More Hubble goodness, this time with… Data?

By Phil Plait | April 28, 2010 10:31 am

NASA has put together a pretty cool video to celebrate Hubble Space Telescope’s 20 years in space.

If that narrator’s voice sounds familiar, that’s because it’s Brent Spiner, the actor who played Data on "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Apparently, Hubble is fully functional and programmed for multiple techniques.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Geekery, NASA, SciFi, TV/Movies

Comments (18)

Links to this Post

  1. Een mooie video van twintig jaar Hubble | Astroblogs | April 28, 2010
  1. Adam English

    Phil, at 15 seconds in, the astronaut on the bottom right. His left arm (right to us) has a plastic tab or something below his Flag patch. It bounces different than I’d expect in space. Is that how it would act? I saw it and thought they were doing a reenactment on Earth. All the videos I see of space everyone moves slow and exaggerated.

  2. fox

    @ Adam English: The Reason why astronauts in space seem to move really slow, is because they do. But the reason for that is that they are really careful, because they are in space, and they don’t want to gain impulse in the wrong direction. It is not like in the videos of the moon landing, where things seem to be slower because of lower gravity. There is no such thing when working ob the hubble telescope – things are practically weightless, and there isn’t even any friction since space is practically emtpy. I don’t think that you have got a reason to believe the footage to be fake.

  3. anonymous

    Hmm, programmed for multiple techniques? Okay, time to get my mind out of the gutter… ūüėČ

  4. Charles Evo

    I get the Data joke!

  5. @ Adam English “His left arm (right to us) has a plastic tab or something below his Flag patch. It bounces different than I‚Äôd expect in space.”
    That plastic tab is an instruction reference card strapped to the astronaut’s arm, so he can look at it to remind him of everything he needs to do. The reason it bounces a little differently than other things connected to the space suit is that it is strapped with elastic type bands such that it will stay flat and readable even if it gets knocked around a bit.
    “I saw it and thought they were doing a reenactment on Earth.”
    At the same time as the card bounces, take a look at the other astronaut, hanging horizontally above him. Note the strap/carabiner hanging from the astronaut’s midsection. It definitely floats free in microgravity, so this is not shot on Earth. The motion of the card is completely due to the way it is strapped on.

  6. Farid Samii

    Phil you sure are a trekkie nerd, kaplah brother!

  7. Bigfoot

    Fully functional and programmed for multiple techniques, yes, but remember that Hubble hardware is strictly limited to voyeurism.

  8. Not only does Brent Spiner narrate, turns out he did so at JPL – while I was only a few buildings away (I work at JPL). Which I found out about after the fact through his Twitter feed.

    So close…

  9. dave

    Just a great TNG reference.

  10. Messier Tidy Upper

    That was a magnificent video. Thanks BA I loved it. :-)

    [pedant mode on] I could quibble about a couple of exceedingly minor nits : “Jupiter-mass exoplanets?” – the ones HST saw (Fomalhaut b, HR 8799’s trio) were *Superjovian* with many times Jupiter’s mass weren’t they? Also the possible confusion of anti-gravity when “dark energy” may have been a better choice of words. But no. [/pedant mode off.]

    That was superb.

    Data always was a good character (one of my faves – although not as good as Deanna Troi who I quite a crush on. ūüėČ ) & great to see the actor who portrayed him so well doing such marvellous work for science fact as well as science fiction. :-)

  11. Adam English

    Yea I don’t believe in fake space footage, I just thought that one item was odd. Thanks for clearing it up :)

  12. R-man

    See? This is what happens if Data has his emotion chip in, and Picard doesn’t interrupt him!

  13. JB of Brisbane

    I was waiting for the line (in voice like Jimmy Stewart), “For God’s sake, Mary, they made this thing in Bedford Falls!”

  14. Well, the whole “programmed for multiple techniques” thing was what made Data such a popular crew member on the Enterprise. Perhaps it also explains Hubble’s enduring appeal!

  15. JGH-4774

    Wow. Fantastic video. What’s happening after Hubble is decommissioned? Will there be another ‚ÄúHubble‚ÄĚ?

  16. Brent Spiner is the perfect host for this program. When I visited the Kennedy Space Center, I watched an IMAX presentation narrated by Tom Cruise. Spiner and Cruise are both actors but somehow the make believe android seems more credible.


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