in the command chair; the left seat in the cockpit. Seated before the accurate controls of what one would find in the shuttle, I was thrust into the life of what might have been; the life of a space-farer – an astronaut. The moment hit me harder than I had anticipated, which Paul keenly captured on film. It struck me that while the astronaut that I had always hoped to be was a driving force behind this film, that dream has also been a source of shame; that I had, in a sense, failed. I have always been vaguely aware of this sentiment toward my not becoming an astronaut. There is often a lingering sense that I made an error, or should have done something differently. Trying to determine all of one’s motivations for decisions made over a decade ago is difficult. I believe that, at the time, I choose to study arts rather than sciences, I did so for the right reasons and intentions.
Paul and I just landed last night in Los Angeles. We have a pretty exciting lineup of interviews and visits setup on this trip. Seems that each time we think production is coming to a close, another incredible opportunity arises. On our last North America Tour, we started in Montreal and ended in Vancouver while visiting the Canadian Space Agency, the Kennedy Space Center, I Dream of Space, Planetary Resources, and finally interviews at Simon Fraser University with particle physicist and amateur astronomy Howard Trottier.
This time around we are beginning in LA with Bill Nye tomorrow (very excited about this) at the Planetary Society, heading to the Seattle Museum of Flight to grab footage of their shuttle trainer that was used to actually prepare future astronauts, then spending 3 days at Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama to meet Astronaut Abby, and finally returning to LA to meetup with the team at SpaceVidCast. More interviews to follow in Montreal in September.
Remember! We have an amazing opportunity posted for you to contribute to our line up of questions for Bill Nye tomorrow (July 25th) ! Follow this link to ASK BILL NYE A QUESTION
Stay tuned for more updates on North America Tour 2! We’ll keep posting in the next few days as we travel!
We survived! We successfully made it back to Canada, but not first before making three stops along the West Coast.
We left Florida following our interviews with Ryan Kobrick and John Horan in Florida. During that post we talked about struggles with getting into the new Atlantis Facility. That unfortunately didn’t pan out. We did get amazing footage right under the wing of Atlantis during her roll out but we thought it would be cool to see Atlantis all shrink wrapped and getting prepped for public display this Summer. Alas, NASA was touchy to have Atlantis filmed in such a state and we had no choice but to respect their wishes on that one. Nonetheless, some incredible adventures still awaited us on our next stop: San Francisco
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.
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!!
Paul and I will be doing a radio interview on Local 840 Radio “Your Local Space Coast Connection” at 5:10 EST today. You can stream the broad cast here:
We just updated the site to include our “CAST” page that can be found here https://chasingatlantis.wordpress.com/the-cast/
The page gives a sampling of the interviews that we have conducted to date. Going through the list to see just how many incredible people we have had the pleasure of meeting was a great way to reflect on everything that has transpired since we left to go see Atlantis’ launch. When we first set out on the journey, I don’t think we realized just how many interviews we would end up conducting both formal as well as spontaneous. The whole project has been worth it for this experience alone; a chance to meet astronauts, actors, writers, engineers, inventors and dreamers.
This update to the site is part of an overhaul to the IndieGoGo campaign page to help us have the strongest last week as we possibly can! If you haven’t already seen our fundraising campaign through IndieGoGo, check us out at www.indiegogo.com/chasingatlantis