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August 2, 2016

Debut from Booker-winner, final Canadian appearance of Stan Lee among announced Fan Expo programming

Debut from Booker-winner, final Canadian appearance of Stan Lee among announced Fan Expo programming

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Toronto, Ontario‘s 2016 Fan Expo Canada, scheduled for September 1–4, includes farewells to some US icons, and the debut of a new work by a Canadian icon. The first batch of programming was announced in a media release late last week.

Culture and entertainment
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Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on a Saturday night in 2005
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Photograph of the Expo in progress, taken from a high vantage point, showing crowds of attendees among booths arranged in a grid.

File photo of The Expo floor in 2015.
Image: GabboT (flickr).

Saturday, September 3, acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood is to launch her graphic novel Angel Catbird, with illustrator Johnnie Christmas. The panel includes a question and answer session and an opportunity to purchase the book before its general release date. Other recent firsts from the 76-year-old Booker Award-winning Atwood include a chamber opera that debuted in 2014, participating in the Twitter Fiction Festival in 2015, and being the first writer included in the Future Library project, her Scribbler Moon not to be read until 2114.

Stan Lee, now 93, is in the midst of what he claims to be his final convention tour. As first announced in February, the Spider-Man, Iron-Man, and X-Men creator is to make his final Canadian convention appearance at Fan Expo. Also bidding adieu to the convention circuit are Adam West and Burt Ward, from the original Batman television series, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The remainder of the announced schedule includes various programs for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, including appearances by actors William Shatner, George Takei, and Nichelle Nichols, the four day long Geekfest Film Festival, and a live script reading of Ghostbusters by voice acting legends Rob Paulsen, Bill Farmer, Maurice LaMarche, and David Hayter. Panels include The Dark Knight III team, including a rare appearance by Frank Miller, the cast of Sailor Moon, and an exclusive panel of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.

The 750,000 square foot event projects “over 140,000” attendees this year to Toronto’s Metro Toronto Convention Centre.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Debut from Booker-winner, final Canadian appearance of Stan Lee among announced Fan Expo Canada programming

Debut from Booker-winner, final Canadian appearance of Stan Lee among announced Fan Expo Canada programming

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Toronto, Ontario‘s 2016 Fan Expo Canada, scheduled for September 1–4, includes farewells to some US icons, and the debut of a new work by a Canadian icon. The first batch of programming was announced in a media release late last week.

Culture and entertainment
Related articles

Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on a Saturday night in 2005
Collaborate!
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Photograph of the Expo in progress, taken from a high vantage point, showing crowds of attendees among booths arranged in a grid.

File photo of The Expo floor in 2015.
Image: GabboT (flickr).

Saturday, September 3, acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood is to launch her graphic novel Angel Catbird, with illustrator Johnnie Christmas. The panel includes a question and answer session and an opportunity to purchase the book before its general release date. Other recent firsts from the 76-year-old Booker Award-winning Atwood include a chamber opera that debuted in 2014, participating in the Twitter Fiction Festival in 2015, and being the first writer included in the Future Library project, her Scribbler Moon not to be read until 2114.

Stan Lee, now 93, is in the midst of what he claims to be his final convention tour. As first announced in February, the Spider-Man, Iron-Man, and X-Men creator is to make his final Canadian convention appearance at Fan Expo. Also bidding adieu to the convention circuit are Adam West and Burt Ward, from the original Batman television series, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The remainder of the announced schedule includes various programs for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, including appearances by actors William Shatner, George Takei, and Nichelle Nichols, the four day long Geekfest Film Festival, and a live script reading of Ghostbusters by voice acting legends Rob Paulsen, Bill Farmer, Maurice LaMarche, and David Hayter. Panels include The Dark Knight III team, including a rare appearance by Frank Miller, the cast of Sailor Moon, and an exclusive panel of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.

The 750,000 square foot event projects “over 140,000” attendees this year to Toronto’s Metro Toronto Convention Centre.



Sources[]

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 2, 2012

US fans turn out for 2012 Phoenix Comicon

US fans turn out for 2012 Phoenix Comicon

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

At the Phoenix Comicon 2012, 30,000 fans turned out for the stars and monsters, and some walked away with autographs. Friends Hunter Lewis, Justin Rose, Ryan Scola and Taylor Fajen acquired Jon Bernthal’s autograph.
Video: Crtew.

