A mission that will test different methods to clean up space junk is getting ready for launch.
The RemoveDebris spacecraft will attempt to snare a small satellite with a net and test whether a harpoon is an effective garbage grabber.
The probe has been assembled in Surrey and will soon be packed up ready for blast off early next year.
Scientists warn that the growing problem of space debris is putting spacecraft and astronauts at risk.
It is estimated that there are about half a million pieces of man-made rubbish orbiting the Earth, ranging from huge defunct satellites, to spent rocket boosters and nuts and bolts.
Any collisions can cause a great deal of damage, and generate even more pieces of debris.
The RemoveDebris mission is led by the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey.
The assembly of the spacecraft, which is about the size of a washing machine, has taken place at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and is almost complete.
GEOMAGNETIC STORM PREDICTED (G1-CLASS): NOAA forecasters estimate a 55% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Nov. 29th when Earth’s magnetic field is expected to receive a glancing blow from a CME, hurled toward us days ago by a magnetic explosion on the sun. There’s more: A fissure in the sun’s atmosphere is spewing solar wind into space, and the gaseous material could reach Earth on Nov. 29th as well. G1-class storms have little effect on power grids and satellites. However, they can affect migratory animals that navigate using magnetism. Such storms can also cause spectacular auroras around the Arctic Circle. Visit Spaceweather.com for more information and updates.
Remember, SpaceWeather.com is on Facebook!
Shamelessly lifted from File 770:
SEEKING AUTHENTICITY. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna, in “How Pixar’s ‘Coco’ became a huge box-office hit”, looks at the ways that Disney/Pixar worked with Mexican consultants on Coco, which not only solved cultural sensitivity problems, but made for a better story.
The company was about two years into the making of “Coco” when it committed a significant PR blunder. For its marketing, Disney in 2013 applied to trademark “Día de los Muertos” — the Mexican holiday the movie centers on — sparking a backlash from prominent Latino voices.
Mexican American cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz (“La Cucaracha”) helped give image to the outcry. Alcaraz, who had tweeted that trying to brand the holiday came across as “awful and crass,” created the Mickey Mouse-spoofing cartoon “Muerto Mouse,” with the caption: “It’s coming to trademark your cultura.”
According to Jason Katz, the story supervisor on “Coco,” the backlash to the Southern California parent company’s trademark attempt was tough to take in the Bay Area, where Pixar’s Emeryville studio is located.
“Working at Pixar, you’re in a little bit of a bubble. We’re removed from the machine to a certain extent,” Katz told The Post’s Comic Riffs while in Washington. “[We were] trying to be as genuine and authentic as you can. It wasn’t something we were expecting. We were all just disappointed and sad.”
The incident, though, led to a realization. “We needed to make sure that even though we were reaching out to folks, we needed to make this movie differently than any other movie we’d made…”
CRAZY PINK AURORAS: Does Solar Minimum turn auroras pink? Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle are starting to wonder. For the second winter in a row, unusual pink lights have exploded in the night sky when the sun is blank–no sunspots. Solar wind from the “low activity” sun is producing pink auroras so bright that the Arctic landscape itself is turning pink. Visit Spaceweather.com for pictures of these unusual auroras and more information about the underlying physics.
Remember, SpaceWeather.com is on Facebook!
By Steve Vertlieb: With the most beloved robot in movie history…the original “Robby, The Robot” from Forbidden Planet. Robby and I met at film director William Malone’s home and, for me, this was a lifelong dream come true. Robby captured my childhood imagination in 1956 when I was just ten years old, and I couldn’t stop grinning when I saw him in person. Bill has offered Robby to the world once more, and this beloved robot has been sold during a bidding selection offered through Bonham’s and Turner Classic Movies. I am forever indebted to Bill Malone for allowing me to spend precious moments with our beloved Robby at his home several summers ago.
I was as giddy and as excited as a star struck ten-year-old (my age when I first encountered Robby in “Forbidden Planet” at the Benner Theater in 1956) when I met “Robby, The Robot” in person in August, 2014. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and befriend many of my lifelong heroes over the past seventy-odd years, but few were able to generate the excitement and little boy wonder I felt when actually standing next to and touching my beloved “Robby” three summers ago in Los Angeles.
Forbidden Planet’s Robby the Robot sold Nov 21st for $5,375,000 including premium at Bonhams “TCM Presents…Out of this World!” auction. Read more: http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24465/lot/1070
How Robby was salvaged
Snitched from File 770 http://file770.com/?p=39045
By Alan White: Pretty cool about Robby the Robot going for millions.
I wrote about this in Delineator so long ago, and just wanted to add a bit to the story FYI.
Following the MGM auction in 1970, I was working for Ed “Big Daddy” Roth at “Movieworld” in Buena Park.
After the dust had settled on the auction, the owners bought scavenging rights for the MGM lot.
I think they paid $10,000 for anything they could haul out of there. This was only a few weeks prior to the whole place being bulldozed for condos and stuff.
The owner, Jimmy Brucker, Ed Roth and I found tons of stuff abandoned in boxcars on the lot.
I don’t recall how they got their hands on Robby, but I could see across the lot on the other side of some tall underbrush, all the wall panels from inside the United Planets Cruiser C57D, plus the large ray guns placements they used when fighting the ID monster.
I set out through all this shoulder high plants, and half-way across, stumbled into Robby’s hot rod hidden amongst all this vegetation. It was a wreck as you can see in the pic. Yes, I’ll have to rescan these pics one of these days.
The wall panels and control desk without the big space globe could never be rebuilt. Everything had been left to the elements since, I suppose, 1956.
Thanks to ‘The Kustom Car King” Ed Roth, Robby and the car were rebuilt and put on display at Movieworld.
The car came inches from winding up under a construction site.
So there you see only 3 degrees of separation between Rat Fink and the ID Monster!
We invite our members, friends, family, and all Montreal area fandom to join us for our annual Holiday Feast, which will happen on December 9th,18:00h, at the Irish Embassy Pub and Grill, http://www.irish-embassy.com/ , 1234 Bishop, just below Ste-Catherine.
The holiday menu is now confirmed with the pub and will feature a choice of salad or soup, brownie or apple cake, and a choice of one of these main dishes:
Prime Rib au jus, Maple glazed salmon, Turkey dinner, Linguine Pomodoro.
The cost of the meal is 25$ + taxes and 17% gratuity, except for the linguine which is vegetarian, and is priced at 20$
Please RSPV to <firstname.lastname@example.org> not obligatory, in case you get a sudden urge to drop in, but the pub appreciates getting the number of seats right.
There will be raffle prizes!!
There will be fun!
The theme is: Surprise! Wear your brightest (or silliest!)) seasonal sweater or hat!
The First Doctor Enters The Twelfth Doctor’s TARDIS – Christmas Special Preview
In this issue of The National Fantasy Fan
Boost the N3F!—Directorate Acts—Games Bureau
Birthday Card Bureau—Round Robins—Memberships
Treasurer’s Reports—N’APA—Directorate Acts
Fan-Pro Coordinating Bureau—Franking Bureau—Round Robins
Welcommittee—Writers Exchange Bureau—Membership Recruitment Bureau
N3F Founding Members: Arthur E. Sehnert
Neglected Genre Authors: David H. Keller, M. D.
Fiction Published SF/F/H Novels-October 2017—Review—Space Doctor
Candidate Statements—Constitution and Bylaws