FNN Edition 17

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Star Fleet News


Millions Dead, Planet Destroyed

Stardate 20910.01

More information has been learned regarding the situation on Tekna. Approximately four million Federation citizens were reported dead on the planet Tekna after mass amounts of seismic activity overran the planet. Upon receiving distress calls from the planet, Star Fleet dispatched vessels to the area to render assistance. The planet had been experiencing earthquakes for several hours. Eyewitness reports state that one of the cities had been swallowed into the ground.

The USS Copernicus and the USS Dauntless rendered assistance to the planet, and lead a convoy of a dozen civilian vessels in evacuation operations. Star Fleet scientists worked against the clock to determine the cause of the quakes, which as of press time still remains unknown. Approximately one million Teknian colonists were evacuated from the planet before earthquakes in the 9+ range of the Richter scale over took the landscape.

Eyewitnesses state that the scene was like the planet was tearing itself apart. Fire and magma rivers tore through the city, the massive buildings built there were consumed as the ground buckled and consumed everything on the surface. Creatures made of fire are reported to have been crawling from the fire, attacking and setting fire to anything in its range. One witness is quoted with calling these creatures “fire lizards”, and claims that it took six Star Fleet security officers to take one down. Star Fleet has yet to confirm or deny these claims.

Refugees have been taken to Starbase Alpha where they have been given temporary residences, medical assistance, and counseling to aid with the situation. Doctors indicate that many are suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder due to the circumstances of their planet.

Anyone wanting information regarding the Tekna refugees is asked to submit and information request at their local Star Fleet offices.


Lt [JG] Jackson Kelley

Stardate 20910.01

Hello all, its Cestly Wrusher back with another great conversation. And this one was totally by accident. On a recent trip back to Star Fleet Academy to cover a story, I saw this handsome young man sitting alone on a bench in the garden. By his uniform, I could tell that he was an instructor but oh, he looked young enough to be one of the cadets. He looked a little sad and lonely, so I just sat down beside him.

CW: Hello, young man, and who might you be.

JK: Hi, I’m Jackson Kelley, an instructor here at the Academy.

CW: Oh my, you have such an interesting accent, where in the world are you from?

JK: Toccoa, Georgia.

CW: Oh! A Southern Gentleman. I just love a southern accent. How long have you been an instructor here? You look like you just graduated yourself.

JK: (Laughs) Actually, not very long. Before, coming here, I served as a doctor on Star Base Alpha and before that on the USS Springfield. I’m 27, I just look young.

CW: Why, yes you do. So why did you decide to become an instructor?

JK: To be honest, I wasn’t happy at the Star Base, and then I read an announcement that the Academy was looking for instructors so I applied and was chosen.

CW: How do you like it so far? Teaching that is.

JK: I really enjoy it, I wasn’t sure that I would at first, but really do. I feel like I make a real contribution.

CW: Well, I am sure that you do. But tell me something, you seem a little distracted, even lonely sitting here. What were you thinking about.

JK: (Smiles) My past. The news of the war ending brought back a few memories.

CW: Oh memories? Good ones or bad ones?

JK: Both I guess, some very good ones and some not so good. I lost a lot of friends in the war, including my best friend Joan. I’ve been thinking about her lately, how much fun we had back on the Springfield. If it wasn’t for the war, she and a lot of other people would still be alive. It all hard to make sense of sometimes.

CW: War is a horrible thing, but we have to move on dear, not only for those who were lost, but especially for those who are still here. You obviously are where you are supposed to be. Star Fleet’s ranks have unfortunately been depleted. You along with the other instructors and administrators have a great task ahead of you. You must train and prepare cadets so they can fill those vacant ranks so can continue to keep peace in the Federation.

JK: You’re right, thanks. I’m sorry, I don’t believe I caught your name.

CW: I’m Cestly, and you’ve made a new friend today. Are you single by change, I have a niece that you should, oh well, we can save that for another time.