Fans at Phoenix Comicon 2012 pose behind backdrops and throughout the Phoenix Convention Center. From back left to right: Tony “Swordman” Camp, Jim “Batman” Camp, and Tina “Good Witch” Camp. From front left to right: Katie “Super Woman” and her cousin Stella “Bat Girl” Camp.
Image: Crtew.

After getting Jon Bernthal’s autograph, friends (from left to right) Ryan Scola, Justin Rose, Taylor Fajen (as creeper box head) and Hunter Lewis celebrate their new possessions.
Image: Crtew.

At Phoenix Comicon 2012, fans, like “The Zombie Chicks,” entertained other fans by dressing up and playing their parts. From left to right: Zombies Tori Hoganson, Emmalaine Wright and Lyle Yanak.
Image: Crtew.

Camera operator Joey Deihl captures the frightening moment when 13th Floor Haunted House character “Nemesis” meets his friend Montana E. at Phoenix Comicon 2012.
Image: Crtew.

Eddie Deleon and Raquel Munguia pose with the 13th Floor Haunted House monster “Colossus” at Phoenix Comicon 2012.
Image: Crtew.

Phoenix, Arizona — Last weekend, Phoenix fans of comics, science fiction, horror, fantasy, cos-play, anime and manga, Society for Creative Anachronism, and more, marked a milestone as the city held its tenth annual Phoenix Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center. The event — which is entirely the work of more than 700 volunteers according to coordinator Colin Aprill — generated around US$5 million for the “Valley of the Sun” during its four-day run. Wikinews was there.

As one unknown source from the crowd was overheard saying, “It’s all about the fans.” Descending into the hall by escalator gave a sense of the scale to the creativity in the center. Fans could be seen scattering about in a flurry of motion on their way from one event to another and producing their own spectacle, most in costume, on their way.

This year the four-day convention in the Valley was estimated to set a new attendance record as 30,000 visitors showed. Most were clothed in costumes that transformed themselves into Batmans, creeper box heads, furries, Lady and Knight couple, pirates, pixies, Star Trek officers, Star Wars‘ Empire troopers, Superwomen, and zombies. One of the most common activities at Comicon was people taking photos of each other while they took turns posing or snapping shots.

The Camp family stopped intermittently to have their photos taken by others. The Camps were led by eldest brother Jim “Batman” Camp. He attended Comicon with his sister Tina “Good Witch” Camp, who brought her daughter Katie “Super Woman.” Sibling Tony Camp, who attended with his daughter Stella “Bat Girl,” was said to be “the instigator” behind the family’s turnout at Comicon. “You get to be dressed up and can act goofy, and you don’t feel weird because everybody is dressing up, too,” said Tony about the family-friendly event.

The exhibit hall was filled with artists and merchants selling comic books, trinkets, memorabilia, wares and keepsakes. Amidst the shoppers, the photo opportunities continued to attract the most attention. For all the star-studded autograph booths and an artist alley with famed comic book artists, the most fun was simply enjoying the presence of other fans in costume.

The Thirteenth Floor Haunted House took advantage of the photo-op activity by supplying monsters “Nemesis” and “Collosus” for more of this activity. Manager Tim Pugsley says the company owns five out of the top 1300 haunted houses in the United States. The monsters’ human counterparts remained anonymous on purpose. “The characters don’t get ruined that way,” said a handler.

Montana E. had his picture taken with “Nemesis” by friend Joey Deihl, while Eddie Deleon and young Raquel Munguia posed with “Collosus.”

Fans also gathered Saturday for a flash mob event, in which people danced or acted to Michael Jackson’s mega-hit song “Thriller”. An entertainment group calling themselves “The Zombie Chicks” attended the flash mob and then later drifted in trance through the exhibitor hall of the convention center. “We’re here for the performance, not for the stuff,” said Tori Hoganson, who pointed like a bored consumer at the trinkets in a stall. She was careful to use as few words as possible to speak her mind out of character before going back mindfully to her mindless performance. She was accompanied by her friends, who in human form are known as Emmalaine Wright and Lyle Yanak. The group was watched closely and held at bay by “The Keeper” Ben Fondren, who lurked nearby as a faceless shadow.

