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September 24 2006

Firefly DVDs going up to ISS on next shuttle launch as reported in Firefly Talk #38 (around 8:45 min).

The NASA employee involved with uplinking Mal's 'love' speech to the ISS a few months back has reported that a shuttle crew member is taking the Firefly DVDs on the next shuttle mission (Feb 2007) to be left at the ISS if possible. Morena also discloses the purpose of Inara's syringe in this podcast.

maiii - the employee - over at posted that it's both Firefly and Serenity going up. Can't wait to see them floating in zero-G! February's so far away...

ETA: missed an 'i'

[ edited by cabri on 2006-09-24 11:33 ]
They're going to be pissed when they find out the space station has only got VHS players.
It's the thought that counts.
I'd hope that they have computers with DVD drives. I mean, I have a computer with a DVD drive...
I seem to remember at one point the ISS had a BBC Micro as it's on board computer.

Mind you, I'd probably trust that more than Microsoft Windows For Spacestations.
Does anyone know the exact quote that was sent to the space station?
Here's the link to the article:
One would certainly hope the operational computers would be specialized systems running real-time OSes. And that no frivolous software of any kind would be allowed within a mile of them. But I would also assume there's a general use computer or two up there. There's a blog by that space tourist somewhere, I believe.
I would also imagine the shuttle crewmember would know of a way to play those dvds if they go through all the trouble of bringing it up with him/her.
Maybe they'll rename a shuttle "Serenity", and put a picture of Niska up in the space station.
In terms of the question of how to watch the dvds, maii the poster who brought the shiny news responded, check it out the post HERE
Gee, I thought Simon was joking...
At least the joke wasn't that VHS was too modern for ISS.

Electronic gear for space missions doesn't tend to be very modern. It's specially built for a very hostile environment, especially for issues related to radiation. I haven't paid attention for a while, but about five years ago or thereabouts, the newest Intel-based processor certified for space was based on the 386. (And that's a huge step up from the shuttle computers.)

The operating system favored for a lot of this stuff is VxWorks. It's a realtime, process-control operating system, and there's no way you'd want user applications anywhere near it.

However, NASA has been using laptops for lots of stuff for years, both on the shuttle and ISS. I'm sure they'll have a way to play DVDs.
Yup, this whole thread was pretty funny to me, as I have no doubt that Simon was employing the well-known Brit dry sense of humour -- a perennial favourite. Well, it made me larf, anyway.

And, wow, who knew the Whedon library project had such a long reach?
I saw Sally Ride give a speech, once, before the ISS. She discussed how ancient the computers on the Space Shuttle were - designed in the 1970's, 4K RAM ISTR. She travelled with her own PowerBook. So I imagine there is at least one modern laptop witih a DVD drive up there.
I really need my own font colour for "the well-known Brit dry sense of humour". Apologies to anyone who took me seriously. And if NASA could tell the astronauts on the ISS to stop lobbing potatoes at my flat, I'd be very grateful.
I'm pretty sure that the Shuttle main computers have 100K or 110K. Core memory, not solid-state. ISTR there are five of these computers on each shuttle, three of them used for flight control, with a voting system to take consensus on the results.

Back when I was at IBM, I used to work with people who had worked on the shuttle computers. A lot of modern theory and practice of software reliability originated on that project.
What, Simon, you'd rather they use coconuts?
And, wow, who knew the Whedon library project had such a long reach?

That is so funny. But, you know, if bunches of school kids knew that the astronauts were taking their FF and Serenity DVDs to space, can you imagine how many more fans we would get?

And libraries could promote the DVDs in their collections as the ones the astronauts watch. And, and, . . .

Sequel, please? Pretty, pretty please?
Gee. Colour me embarassed, I took Simon seriously. HMM dry brittish humour. Hmm I guess a tad too dry for me to tell. And in terms of the type of tech on the station, it is not unbelievable that they would only have VHS.... at least I thought it was.
Simon, I think this would look stunning.

(It's potato-lobbing and coconut shying, right? I always forget...)
I like it... very subtle :)

Does anyone know what they have up there already, in terms of entertainment? I envision either a library full of StarTrek, or rows and rows of El Nino, mudslides, and Saharan record-setters to make them glad they're in orbit!
Hopefully not American Idol..... Yuck....
Uh oh, the article only specifies that the crew member is taking the Firefly DVDs up. I wonder if he knows about Serenity and, if so, will remember to take it up too. Otherwise the newly converted crew members up there are gonna be going crazy having to wait until they come back down to see it.

Unless of course! Wireless internet? They'd have to have that up there, right? Maybe they can download it. Buy it off of iTunes or whatever. Imagine being bored during your off hours up there and as a result going nuts with your credit card online? "Think of all the self-given presents I'll have in the mail when I get home!"

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