Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Using Horcruxes to Reincarnate the Voyager. The Voyager Control Room. The Imaginarium.

     The Great Western School of Wizardry and Magic is perched precariously on a long majestic curve of crumbly cliffs. Above the school are hundreds of miles of snow covered peaks circling outward for hundreds of miles before descending into purple rolling hills. The school's mountain, as seen from a distance, floats on an ethereal cushion of clouds drifting up from a heavily forested valley deep in the inner sanctum of the Rocky Mountains.  
     The Western Hemisphere's greatest wizards and witches are educated at the GWSWM. Its graduates are sought after in the magical world of business, government, and education.
The school's field work in spell archeology is renowned. Their wandmanship and spellology are unique in both form and phraseology. It is to this school we went in search of a wizard knowledgeable in the mystical practice of horcruxes.  Our quest was simple in definition and questionably impossible in execution. My associates and I had two questions requiring answers: 1) Was the original Voyager truly gone?  2) If not, was enough of it locked away in heavily spelled hard drive horcruxes to be enchanted back from a forgotten code? 
     The heavily robed, tri-bifocaled headmaster was obliging during our interrogation. He answer both questions while searching his patchy gray beard for bits of unfinished pork pie unceremoniously deposited during the midday meal, much to the delight of the first year students who sit closest to the elevated masters table.  
     "The Voyager was preserved to some extent by Professor Ricks," he said. "It is he, and he alone, who can cast the spells necessary to bring what was - back to what is."  The headmaster walked to the open window to lean out for a listen. Grunting in the negative, he tapped his left ear with his wand and extended it further out, his body teetering a degree or two from finding an end at the bottom of a long and painfully unforgiving cliff.  Pulling himself back from the brink, he revealed his finding. "Professor Ricks is in his workshop on the verge where the forest brushes up against the mud pond. I hear him smithing. He loves to tinker with bits of this and that."
     We found Professor Ricks' workshop. He was inside working the bellows while turning a glowing metal rod.  In the corner sat a simple contraption, the imagine of a person made of rods, pulleys, and wire.  We explained who were were and the purpose for our visit. His eye's sparkled with the news that the time had come to pull the essence of the mother ship from the horcruxes he had so faithfully spelled five years previously. He asked for patience while he changed from his smithing overalls. Then, dressed in his muggle's best, he gathered the horcruxes, placed them gently in a knapsack and strung it over his shoulder. "Let's be about it!" he exclaimed as he strode out into the dusty twilight. We followed, carefully steering away from the mud pond on his advice.           



     Professor Ricks enchanted from the cassette tape the Voyager's original Sick Bay program and wizarded the code into the waiting computer. 


     The spells complete, Professor Ricks checked the second generation IMac in the Voyager Control Room to see if it had paired successfully with the computer in Sick Bay.  The horcrux was stubborn. Several attempts were required before he announced the procedure successful.
     The news gets even better. Professor Ricks handed me a USB thumb drive containing all the printable messages once stored on the Voyager's IIFX station. The messages were in Appleworks. Today's Mac's can't read Appleworks; however I have an old Mac laptop at home which has the ancient program. I can dehorcrux the USB myself!  We will soon have all the first Voyager's documents: the mission messages, the engineering reports, the damage control reports, everything. All my work, and the work of so many volunteers and staff, recovered and usable once again.  It is good news.  The Voyager lives on. 

More Test Missions  

     Isaac Ostler, with the help of three students from our Flight Director Academy, ran another test mission on Saturday.  There were glitches. The microphone cable failed just as the mission was about to start. I think these cables are engineered to fail at the most inopportune times.  "Mr. Williamson, we need another microphone cable," was something I expected to hear at least two or three times a month when I directed the Space Center back in the day. And sadly, it appears Fortuna has decreed that this problem should continue to haunt me at Renaissance Academy.      



The Voyager Control Room with my Diet Dew in in proper place.



      In the end the mission was successful. Isaac is a good problem solver and the FDA staff were brilliant as is expected.  
     New missions are being written for the Voyager. Old missions will return and the new Voyager will once again fly alongside the other ships of the fleet.  
     I want to thank Mr. James Porter, director of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center, for his help and support. The Space Center is in good hands. I want to thank Casey Voeks, Skyler Carr, and Brandon Wright, and my other good friends at InfiniD, for their contributions to the quality and professionalism of our missions. 
     I've worked with all these good folks for many years. I take pride in the work both organizations are doing - forging ahead with this unique form of experiential simulator based education I imagineered back in 1983.

Mr. Williamson   

The Imaginarium

























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