The fans also turned out to see big stars, like William Shatner, who portrayed Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series; LeVar Burton, who is synonymous with the ship’s engineer Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation; or Jon Bernthal, who was the sometimes hero and sometimes anti-hero Shane Walsh in the TV series The Waking Dead.

Father and son John and David Phelps, who are both Star Trek fans, attended the event together and were excited to see Shatner. “He can be funny, but he’s also fun to laugh at,” said John Phelps with a smile. His son David liked to laugh at Shatner when the artist attempted to sing. Shatner has had an alternative “tongue-in-cheek” career singing hits such as “Common People” on the 2004 album Has Been.

Hunter Lewis got Jon Bernthal’s autograph, which came penned with the message, “I F@&#’in hate Zombies.” Zombies were the main source of the angst that bedeviled characters in his hit TV show. Hunter’s friends Justin Rose, Ryan Scola and Taylor Fagen also met with Bernthal in the autograph line. This was just one of many examples of how friends and family were bonding and sharing together in the spectacle throughout the convention center.

There were also breakout sessions for classes, performances, gaming, and crafts. Nyki Robertson Crosby, a.k.a. “Lady Thunder,” who is the matriarch of one of the largest houses for the Society for Creative Anachronism in the Phoenix area, sponsored a class on creating a “Basic T-shirt Tunic” so that anyone who wanted to attend an S.C.A. event in costume could fit in with a minimal investment in time, effort and money. She said the secret is to create a costume that could be one someone would wear between 600–1600 A.D. “We’re the Society of Creative Anachronism and not the Society of Creative Accuracy,” Robertson Crosby said.

The Phoenix Comicon was carnivalesque in its look and feel. And it spread well beyond the convention center as knights and Wonderland characters and more walked the streets of Phoenix and lunched and dined with the “civilians”. The civilians were the ones who kept asking, “What’s going on?”

They may have been “out of towners” visiting the “Valley of the Sun” between May 24–27, because after ten years, Phoenix now has an established tradition.

This year’s largest Comicon is to be Comic-Con International San Diego 2012, July 12–15 in California.



Sources

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December 28, 2009

Elvish, Klingon and Na\’vi: Constructed languages gain foothold in film

Elvish, Klingon and Na’vi: Constructed languages gain foothold in film

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Film
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Ingmar Bergman, 1957
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The release of the movie Avatar, written and directed by James Cameron, has generated increased interest in the field of constructed language, also known as conlang. Cameron asked American linguistics professor Paul Frommer to develop a language spoken by the extraterrestrial people in the film known as the Na’vi.

Klingon language alphabet, from Klingon Language Institute
Image: Brian Ammon.

Author J. R. R. Tolkien developed Elvish languages for his literary series The Lord of the Rings. The Elvish language was featured in scenes of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson.

The Klingon language (tlhIngan Hol) was developed by linguist Marc Okrand, initially for use in the 1984 film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Okrand drew inspiration from Klingon lines spoken by actor James Doohan in the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Doohan portrayed character Montgomery Scott in the Star Trek series. A dictionary for Klingon developed by Okrand, The Klingon Dictionary sold over 300,000 copies.

Cquote1.svg You know your alien language has taken off when a German guy translates rap songs into it. Cquote2.svg

National Public Radio on Klenginem

Klingon became quite popular and has developed a usage among Star Trek fans. The Klingon Terran Research Ensemble in the Netherlands created an opera in Klingon. The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare was translated into Klingon. A German Trekkie who goes by the moniker Klenginem posted videos to YouTube where he raps songs he translated into Klingon by musician Eminem. Klenginem has been cited recently in pieces on constructed language in The New York Times, ABC News Nightline, and National Public Radio. “You know your alien language has taken off when a German guy translates rap songs into it,” said National Public Radio of Klenginem.

Linguistics professor Frommer received his PhD degree from the University of Southern California (USC), and subsequently shifted his focus into the business arena. He returned to USC to teach at the Marshall School of Business. Cameron tasked Frommer with creating an entire language for the Na’vi people.