Well, that was my conversation with Lieutenant Junior Grade Jackson Kelley, and a doctor I might add. Just one of the many excellent instructors who will be shaping the next generation of Star Fleet Officers.

Until next time, Au Revoir.

Travel the Galaxy


Stardate 20910.01

Do volcanoes, ancient ruins, hot deserts and considerably high gravity sound appealing; then Vulcan is an ideal travel spot for you. Just 16 light years from earth, this unique and fascinating destination is a logical choice.

Weather sweltering across the Fire Plains, swimming in Lake Yuron or hiking in the L-langon Mountains, you will be treated to an array of adventures and awe-inspiring beauty. Along the way you just might find some interesting creatures like the sehlat or Vulcan sandworms, be sure to watch out for and stay away from the Le-matya’s that frequent the foothills of the L-langon Mountains. There predatory nature and poisonous claws can put a damper on your trip.

If its culture you seek, then the cities of Raal, Shi'Kahr, and T'Paal are a must. And if it’s fine cuisine that you’re after, Plomeek broth is a real breakfast treat.

Also, take it from Cestly, if you have an itch to climb Mount Seleya; Don’t! This sacred mountain is off limits. The Vulcan priestess doesn’t take too kindly to tourists. As always, Enjoy!

FedSpace News

Dear Abby

Guest Columnist
Stardate 20910.01

Welcome everyone to a new column here on the FNN, Dear Abby. Each month I will be taking your questions regarding FedSpace procedure and protocols, and getting answers from various Academy personnel and FedSpace admins. No question is too small!

Why do we use certain formatting on the boards?
The way we write our posts on the boards has been standardized because Federation Space is world wide community: we have people from all over the world. If everyone was left to format their own posts in their own way, it would start to get tricky to understand if [ ] or < > or { } meant a comm message. By using this one style, it makes it easier for everyone to follow and understand each others posts.

How come we can only use white for the colour of our posts, and not a different colour?
This is for legibility sakes. With the board’s current background colouring, the white is the easiest to read. Once upon a time there was a specific colour system in place (PC posts were in blue, admins were in red, COs were green, and GMs were purple), but when the boards were redesigned it was determined that too many colours make things more confusing.

Who is the player behind Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno, The Tribble is hilarious!
That’s a mystery, I’m afraid.

How do I become an Academy Instructor?
When the Academy is looking to hire new personnel, the Commandant will make a post in Hailing Frequency. Anyone with the rank of lieutenant junior grade or higher is welcome to apply at that time, with permission of your Commanding Officer.

Have a question for Abby? Please email our Editor-in-Chief!

20 Questions

Midshipman Thomas Brewer

Stardate 20910.02

This month we spoke with John who plays Midshipman Thomas Brewer, Science Officer aboard the USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471.

Age, Sex, Location?
27, Male • Wheeling, West Virginia, USA.

Who was your first character on the site?
Layla Futch, half romulan half human security officer.

What brought you to FedSpace?
A google search. I was just looking for a Star Trek game to play with others and I had heard rumors of an mmo. So I googled role playing and star trek and the rest is celebrated Fedspace history :)

Tell me a little about the process of developing your character.
I am not a writer so character development is always really tough for me and to be honest if you look at my female characters or male characters no mater how hard I try to play them according to their biographies they end up having a lot of me in them. As far as how I come up with their history I just start writing and things just seem to flow to me about who they are.

Do you think it is easier or more difficult to play someone based on yourself?
HAHA well as I said, no matter how hard I try to avoid it - there's always too much of me in the characters I play. That's why I never play an alien race. So I guess for me it's easier to insert my personality here and there into them.

So far, what is your favorite part about being a member of FedSpace?
It would have to be the adventure created by the various story lines that the creative powers that be can come up with. Getting to play through them.

If you were president for a day, what would you change?
I would eliminate the 2 rated PC system. I feel one rated PC is all anyone should be allowed to author.

