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Insights from the Command Chair: Captain Shelther Faranster

Avatar System – I’m Kyra Ilan, coming to you from Deep Space 285.  Federation News Service has secured an interview with one of Starfleet’s Commanding Officers. Reaching that goal is the pinnacle of any officer’s career. The path to Command is competitive, yet its very solitary at the top. Ultimate responsibility rests with the brave men and women who choose to follow this path, succeed at training and are entrusted with a command position.

Today we’re speaking with Captain Shelther Faranster Commanding Officer of the USS Doyle-A.  It’s a pleasure to spend some time with one of Starfleet’s Commanding Officer’s to gain more insight into the world of command.  For a short time he commanded the USS Constitution-B, his first command prior to his current assignment. Taking command of a new ship is a highlight of every Captain’s career.

Ilan: First I’d like to say congratulations on your promotion and your new command. This is a unique opportunity to speak with a Commanding Officer so we have a few questions for you. Why change ships to the USS Doyle-A?

Faranster: After the last few months, and the trouble we’ve had on the good old USS Constitution, I am suspecting that Starfleet wanted something more modern, and not as apt to have as many shield or computer problems.

Faranster (OOC) – As I worked up the ranks, I was asked what ship I would want if I made Captain, different captains had the choice ships, and others climbing the ranks had their preferences. So, I actually thought what I would want to name my ship, before I thought of the class. I wanted to know how it would sound: Captain Faranster of the USS Doyle. I chose the name because I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan, and USS Holmes, USS Sherlock, USS Watson, just didn’t sound the same.

Ilan: Tell me a bit about why you chose a Luna-class ship?


MMS Launch

Have you ever asked yourself the question why do solar flares explode? An interesting unmanned space mission aims to gather more data to answer this question.

On March 12, four identical Magnetosperic Multiscale – MMS observatories were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard an Atlas V rocket. Goddard Space Flight Center is overseeing this new science mission to learn more about a phenomena known as magnetic reconnection which affects space weather. American Meteorological Society defines space weather as variable conditions on the Sun and in the space environment that can influence the performance and reliability of space-based and ground-based technological systems, as well as endanger life or health.

MMS observatories are four identically instrumented spacecraft equipped to measure particle and plasma fields. These spacecraft will gather data from a near-equatorial orbit where reconnection is common. To achieve this objective the mission will investigate the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields connection and disconnection. Interaction of these fields creates an explosive energy transfer from one celestial body to the other. Magnetic reconnection is the formal scientific name given to this occurrence.

Magnetic Reconnection is an important process for the Sun and other planets throughout the universe. It affects many different such as geospace weather and the performance of fusion reactors. Geospace weather affects various modern technological systems like GPS navigation, electrical power grids and telecommunications networks .

Gaining a better understanding of space weather helps with creating forecasts in the future as well as developing better instrumentation. MMS will also help in developing further scientific studies on space weather. The MMS observatories will orbit Earth for the next two years. However the scientific discoveries from this mission will last far longer than that.

Further updates on the MMS mission are located on NASA’s MMS website:
http://mms.gsfc.nasa.gov/