In an interview with Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times, Frommer voiced hope that the language would continue to be used separate from the movie, as Klingon has. “I’m still working and I hope that the language will have a life of its own,” said Frommer. The Na’vi language created by Frommer contains over 1,000 words, as well as a structural system and rules format for usage. Frommer told Vanity Fair that the language was fairly developed, commenting, “It’s got a perfectly consistent sound system, and grammar, orthography, syntax”.

Cquote1.svg I hope that the language will have a life of its own. Cquote2.svg

Linguistics professor Paul Frommer

Frommer explained the direction given to him before creating the language, “Cameron wanted something melodious and musical, something that would sound strange and alien but smooth and appealing.” The Avatar writer-director provided Frommer with approximately three dozen words of the Na’vi language he used in his scriptment for the film. “That was the starting point. Probably the most exotic thing I added were ejectives, which are these sorts of popping sounds that are found in different languages from around the world. It’s found in Native American languages and in parts of Africa and in Central Asia, the Caucasus,” explained Frommer. Cameron and Frommer worked together for four years developing the language.

The linguistics professor relied on inspiration provided by Cameron, and avoided drawing upon influences from Elvish, Klingon, and the international auxiliary language Esperanto. Sample words in the Na’vi language include “Uniltìrantokx” (oo-neel-tih-RAHN-tokx), meaning “Avatar”, and “tireaioang” (tee-REH-ah-ee-o-ahng), which means “spirit animal”. Maclean’s reported that fans of Avatar were anxious for more instructive material from professor Frommer about the language in order to learn how to speak it with others that appreciated the film. “The response has been quite remarkable and totally unexpected. I never thought there’d be this level of interest. But I really don’t think of Na’vi as a competitor to Klingon. If it does develop a following, that would be quite wonderful,” said Frommer of the response to the language from Avatar fans.

Cquote1.svg We wanted to ‘out-Klingon’ Klingon. Cquote2.svg

Avatar writer-director James Cameron

The Na’vi language is itself a minor plot point in the film Avatar. The character Jake Sully portrayed by Sam Worthington endeavors to learn the language while living on Pandora. A botanist portrayed by actress Sigourney Weaver instructs a scientist played by actor Joel David Moore on how to become conversational in the language.

Zoe Saldaña, the actress behind warrior princess Neytiri in Avatar, picked up the Na’vi language faster than her fellow cast members. “Zoe owned the language and everyone had to match her, even her accent,” said Cameron. Saldaña remarked that the most difficult part about acting in the film was speaking in English with the accent of the Na’vi people. Cameron touted the rich nature of the Na’vi language in publicity for his film. “We wanted to ‘out-Klingon’ Klingon. The best sci-fi movies immerse the audience in that world until it doesn’t seem alien to them,” said Cameron to USA Today.



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Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Na’vi language
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Constructed language
  • Wiktionary-logo.svg Appendix:Na’vi

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March 19, 2009

Harlan Ellison sues CBS-Paramount, WGA over Star Trek royalties

Harlan Ellison sues CBS-Paramount, WGA over Star Trek royalties

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Harlan Ellison addresses fans at a convention in 2006. Photo: David Dyer-Bennet

Science fiction author Harlan Ellison announced, in a press release dated March 13, 2009, that he is suing television company CBS Paramount Television for failure to pay residuals to Ellison for the Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”. Ellison is also suing writers’ union the Writers Guild of America, west (WGA), of which he is a member, for failing to diligently pursue Ellison’s royalties from Paramount.

In a strongly and colorfully worded press release, Ellison and his lawyer alleged that Paramount had failed to pay the author royalties on derivative works such as tie-in novels based on the story as well as merchandise based on the episode such as a 2004 talking Christmas ornament which recited lines from the episode.

The suit comes two months before the release of a film, titled simply “Star Trek”, which will re-launch the longstanding multimedia science-fiction franchise. The film will be the first original, official Star Trek video material since the series “Star Trek: Enterprise” was canceled in mid-2005. CBS Paramount is also gearing up for the April release of the first series of Star Trek, including “City on the Edge of Forever”, on Blu-Ray high-definition disc.