What do you spend your time outside of FedSpace doing?
Working mostly lol, and spending time with my wife. We both also enjoy Lord of the Rings:Online and playing with our dog. We spend a lot of time at Walmart lol. We also love being outside walking or fishing or just going for a drive.

What is your favorite Star Trek series?
I don't have a favorite. I love them all. :) I know a lot of Trek fans like one or two and don't really care for the others but I look at them all as simply Star Trek and great in their own ways.

Do you have a favourite line or phrase from either a show or movie?
There are so many great moments lol but the most memorable moment or line in Trek for me is Kirk's death in Generations... "...oh my."

Do you have a favourite character from the shows and why?
I'd have to say Quark. I like the Ferengi :)

What piece of Star Trek Technology would you most like to see today?
Anti-gravity generators. It would make a lot of other things possible.

What was it about Star Trek that made you fall in love with the show?
The first episode of Star Trek I ever watched was the first episode of TNG. My grandmother really built it up as something I should watch. She had always been a big fan of the original series. I think her encouragement and just my general fascination as a child with outer space caused Trek to stick to me like glue lol.

What FedSpace person would you most like to meet in real life?
I'd say the President. I'd just like to thank him for his creativity and imagination in coming up with the framework for the site. He's given us all a great chance that otherwise we might not have had to be some small part of Star Trek.

What FedSpace character would you most like to meet in real life?
Commander May, too bad in game he's dead. He was a great guy :)

If you could list one pet-peeve about your fellow players, what would it be?
I know life keeps everyone from posting in one way or another but I hate having to wait a week for a post. I say that though knowing I have been guilty of forcing people to wait a week or more on my posts so i can't come down too hard on anyone, but it would make life on the site a lot more fun I think if everyone posted two to three times a week consistently.

Do you feel there is any disconnect between you and other players based on geographical location?
Um, no I don't think so. I'd love to live closer to a cluster of players but I don't feel disconnected. That's the wonderful nature of the internet. It's real time communication.

What is in your FedSpace future for your character?
Years from now possibly the command of a ship on the site, but as I said, years from now.

What would you most like to do on the site?
One day, many years from now, command a ship on the site. But we're talking a decade from now or more if the site is still around. Which I hope it will be :)

If there was one thing you would want everyone to know about you, what would that be?
That im just here to have fun. I don't have any real aspirations - i just want to play the game and see where it takes me.

Movers and Shakers


Rank Name Ship
Sec-ens.jpg Buck Wausau USS Enterprise, CV-07
Med-ens.jpg Jessica Whyte USS Enterprise, CV-07
Med-ens.jpg Sara Pendragon USS Pulsar, BB-100
Sec-ens.jpg Jordan Donovan USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Sci-ens.jpg Thomas Brewer USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Med-ens.jpg Kivsi Diaz USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Tac-ens.jpg William Hatter USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Eng-ens.jpg Kralton Gylanna USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Tac-ltjg.jpg Jack Burrowes USS Pulsar, BB-100
Eng-ltjg.jpg Chris Kane USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Sci-ltjg.jpg Trent USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Sec-lt.jpg Karina Ptaka USS Enterprise, CV-07
Med-lt.jpg Gabriel Fairen USS Enterprise, CV-07
Eng-lt.jpg Peter Powell USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Eng-lt.jpg Johan Schwicker USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Med-lcdr.jpg Kylara McKenzie USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Sec-lcdr.jpg Jane Fields USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Com-vadm.jpg Joseph Daher USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471


