by Chris Tobias
It’s hard to believe Jeff and I will be appearing at Dragon Con in less than a week!
In case you haven’t heard (or read our blog entry from July 24), we’ll be participating in a panel called “Fan Support: How Our Faves Survive” on Friday, September 4 at 2:30pm in the Chastain Ballroom (F-G) at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel as part of this year’s Dragon Con. The panel, which is part of Dragon Con’s “Whedon Track,” will be hosted by Anna Puerta, and will also feature Michael Dougherty and Heather Fagan of the Firefly fan film Browncoats: Redemption.
Usually, it’d be easy to tell you what you could expect from one of our panels at a con, but this time it’s not our panel. We’re just guests who represent one aspect of a much larger ‘verse that’s filled with fans of Joss Whedon’s work, all of whom have their own unique ways of celebrating their favorite Whedon stories and characters and making sure they not only don’t fade away, but in some cases that they move forward and even evolve.
SpaceX’s Dragon is recovered after a successful splashdown last week. The unmanned transport ship returned over 3,100 pounds of cargo and experiments from the ISS. (Photo: SpaceX)
by Jeff Cunningham
Ni hao, fellow travellers. Jeff here, in a long-overdue return. When I offered to take over this weekend to lighten Chris’ load during exam week and we got to discussing a topic, something about his choice of words got me thinking about the future. In the past week or two, we’ve seen the successful milestone pad abort test of the Dragon II manned spacecraft, followed by the safe return of her unmanned freighter sister craft from the International Space Station. The past couple of days have also seen some unprecedented conversations in the United States capital–who ever thought we’d see the day when legislatures would seriously discuss things like property rights for the first settlers in the ‘Verse? It is indeed an exciting time to be alive. Between stories like this and the premiere of Disney’s Tomorrowland in theaters, it’s becoming clear that society may finally be beginning to turn away from the general malaise and pessimism that accompanied the recession, and is now looking towards the future. In this same spirit, I’d thought it might be a good time to talk to you all about “the road from here.” I suppose we haven’t been as detailed as we could have been about how your letters and petition signatures would lead to a real-life Serenity or what comes in between the two. “No time like the present,” as they say… Continue Reading
by Chris Tobias
Today was the kind of day that gets us excited about space travel.
SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket and deployed the Dragon capsule, which is currently on its way to the International Space Station with supplies, provisions, experiments and even an espresso machine!
And to top it all off, they darn near pulled off a historic landing and recovery of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket booster aboard their robot barge Just Read the Instructions. The rocket hit the bullseye, but came in too hard for a that landing “like a downy feather” that SpaceX was hoping for.
The weather at the launch site was beautiful today, but less than ten miles away dark clouds were looming… (Photo credit: Look in the upper right-hand corner!)
by Chris Tobias
River Tam: Storm’s getting worse.
Mal Reynolds: We’ll pass through it soon enough.
Today’s attempt by SpaceX to launch a Falcon 9 carrying a Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on the sixth commercial resupply mission to the ISS had to be scrubbed just a few minutes before liftoff because of weather concerns.
Those who watched the launch attempt live online probably scratched their heads at the announcement, given the beautiful blue sky and white, fluffy clouds that served as the backdrop for the rocket as it sat on the launch pad. The real danger, however, was a front of dark, well-developed cumulonimbus “anvil” clouds that were within ten miles of the launch site. There were also some reports of distant lightning strikes within the ten-mile limit in the run-up to the launch window, and it is standard procedure to scrub a launch under such conditions.
The next launch attempt will be tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14, just after 4:10pm EDT. In all fairness, though, tomorrow’s weather currently only looks to be 50% go for launch, whereas today’s was 60% just a short time before the scrub had to be called.
And yet, the way we see it, there was a lot to feel positive about today.
by Jeff Cunningham
Those words of Malcolm Reynolds in the Firefly episode “Safe” came to mind earlier today as we regrettably had to announce that, due to a personal emergency, the correspondent who was to cover this weekend’s Dragon launch in person won’t be able to attend. (Well, that and the words of Jayne Cobb in the movie Serenity when he said, “Well, what you plan and what takes place ain’t ever exactly been similar.”)
Needless to say, we are as disappointed by this development as we were excited when we first learned we had been awarded press credentials to cover the launch by NASA.
Since we’ll no longer be live-tweeting the events leading up to the launch, the hashtag #BrowncoatsAskNASA is also unfortunately no longer going to be in play prior to or during the launch broadcast.
You can still watch the live stream of the launch, however, starting before liftoff this Friday, December 19 at 1:22 PM EST at nasa.gov or spacex.com. It’ll still be one heck of a show watching a rocket liftoff, and then land on that platform like a leaf on the wind!