Cquote1.svg It ain’t about the ‘principle,’ friend, its about the MONEY! Pay Me! Cquote2.svg

—Harlan Ellison, press release

Ellison, however, states: “And please make sure to remember, at the moment some Studio mouthpiece calls me a mooch, and says I’m only pursuing this legal retribution to get into their ‘deep pockets,’ tell’m Ellison snarled back, ‘F- – – -in’-A damn skippy!’ I’m no hypocrite. It ain’t about the ‘principle,’ friend, its[sic] about the MONEY! Pay Me! Am I doing this for other writers, for Mom (still dead), and apple pie? Hell no! I’m doing it for the 35-year-long disrespect and the money!”

The suit is not the first time contention has arisen between Ellison and Star Trek since he wrote the episode. In 1995 the author, in the book Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever, accused Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry of “demented lies” about the episode. He also stated at the time: “I’ve never seen more than a pittance from ‘The City on the Edge of Forever,’ while every thug and studio putz and semiliterate bandwagon-jumper and merchandiser has grown fat as a maggot in a corpse off what I created.”

Roddenberry, who died in 1991, stated in numerous interviews that Ellison’s original script was unsuitable for reasons of content and budget, and rewrote it heavily. The episode as aired won the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, while Ellison’s original script won a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Dramatic Hour-Long Script.

Ellison’s suit against the WGA West, meanwhile, is for the symbolic amount of one dollar. He asserts he is seeking “a judicial determination as to whether the WGA is doing what its stated purpose has been since day-one! To fight and negotiate for him and other writers. To obtain misappropriated, withheld, hidden earnings, no matter how minuscule or difficult to retrieve – but HIS, nonetheless.” Ellison took part in picketing during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.

Requests for comment from CBS-Paramount and the WGA were not returned.

Harlan Ellison became established in the science fiction community in the 1950s and won awards and acclaim for short work such as the 1969 novella “A Boy and his Dog” and the 1967 short story “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”. He has also been the plaintiff in several high-profile lawsuits, suing a person who posted some of his copyrighted work on Usenet along with the ISPs hosting the work in 2000 and in 2006 suing Fantagraphics for defamation; Ellison won the first lawsuit and settled the second. Also in 2006, he controversially groped the breast of fellow author Connie Willis at the 64th World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles during the presentation of Willis’s Hugo Award; Ellison later apologized for the incident.



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December 19, 2008

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, wife of \’Star Trek\’ creator dies of cancer at 76

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, wife of ‘Star Trek’ creator dies of cancer at 76

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Majel in 2007.
Image: Taric Alani.

Actress Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who was the wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, has died of leukemia at the age of 76. According to a spokesperson, Roddenberry died in her home in Bel-Air, California.

Roddenberry was probably most known for her role as the voice of the computers in nearly every Star Trek television spinoff series from the 1960’s to present time. She is also the voice of the computer in the upcoming movie by director J.J. Abrams, Star Trek. Majel also played Nurse Chapel in the original Star Trek series starring William Shatner and later played Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Majel also starred in other TV shows not related to Star Trek such as Earth: Final Conflict, The Lucy Show, Leave it to Beaver and Genesis II.

Majel’s husband Gene died in 1991 of heart failure. After his death, Majel took over the Star Trek franchise and put several of Gene’s unfinished projects into production which included two television shows.



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Wikipedia Learn more about Majel Barrett on Wikipedia.
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September 1, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: September 1, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: September 1, 2008 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: September 1, 2008

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A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, September 1, 2008.

German Television reportedly manipulates interview with Putin

ARD, a German television channel allegedly manipulated an interview with Russian Prime Minister Putin. Reportedly, more then half of the interview was cut and dropped. A spokesperson for the channel have said that there was no manipulation of the interview which was published on August 30th, 2008.

Sources


Star Trek: The Experience to close

Star Trek: The Experience, located in the Las Vegas Hilton, is due to close its doors after a 10 year run. Even though the attraction is popular, the tenant, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., could not come to an agreement with the Hilton over the terms of a new lease. The Experience will end with a decommissioning ceremony modeled after the US Navy, at 10PM on September 1st.

