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Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Space Academy's New 5 Hour Mission Introduces the SlipStream Engine, A New Method of Hyperspace Starship Propulsion. Read About the Mission's First Telling. Christa McAuliffe Space Center Construction Update. Imaginarium Theater.

The crew getting ready to engage the new SlipStream engine

      The new Space Academy mission "Slipstream" made its debut last Saturday on the Voyager.  Slipstream introduces anti-gravity as a new method of ship propulsion through a medium of anti-space we call the Slip Stream.

     Currently we have "Warp Speed" and "Jumping" through hyperspace as the faster than light methods of transportation used by the space centers of Utah County.  The Jumpship Voyager nows offers its crews a choice of two methods of propulsion - the jump engine and the Slipstream Drive (SDrive).  Both are available during any mission and both have their advantages and disadvantages. 
    In the new 5 hour mission Slipstream, the Voyager's crew gets to try the derelict alien ship discovered SDrive for the first time. And as you can guess, things don't go as planned or you wouldn't have much of a story. 

     The SDrive made its first appearance in the universe I wrote for iWorlds back in the early 2000's.  Disney's Treasure Planet (released in 2002) was my inspiration for the Slip Stream engine (a great movie by the way).  Bracken Funk and I decided to bring the concept back with a few modifications we devised to meet the needs of the Farpoint universe.  And with the new drive system comes the need for a new mission, hence - Slipstream

     The new SDrive needed hours of programming to make it a reality. The Space Academy is lucky to have the right people to do the job professionally and on time. Isaac Ostler stepped up to the plate and programmed the drive controls which interact with the bridge's main viewer which in turn is operated from the control room.  The helmsman adjusts and modifies the ship's "sail" for steering just like the days of the old masted sailing ships.  This brings a real nautical feel to the bridge and makes the helmsman's skill vital to the operation of the ship.

     Nathan King is the director of the Lion Gate Center at Lakeview Academy. His slipstream visual effects were awesome. He deserves a big thank you. In fact, the travel effect was so well done I got seasick watching it.  Thank you Nathan. This is another example of cooperation between space centers.
     The Space Academy's own Bracken Funk spent many late late night hours creating the large tactical screen library to meet the flight deadline.

The volunteers enjoying a quick pizza break between appearances
     Slipstream's opening night was staffed by some of the finest flight directors in the business.  Bracken Funk was the primary flight director assisted by Megan Warner and Logan Pederson.  Both Megan and Logan bring with them over 20 years of combined experience in simulators. 

What's a Space EdVentures mission without its share of bad guys?

     Come experience Slipstream yourself by booking a 5 hour mission on the Voyager.
Go to to book your mission.
     Look for another post this week with pictures and video of this first telling.  

Megan Warner's Summary of the First Telling of Slipstream 

     Night fell over Lehi, Utah. It was a dark night, a cold night. A night of silence and peace. Inside Renaissance Academy, however, it was a very different story.
It was a night of excitement and trepidation. It was a night of anticipation and apprehension. A night of frustration and friendship, of fear and fun. It was a night full of laughter and shrieks, grins and tears. It was a night of "Slipstream".
     The evening started normally enough. The volunteers arrived to help get the ship ready, followed by the crew. They were older and enthusiastic- a very hopeful combination for those of us in the business of starship simulators. I know I wasn't the only one that felt the thrill of the unknown approaching as the crew was settled to begin their briefing. Even the Voyager was nervous, and she showed it in acting up a bit during set up and loading.
     The mood in the control room was tense. Bracken and I are used to this, to telling new missions, and of course flying and supervising itself. For many of the staff, though, this seemed to be their first time trying something new. And even for the most seasoned of us, Mr. Williamson's tried-and-true motto, "What could go wrong?" echoes through our thoughts constantly. We all hope the answer will be, "Nothing at all!" but knowing of course that will never be the case.
     Soon enough, there was no going back. The crew was trained, the ship left Outpost 14 and everything was underway. It was a whirlwind of second storylines; away missions that were set up, abandoned, and used eventually; family-friendly wardrobe malfunctions; and one of the biggest ranges of emotions ever found in a single telling. The crew screamed, the staff cried, everyone busted a gut, and no one left that building the same way they entered it.
     Have I been involved with better first flights? Sure. Have I witnessed worse? Oh yeah. Was this worth it? Definitely. I am proud to have been involved in the first of hopefully many tellings of the Space Academy's newest story, "Slipstream". I'm excited to have many more crews come through and face the challenges it holds. I look forward to seeing how the staff progress through the tellings and how the story itself will evolve, as all the best ones do. We did it!  Now it's your turn.
Christa McAuliffe Space Center Construction Update

The Simulator Level has been Redesigned

The original design of the simulator level of the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center.
This design has been replaced with more square ships. Please refer to the photo below

Hello Space EdVenturers,
     As you can see in the photo below, the lower level of the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center has been redesigned from the triangular shaped ships (photo above) to the more traditional square ship (better use of space for sure).  Mr. Porter has been working morning, noon, and night on the designs. Word is it his wife and children still recognize him and only once had to ask his name at a recent family supper.
     Working with Alpine District Maintenance and the architects is the key to finding the compromises needed to deliver the best Space Center with as few regrets as possible.  Helping Mr. Porter in this titanic endeavor is a core of imagineers; some current CMSC employees and others former employees with expertise in the design and construction of the center's current fleet of ships.  
     I'm proud to say I am counted in that league and thank James for the opportunity to submit my opinions. I like to think of myself as the Speaker of 'Traditions!'  

I speak for what was while others speak for what could be.  Some traditions will stay, others will be forever remembered in this blog and in our memories.  
     Being the Speaker of Traditions can lead to friendly banter. I know there are some who think traditions represent us old timers who long for the days of flying with VHS and cassette tapes. It's fun to see them carefully craft a nice way of saying it without being too direct :)
     Jon Parker, on the other hand, has no problem with being direct. Just recently he was heard making a comment or two about a ship name I conjured up over a bowl of soup; a name with tradition at its core. "Victor's new ship name sounds like the name you'd give a space soap opera!"  And thank you very much indeed to you Mr. Jon Parker.  I should point out that Jon said the same thing to me face to face yesterday as we sat in the Space Center's office pondering over the plans for the new, sixth simulator.  Jon is good about that; if he thinks your idea is rubbish, he will tell you face to face to cut down on wasted time and efforts; after all, Jon will be the set director of this new, 6th simulator.   

The floor layout provided to the public by Mr. Porter.  There is a much better architectural drawing only for
those who need to see actual dimensions etc. The CMSC will release those at an appropriate time.
     The news is always exciting as ground breaking day approaches this spring. Watch for announcements as they are made available. 
     The CMSC released the following announcement this weekend:

Space Center Construction Update     It has been a busy few months for us here at the Space Center. As designs for the new building have been in development we have been working hard on the side helping to design the future of simulations. We quickly put together a picture of just some of the revisions to possible simulator layouts that we have been working on since October.     Which ship are you most excited to see in a new and updated form?Like or follow our page Christa Mcauliffe Space Education Center to keep up to date on developments. More information will also be available on our website:    

Imaginarium Theater
The Best Videoettes from around the world edited for a gentler audience

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