Medal Name Ship
Grph-med-ph.jpg S'Renn Kapetanaki USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-ph.jpg Fran Katzenjammer USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-ph.jpg Reginald Hendrix USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-ph.jpg Johnathan Corvinus USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-ph.jpg Kylara McKenzie USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Stell Losada USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Stewart MacDonald USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Cenara Vixx USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Zzen Drell USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Kivsi Diaz USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Quill Dramar USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Nar Ren Tain USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Johnathan Corvinus USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Oliver Swanson USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Galen Savek USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Jaina Eaden USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Li Nadia USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Tam Stadi USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Kaleesh Tarel USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-sfam.jpg Joanna Ma USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Buck Wausau USS Enterprise, CV-07
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Jessica Whyte USS Enterprise, CV-07
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Johan Schwicker USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Kamble Ross USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Joshua Williams USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Sara Pendragon USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg William Hatter USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Thomas Brewer USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Jordan Donovan USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg David Lamb USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Chris Kane USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Amalek Barrett Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Gabriel Archer Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Virginia Harrison-Black Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Grph-med-sfcm.jpg Kralton Gylann USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Karina Ptaka USS Enterprise, CV-07
Grph-med-gs.jpg Zor Kayzon USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-gs.jpg Atrum Phenux USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-gs.jpg Jaden Hawk USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-gs.jpg Paul Braggins USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-gs.jpg Tokat USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-gs.jpg Chaenai Sumeru USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-gs.jpg Fran Katzenjammer USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-gs.jpg Kylara McKenzie USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Grph-med-gs.jpg Mike Wong USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-gs.jpg Benjamin, Vaughn USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-gs.jpg Sienna Tam Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Grph-med-gs.jpg Jay Read Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Grph-med-gs.jpg Dana Davenport Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Grph-med-gs.jpg Stovon Stewart USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Torock Powl USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Xavier Caine USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg William Norton USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Peter Powell USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg John Zenteal USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Tom Dixon USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Elspeth St Vrain USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Samuel Trent USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Daniel Brooks USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-gs.jpg Julio Korbel USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-ds.jpg Jack Burrows USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-ds.jpg Thomas Cellawe USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-ds.jpg Gilora Rejal USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-ds.jpg John Dempsey USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-ds.jpg S'Renn Kapetanaki USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-ds.jpg Vladimir Komoscov USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-ds.jpg Griffin Wright USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-ds.jpg Alex Ankar USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-ds.jpg Korbon Hawkens USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-ds.jpg Tara ch'Thane USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-ds.jpg Thomas Stack USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-ds.jpg Dietrich Kaiser Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Grph-med-ds.jpg Gloria Dys USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-ds.jpg Jane Fields USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Grph-med-sfdsg.jpg Daniel Wueste USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-sfdsg.jpg Kenneth Fitchel USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-sfdsg.jpg Mick Roland USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-sfdsg.jpg Lee Ander USS Pulsar, BB-100
Grph-med-sfdsg.jpg Joseph Daher USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Grph-med-sfdsg.jpg Julia Nielson USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Grph-med-sfdsg.jpg Alexis Tregelen Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18

Role-Player of the Month

Name Ship
Karina Ptaka (August) USS Enterprise, CV-07
Gabriel Fairen (September) USS Enterprise, CV-07
Johan Schwicker (August) USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Johan Schwicker (September) USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Mick Roland (August) USS Pulsar, BB-100
Sara Pendragon (September) USS Pulsar, BB-100
Vladimir Komoscov (August) USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Vladimir Komoscov and Benjamin Vaughn (September) USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Samuel Trent and Kralton Gylanna (August) USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
William Norton and Samuel Trent (September) USS Copernicus, GEC-9035
Jordan Donovan (August) USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Awaiting Announcement (September) USS Ticonderoga, CA-1471
Xavier Carlson (August) USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Awaiting Announcement (September) USS Sheridan, DD-4086
Sienna Tam (August) Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Awaiting Announcement (September) Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Awaiting Announcement (September) USS Titan, CL-2007
K'haeth Neral (August) RIS Shadowhawk
Amarik I'Dartha (September) RIS Shadowhawk
M'Kota and Mo'Tac (August) IKV Dreamslayer
None Awarded (September) IKV Dreamslayer

