Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Celebrate Yuri's Night 2017 with 'Star Trek' actors and NASA

Happy Yuri's Night!  As I wrote last year, this is the day of the year when I celebrate the promise of space.  I've been doing a lot of that lately with SpaceX and the NASA budget, but I'm going to mark the occasion with this message from the original Chekov from Star Trek as Walter Koenig Shares Why He Celebrates Yuri's Night.

Walter Koenig, who famously portrayed Pavel Chekov in Star Trek and Alfred Bester in the Babylon 5 series explains how Yuri Gagarin's flight was a step forward for humankind and a step towards humanity's future.
I couldn't have said it better myself, which is why I embedded the video.

Koenig wasn't the only former Star Trek actor to celebrate Yuri's Night.  Last year, Robert Picardo, the doctor from "Star Trek: Voyager" included a celebration of Yuri's Night in April's Planetary Post from The Planetary Society.

Welcome to the third installment of The Planetary Post, our monthly newsletter from Robert Picardo featuring the most notable space happenings. This month we head to the California Science Center to celebrate Yuri’s Night, one of the biggest space celebrations in Los Angeles.
That was a lot more fun than Koenig alternating between hope and DOOM.  It also called for an update of current space events via This Week @NASA for April 7, 2017 instead of a bunch of year-old space news.

NASA held a news conference April 4 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with participation from NASA headquarters, to preview the final phase of the Cassini spacecraft’s mission to Saturn. On April 26, Cassini will begin its “Grand Finale” – a series of deep dives between the planet and its rings. No other mission has ever explored this unique region that is so close to the planet. Cassini will make 22 orbits that swoop between the rings and the planet before ending its 20-year mission on Sept. 15, with a final plunge into Saturn. The mission team hopes to gain powerful insights into the planet's internal structure and the origins of the rings, obtain the first-ever sampling of Saturn's atmosphere and particles coming from the main rings, and capture the closest-ever views of Saturn's clouds and inner rings. Also, Next Space Station Crew Travels to Launch Site, New Target Launch Date for Orbital ATK Mission to ISS, Lightfoot Visits Industry Partners, Human Exploration Rover Challenge, and John Glenn Interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
With that, my readers and I are up to speed.  Stay tuned for Apophis Day, when I celebrate the perils space poses to Earth.  I hope my readers appreciate the juxtaposition as much as I do.


  1. Sad about the loss of John Glenn. At least he lived to be 95. Short space flights don't have long-term harmful effects, it seems.

    Sad too about the impending loss of the Cassini probe. But perhaps a Viking funeral in Saturn's atmosphere is the most suitable end. We demand a lot from our machines.

    1. I was sad, too, and expressed my grief in Godspeed John Glenn and R.I.P. I'm just surprised that it took this long to inter him in Arlington, a fitting resting place for him.

      As for Cassini, that will be another end to an era. Still, I agree with you that a Viking funeral is the best end for the probe. That means it's now time to pay more attention to Juno.