Posts Tagged ‘NASA’



How Star Wars  Inspires Real Scientists and Engineers

Holly Griffith | October 10, 2012

floating

Let me give you a little bit of a background on myself: My name is Holly Griffith and I’m from southern Louisiana. For seven-and-a-half years I was a flight controller for the Space Shuttle’s Electrical Power System. Once Shuttle ended I transferred over to work on the International Space Station doing maintenance and mechanisms. I recently did a panel at Celebration VI with Dennis Bonilla from NASA HQ and Eric Geller of theforce.net . Two other JSC colleagues were there as well and we had a packed house! The panel was Science and Science Fiction and how the two influence each other. It was fascinating! Eric was a great moderator and the public asked lots of great questions. I’d love to be able to do it again next year!

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World Space Week: When Star Wars Meets Reality

Eric Geller | October 9, 2012

World-Space-Week

(Photo credit: official WSW website)

Last Thursday, scientists and space geeks all over our little blue-and-green speck began observing World Space Week, “an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.” The Star Wars saga opened our imaginations to the possibility of life on exotic and fascinating planets and galactic conflicts utilizing incredible technologies. Since 1977, many of humanity’s accomplishments in space have been measured against the galaxy far, far away. While we still don’t have hyperspace travel, lightsabers, or proton torpedoes, we have been learning more and more about the universe we inhabit, and some of that new information has prompted comparisons to George Lucas’ space fantasy epic.

Join us for a review of Star Wars-like discoveries and technologies as we prepare to celebrate World Space Week!

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Happy World Space Week: Life Imitates Star Wars

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides | October 8, 2012

Spaceport-America-

I felt like I was sitting in the Imperial Senate.

Kofi Annan stepped up to the podium at the United Nations with a planetary orbits logo behind him surrounded by the U.N. Olive Branches and addressed the national delegations about the importance of space exploration. The delegations sat behind their country’s nameplates, in traditional dress, some with headphones offering translations into other languages.

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SWCVI: Star Wars and NASA Panel

Eric Geller | August 25, 2012
From left to right: Michelle Fitzgerald, Travis Fitzgerald, Holly Griffith, Dennis Bonilla, Eric Geller

From left to right: Michelle Fitzgerald, Travis Fitzgerald, Holly Griffith, Dennis Bonilla, Eric Geller.

Today on the Fan Stage at Celebration VI, I had the pleasure of co-hosting a panel entitled “Star Wars and NASA: Science Fiction and Science Fact,” with Holly Griffith, a friend of mine who works as an International Space Station flight controller for NASA Mission Control in Houston, TX. Holly and I were joined by Travis and Michelle Fitzgerald, two fellow flight controllers on the ISS, and Dennis Bonilla, an open government consultant who works with NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. As befits such a great lineup of smart and talented space geeks (I’m excluding myself, of course!), our panel filled the 840-seat Fan Stage! (more…)

NASA to Send C-3PO to the Moon?

StarWars.com Team | February 26, 2010

Is it just us or does NASA’s robot look a little like our favorite protocol droid C-3PO? Here’s hoping they give him better coping skills.

According to AmericaSpace:

Project M is a JSC Engineering Directorate led mission to put a lander on the moon with a robot within a 1,000 days starting Jan 1, 2010. “M” has significance in two ways. First, it is the Roman numeral for 1,000. And “M” is the first letter for “Moon.”

WATCH VIDEO: NASA JSC “Project M” Video

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SOURCE: Gizmodo

NASA WISE or R2-D2 in Disguise?

StarWars.com Team | January 7, 2010

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has returned its first photograph – a calibration shot of “about 3,000 stars in the Carina constellation.” While the star-filled image was impressive, we couldn’t help but think their explorer sure looks a lot like an encased astromech.

NASA has described the cryostat as resembling “a giant Thermos bottle” or “the Star Wars robot R2-D2″, and being “about the height and weight of a big polar bear, only wider”. The agency’s big polar bear in this case is 2.85 metres tall, 2 metres wide, 1.73 metres deep and weighs 661kg.

Read more about it here:
NASA infrared survey returns first snap

Ask a NASA Astronaut a Question!

Bonnie Burton | October 26, 2007

Since the Discovery blasted off on on October 23 for a two-week mission (with Luke’s lightsaber on board!), Star Wars fans have been leaving their best wishes to the seven STS-120 astronauts headed to the International Space Station, at Spacecenter.org. (So don’t forget to make sure the Discovery crew knows that the Force is with them!)

Now thanks to CollectSPACE.com, Starwars.com visitors have a chance to ask an astronaut on board a question as well.

Feel free to ask how they feel about having Luke’s Return of the Jedi lightsaber on board. Or if the Star Wars saga inspired them to be astronauts? Or if they find themselves quoting the movie over and over, “Hey that’s no moon!”

What question would you like to ask? Your question may get picked and asked to an astronaut! But we need your questions by end of the day 5pm EST on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

So post your questions HERE in this thread:
Ask a NASA Astronaut a Question! (Due Oct 30)

Chewie Hands off Lightsaber to NASA

StarWars.com Team | August 28, 2007

Luke Skywalker’s original Jedi lightsaber film prop from Return of the Jedi makes its way into space (for real) with NASA astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery in October. To commemorate the historic event, Star Wars characters visited the Oakland International Airport where Chewbacca handed the lightsaber over to NASA’s Space Center Houston during a special ceremony on Aug. 28, 2007.

Arriving by Escalade and Hummer stretch limos (the Falcon‘s in the shop) Boba Fett, Jango Fett, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, X-Wing pilots, Jedi and stormtroopers (from the Golden Gate Garrison of the 501st Legion) accompanied Chewie for the fun-filled press event which took quite a few travelers and tourists in baggage claim by surprise. NASA’s Space Center Houston Director of Marketing Roger Bornstein greeted the intergalactic guests and warmly thanked everyone’s favorite Wookiee for bringing him Luke’s lightsaber.

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May the Flight Be With You

Bonnie Burton | August 27, 2007

As Star Wars celebrates its 30th Anniversary, Luke Skywalker’s original Jedi lightsaber will head into space with NASA astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery in October. Chewbacca will officially hand the lightsaber over to NASA’s Space Center Houston during a ceremony at the Oakland International Airport, Aug. 28, 2007.

The ceremony will include characters from a galaxy far, far away including Boba Fett, Jango Fett and X-Wing pilots, Jedi and stormtroopers. This will be followed by a spectacular departure aboard a Southwest Airlines flight as Chewbacca and his galactic friends help push back the airplane on the tarmac.

Stay tuned to the Official Star Wars Blog for more on the special event.