Academy Graduates

Rank Name Ship
Eng-mid.jpg Thellizhír ch'Lethlaen USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Med-mid.jpg Jericho Langston USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Med-mid.jpg Alara Laoun USS Gettysburg, BC-1863
Sec-mid.jpg Hannah McClaire USS Pulsar, BB-100
Sci-mid.jpg Tilar USS Dauntless, BC-1553
Tac-mid.jpg Kyle DeWitt Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18
Eng-mid.jpg Brodie Codey Space Station Sierra 18, SS-18

Trek News


Top SciFi Reads

Stardate 20910.01

This month Federation Space members were asked what their top ten favourite science fiction books of all time were. It seemed that the answers we got were as diverse as the players themselves. There were a few authors that stood out in the list, so without further ado. Here are the best SciFi authors as voted by the players.

  • Michael Crichton
    • Jurassic Park, Timeline, Andromeda Strain
  • H G Wells
    • War of the Worlds
  • Douglas Adams
    • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Isaac Asimov
    • Foundation
  • Madeleine L’Engle
    • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Philip K Dick
    • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

The Runners up (authors who got one vote each):

  • Keven J Anderson
  • Iain Banks
  • Stephen Billias
  • Orson Scott Card
  • Peter David
  • Roxann Dawson
  • William Gibson
  • Christie Golden
  • Charles L Grant
  • Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Peter Jurasik
  • Barry B Longlear
  • Anne McCaffrey
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Mary Shelley
  • Kim Stanley
  • S L Viehl
  • Judy Watson
  • John Whitman


This Side of Paradise

"Hey, Jim-boy – y'all ever had a real, cold Georgia-style mint julep, huh?"

  • McCoy

The Original Series, Season 1 Episode 25, This Side of Paradise TOS 1x25, This Side of Paradise


This Month’s Questions

10: Name this species.

1. With which Enterprise crew member was Christine Chapel infatuated?
2. What was Natasha Yar’s job on the Enterprise-D?
3. The first time Jake Sisko appears in the DS9 episode “Emissary”, what is he doing?
4. What class of starship is Voyager?
5. True or False: Geordi La Forge’s eyes regenerated during Star Trek: Insurrection?
6. In the DS9 episode “The Adversary”, a changeling impersonated which ambassador?
7. Who defended James Kirk at his court martial?
8. What did Charlie Evans give Janice Rand as a gift to impress her?
9. In which TOS episode does the Enterprise travel back in time to the 1960s just prior to the first moon landing?
10. What species is picture on the right?

Last Month’s Answers

10: This species is Nezu.

1. What was Pavel Chekov’s job aboard the Enterprise?

  • Navigator

2. In the TNG episode “Justice”, why was Wesley Crusher sentenced to death?

  • For stepping on flowers

3. In which episode did Worf join the crew of Deep Space 9?

  • Season 4 Episode 1, The Way of the Warrior

4. The Bajoran Maquis crew member in Voyager, Seska, was actually an undercover spy and member of what species?

  • Cardassian

5. How did James Kirk get Twentieth-Century Earth spending money in The Voyage Home?

  • He pawned his antique glasses

6. In the episode “The Adversary,” a Founder tried to provoke a war between the Federation and who?

  • The Tzenkethi

7. To what year in Earth’s history did James Kirk, Spock, and Leonard McCoy travel in the episode “City on the Edge of Forever”?

  • 1930

8. What musical instrument did Ben Sisko play?

  • Piano

9. Who told James Kirk, “There’s no honourable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy; there is nothing good in war except its ending”?