Sources


Dark Knight hits $500 million

‘The Dark Knight’, the 2008 film sequel to ‘Batman Begins’, has hit the $500 million mark in the domestic box office. It is only the second movie in history to hit this mark. The first film was ‘Titanic’, and completed it’s run at over $600 million. ‘The Dark Knight’, while taking only six weeks to do what ‘Titanic’ took 3 months, is not expected to beat out the number one player. Recently ‘The Dark Knight’ has been topped by “Tropic Thunder” in the domestic box offices.

Sources


Hazmat incident closes two St. Louis ERs

Two hospital emergency rooms in St. Louis were closed and quarantined after several patients arrived claiming to have been exposed to hazardous chemicals. Three men arrived at St. Anthony’s Medical center, three showed up at SSM DePaul Health Center and while an additional person was seen at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which did not have its emergency room closed. The chemical was later identified as nitroaniline. So far two have died from the effects of the chemical.

Sources



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August 3, 2008

Falcon 1 rocket fails during third launch attempt

Falcon 1 rocket fails during third launch attempt

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

An engine test being conducted on a Falcon 1 in 2005
Image: Mark Mackley.

A SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket has failed during its third attempt to reach orbit. Over four years behind schedule, the rocket lifted off from Omelek Island, part of Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, at 03:34 GMT this morning, carrying three technology development satellites, and the ashes of 208 people, including astronaut Gordon Cooper, and Star Trek actor James Doohan. According to a statement issued by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the first and second stages of the rocket failed to separate, making this the third consecutive unsuccessful launch for the Falcon 1, which is yet to conduct a successful mission. Musk described the failure as a “big disappointment”.

The primary payload for this flight was the Trailblazer satellite, which was to have been operated by the United States Air Force, and MDA. Two CubeSats, Pharmasat Risk Evaluation Satellite (PREsat) and Nanosail-D, were also to have been deployed. The CubeSats would have been operated by NASA and Santa Clara University. The space burial capsules, named Explorers and operated by Celestis, were to have intentionally remained bolted to the second stage of the rocket. The remains of several famous individuals were flown, most notably Project Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and actor James Doohan, best known for his role as Montgomery Scott in the science fiction television series Star Trek. Director John Meredyth Lucas, who also worked on Star Trek, had some of his ashes on the flight as well, as did Mareta West an astrogeologist who was responsible for choosing the landing sites for the Apollo missions to the Moon. This is the second consecutive failure of a major orbital space burial mission, following a failed Taurus launch in September 2001. The last successful major orbital space burial was conducted in December 1999, although a single burial capsule was launched aboard the New Horizons spacecraft in 2006.

This launch was originally planned to occur in early 2004, with the TacSat-1 satellite and the Explorers payload. It would have been the maiden flight of the Falcon 1. A number of procurement delays pushed it to 2005, and subsequent issues with the availability of Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg AFB, from where it was originally scheduled to launch, led to the first attempts to launch being made in late 2005. During the second attempted countdown, a faulty valve caused the first stage fuel tank to be deformed, leading to a delay.

In March 2006, a flight which was originally scheduled to be conducted after this one, with the FalconSat-2 spacecraft, was launched as the maiden flight, and ended in failure less than a minute after lift-off due to a fuel leak. This caused delays for all other Falcon launches, and a test flight without a functional payload was added to the schedule in order to ensure that the problems with the rocket had been resolved. This was launched in March 2007, and also failed – this time due to a sequence of events started by human error in setting the fuel ratio for the first stage. Despite the failure to reach orbit, most critical systems were tested, so the third flight was cleared to launch an operational payload.

In the meantime, the satellite that was to replace TacSat-1, TacSat-2, was launched, and TacSat-1 was subsequently cancelled as obsolete. During early 2008, the US Air Force announced that they would replace it with a satellite for a programme called Jumpstart, which would be selected a few weeks before launch. Trailblazer was chosen in late May, over two other options, PnPSat, or a pair of CubeSats. The launch was at that time scheduled for late June, but it was subsequently delayed due to small cracks in one of the rocket’s engines.

