Wednesday, October 16, 2013
16 October 2013
Flea b. 1962 (Back to the Future: Part II)
Tim Robbins b. 1958 (War of the Worlds, Mission to Mars, Code 46)
David Greenwalt b. 1949 (writer, Buffy, Angel, Eureka, Grimm)
Barry Corbin b. 1940 (WarGames)
A short birthday list today, with the Picture Slot taken by Tim Robbins in a scene from Mission to Mars, yet another futuristic movie that gives us a date, which I will use in the future.
Best wishes to all our birthday boys.
Prediction: On 16 October 1997, the Robinsons are the first family sent off on the 96 year trip to Alpha Centauri at the “unimaginable” speed of light on Gemini 12
Predictor: Lost in Space, first aired 15 September 1965
Reality: Wow, that's a lot of odd goofs for a single sentence. Let's review, shall we?
1. The "unimaginable" speed of light cannot be reached by a space ship, but it can be imagined. Einstein imagined it, that's one of the reasons he's so famous.
2. 96 years to Alpha Centauri. If the ship could travel at the speed of light, it's less than five light years to Alpha Centauri, so the round trip should be in the 10 year range.
3. It's 1997 and we are only up to Gemini 12? By the time this show aired, Gemini 5 had already happened. There really was a Gemini 12 in 1966 - Lovell and Aldrin - and that was the last one before the Apollo series started. The reason that series of flights were called Gemini is because of two man crews. (The Apollo series would have three man crews.) A crew made up of six people, a robot and a stowaway needs a different name.
Update: Friend of the blog Leo Lincourt notes that a bunch of what is said in this sentence, taken from the pilot episode, is fixed in the second episode. The ship is called the Jupiter 2, its name for the rest of the series, and the trip is supposed to take five years to Alpha Centauri.
So now the only problems are that we didn't have anything like this technology in 1997 and even traveling at more than half of the speed of light presents a lot of nasty engineering problems we aren't even close to solving.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
H.G.Wells is our regular contributor on Thursdays, but since he got a shout out this week from First Men in the Moon, we will hear from one of our pre-empted regulars, Isaac Asimov, once again writing in 1964 about the wonders of 2014.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!