Here’s How It Is…

Simply put: There are Browncoats at NASA. And so, in early June, an astronaut aboard the next-scheduled shuttle mission will carry DVDs of Firefly and Serenity to the crew of the International Space Station. Or, at least, that’s the short version. In order to get everyone up to speed as we launch the Breaking Atmo website in advance of the launch of STS-117 itself, what follows is a tour through how all of this came to happen in the first place. And then, from here on out, check back here for updates — or subscribe to them via feed, so you never miss any news. Because next week, Serenity takes off into the black.There’s a narrative to made of all of this, someday. But for now here are the relevant online postings from Maiii, presented in chronological order. It begins somewhat before the DVDs entered the picture, with altogether something else finding its way to the International Space Station.

14 Jul 2006

Some of us Browncoats are working the current Shuttle and Station Mission and we got the Captain’s quote about love uplinked to the ISS crew in tomorrow morning’s daily summary. Below is the review copy of the daily summary. I dont know if I can get PAO to release the document, but if anyone wants to request it from I think the JSC PAO office the document is

UPLINK ID: 13-0709
USOS Daily Summary
GMT 196, Saturday, 15 July 2006
Docked Ops Ð FD 12

Quote: It’s great to have three crewmembers aboard ISS again! Welcome to your new home, Thomas!

“You know what the first rule of flyin’ is? É Love. You can know all the math in the ‘Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall downÉ tells ya she’s hurtin’ before she keelsÉ makes her a home.”

— Captain Malcolm Reynolds in “Serenity”

15 Jul 2006

now I have our PAO officer intrigued and interested in checking out the Movie.

18 Jul 2006

Fans of the Cult Hit Firefly and Serenity beamed an emotional quote from their fearless Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds to the ISS crew Saturday morning as part of the Crew’s Daily Summary Message. Browncoat Flight Controllers working both station and shuttle were able to convince the ISS Planning Flight Director, a recent convert to Firefly, that the quote would be a great inspiration to the crew as the International Space Station finally returns to three fulltime crew members with the addition of Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter who arrived aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.

23 Jul 2006

Hammer2 over at the SCI-FI board was able to take the print out and hand it to Joss at Comic-con. How shiny is that!

22 Sep 2006

I just go confirmation, the DVD sets are heading to the international space station aboard STS-117.

“Thanks for the DVDs. I’ve been trying to figure what’s the best thing to do with them — here’s my plan. I’ll take them with me and see if the ISS crew wants them, if not I’ll bring them back (after taking a few pictures with them) and give them to you. O.K.?”

I will be sure to post pictures when I get them. I will see if we can’t convince his wife about having the ballad of serenity as his wake up music.

24 Sep 2006

I gave him both firefly and Serenity.

24 Sep 2006

Yeah the crewmember and I talked back during STS-121 and mentioned that I would be willing to provide the dvd’s for him to take up. he was out on training when I dropped them off on his desk, but sent me the email I posted the other day. it’s not the shuttle mission in december but the one following that. so we have a little bit before we break atmo.

28 Sep 2006

I worked with the astronaut on STS-121 we talked about sending the DVD’s up instead of just uplinking them. apparently the station gets movies uplinked on a regular basis but they files are rotating and only stay onboard for about 10 days. we wanted Firefly/Serenity to be a permenant movie in their collection. so the astronaut agreed to take them up on his flight STS-117.

17 Oct 2006

the launch of STS-117 is now scheduled for 3/18/07 according to the latest manifest.

5 Feb 2007

just a quick update on the mission. last week was rollout review and things are looking very well with the ship. New launch date is supposed to be moved up from March 16th to March 15th. I haven’t had a chance to tag up with the astronaut lately, but I will give him a friendly reminder closer to the mission to not forget our precious cargo

15 Feb 2007

got an email today from our browncoat astronaut:

“Thanks and the cargo has already been packed. I talked to Suni and she is looking forward to getting the new entertainment. IÕll make sure to get a few photos.”

27 Feb 2007

well due to hail damage to the external tank, the mission is being delayed until April 22nd so that the stack can be rolled back to the VAB for assessment and repairs.

08 Mar 2007

I still havent heard anything more about a new launch date yet, it has been 3 days since the scaffolding was installed and they started looking at the tank. right now rumors say anywhere from April 19th – May 11 for launch date.

12 Apr 2007

just ran into our intrepid Browncoat astronaut, the DVD items are still packed and ready to go. new launch date is June 8th and he is aware everyone is wishing him well and waiting for photos.

All of which brings you almost up to date. Now we await the launch date of 08 June 2007, and/or any new trickles of information that might come our way. Whenever there’s an update, we will post it here (you can subscribe to this site by email or feed). Over in the sidebar, we’ve added links to the mission page and NASA TV, pages about the STS-117 mission on other space-related websites, and various places online where Maiii has been keeping people aprised of things.