Today’s launch followed an eventful countdown, lasting almost to the end of the five hour launch window, with the loading of helium onto the rocket taking longer than expected, and requiring several long holds. Following this, an attempt to launch was made at 03:00 GMT, which resulted in a last-second abort at T-0, just after ignition of the main engine, due to a marginal performance issue with the turbopump. The launch was recycled, and the rocket lifted off 34 minutes later.

This was the first flight of an uprated version of the Merlin engine, which powers the first stage. The new version, named Merlin-1C, features regenerative cooling as opposed to ablative cooling used on the earlier launches. It is believed that the failure of the launch was unrelated to the presence of the new engine, the performance of which was described as “picture-perfect” by Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX.

The next Falcon 1 launch was scheduled to have been launched in September with the Razaksat spacecraft for ATSB of Malaysia, and up to three CubeSats. This will almost certainly be delayed whilst the failure is investigated. It is unclear whether this failure will affect the maiden flight of the larger Falcon 9, currently scheduled for 2009, on a demonstration mission for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services programme. Today’s launch is the 38th orbital launch of 2008, and following the resale and recovery of the AMC-14 satellite, the first outright failure of the year.



Related news

Sources

Wikipedia Learn more about SpaceX and Falcon 1 on Wikipedia.
Wikinews
Some information contained in this article was obtained from television, radio, or live webcast sources. Reporter’s notes and the broadcast source details are available at the collaboration page.


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July 24, 2007

Press conference to be held Thursday on new \’Star Trek 11\’ movie

Press conference to be held Thursday on new ‘Star Trek 11’ movie

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Initial “teaser” poster, if you will, for Star Trek XI

Wikinews has learned that George Takei, who played Sulu on the American television show Star Trek, has announced on the radio talk show Coast to Coast AM With George Noory on Monday night that a “press conference” will be held on Thursday July 26 regarding the new Star Trek 11 movie. The movie is planned to be released in December 2008.

“I understand that there will be a press conference on Thursday, regarding the new Star Trek movie, and major casting announcements will be made then,” said Takei.

Brad Altman of www.georgetakei.com, has told Wikinews that the conference is scheduled to take place at the San Diego Comic Convention on July 26 from 1:00 p.m. (pacific time) until 3:30 p.m..

The director of the new movie, J. J. Abrams is expected to announce a “few surprises,” says a statement posted on the Comic-Con 2007 website.

The conference is apparently to put to rest rumors that started to circulate online that Matt Damon was going to star in the new movie as Captain James T. Kirk. Damon later said in an interview with ign.com that he was “too old” to play the role and that it was nothing but an “internet rumor” and that he was not approached by anyone to be in the film.

It is rumored that Leonard Nimoy will be cast as Spock, or that Zachary Quinto will play the role.

It is also rumored that the movie will be a prequel to the TV show. According to IMDb the movie is going to be “set before ‘The Original Series’ [when] Kirk and Spock are newly graduated Cadets fresh from Starfleet Academy and are sent on their first space mission.”


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February 26, 2007

CBS to invest in Electric Sheep Company

CBS to invest in Electric Sheep Company – Wikinews, the free news source

CBS to invest in Electric Sheep Company

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Monday, February 26, 2007

CBS logo.

The officials from CBS stated on Monday that the company is going to invest in virtual world content developer Electric Sheep Co., which develops 3D properties in several virtual worlds like the one called Second Life.

In recent months corporate investors are paying more attention to virtual worlds. This is mainly due to the fact that the audience is shifting from TV to Internet. Another advantage of virtual worlds is that they can help in marketing products and promoting brands.

The Interactive President of CBS, Quinsy Smith, sees the virtual worlds as platforms for the next generations. The Chief Executive of Electric Sheep, Sibley Verbeck, mentioned in an interview that the company has the goal of helping entertainment companies to gain their clients from virtual worlds like Second Life. Then Electric Sheep will provide more entertainment experiences for clientèle. With money invested by CBS, Electric Sheep plans to develop software that will create virtual worlds for mainstream consumption.

Electric Sheep developed several projects for CBS, including “The L-Word in Second Life”. CBS also filmed a commercial within Second Life in order to promote its show called “Two and a Half Men.”

Currently Electric Sheep is developing inside Second Life a Star Trek-themed area for CBS.

Sources

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