  • Lincoln

10. Name the species pictured to the right.

Last Month’s Winners

1. Laura Macleod
2. Rachel Christie

All Around Champs

Rank Player Score
1. Laura Macleod 72
2. Kivsi Diaz 15
3. Rachel Christie 14
4. Tara ch’Thane 8
5. Joseph Daher 6


Shiny Things


Science News



Carina Pillar and Jets
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team


Finding Water on the Moon

Stardate 20910.01

When NASA’s Lunar Prospector detected concentrated hydrogen signatures on the Moon in 1999, astronomers and scientists raised their eyebrows. Could this be evidence at last that there is water up there? They’re about to find out.

Back in June of this year, the Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with the mission to confirm the presence or absence of water in a permanently shadowed crater on the Moon. On October 9, 2009, the LCROSS impact module will complete a projected impact on the surface of the Moon, followed by the LCROSS shepherding spacecraft that will fly through the debris plume collecting data, before itself impacting the crater and creating a second debris plume.

During the impact, the debris plus will rise above the crater’s rim and be exposed to sunlight. Scientists hope that any water-ice in the debris will then break down into their basic components, revealing to them if there is indeed water on the Moon.

And if you’re lucky, you could see the debris plumes as well. The plumes are expected to be visible on Earth with the use of telescopes 10 to 12 inches and larger. The impacts will occur four minutes apart, starting at 4:30 am PDT on Friday, October 9, so keep your eyes to the sky!

Read more.


Turn the Volume Down!

Stardate 20910.01

Imagine standing next to an ambulance siren for a good hour straight. Not only would that be incredibly annoying, but once could imagine the damage it would do to your hearing. But did you know that listening to that siren for an hour straight is similar to listening to an mp3 player, and not necessarily on its highest setting?

Scientists in the European Union have released warnings that prolonged exposure to loud noise from mp3 players could cause permanent hearing damage. If you listen to an mp3 player for 45 minutes a day that is turned up so loud that a person standing only 30 centimeters away (half the length of a typical ruler) would need to shout to be heard, then you face serious risk of permanent hearing loss. And if you listen to music so loud for five minutes that a person has to shout in your ear to be heard, you also face similar risks.

The scary thing is, hearing loss is on the rise. Audiologists are seeing many more “older age” hearing problems on younger people. A survey done by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association found that in 2006, more than half of high school students reported at least one symptom associated with hearing loss.

Indication that you might be suffering from hearing problems include hearing a ringing sensation in your ears, or that your ears feel “full” or blocked (a familiar feeling if you’ve just spent several hours at a loud concert). However, even if you don’t notice any troubles right now, serious problems could crop up years down the road.

Lawmakers in the European Union are trying to work with mp3 player manufacturers such as Apple and Sony to help protect listeners’ hearing. They plan to put in place a volume cap at around 80 – 89 decibels, giving the audio makers a choice at which setting to cap it at.

Of course, while hearing problems being on the rise can easily be associated with the rise in mp3 player use, they can’t take all the blame. Lisa Bonneau, Director of Audiology at the Hearing Loss Clinic in Calgary, says that “Mp3 players aren’t dangerous if users keep them at a safe, low level.”

Read more.

This month

Sigma 7

Stardate 20910.01

Sigma 7 was the spacecraft used during one of NASA’s early manned space missions. The mission was apart of Project Mercury, to conduct an engineering test on the Mercury spacecraft. The name Sigma 7 reflects this focus of this mission, as the mathematical symbol for summation was used in the logo, as it was deemed appropriate for an engineering survey mission, in addition to the number 7 to reflect the seven Mercury astronauts.

The Sigma 7 was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch pad LC-14 on October 3, 1962. The trip lasted nine hours, and the one-man crew consisting of Astronaut Wally Schirra made six orbits of the Earth. The mission was a success, as the only malfunction reported was trouble with the space suit’s temperature controls, and Schirra landed the Sigma 7 into the Pacific Ocean at 9:30 in the evening, the same day it was launched.

While this was the longest American orbital flight at the time, the US was still behind the Soviet Union who had set already set a four-day record. This mission did however help to pave the way for the Mercury-Atlas 9, which would spend more than 24 hours in space.