Science Saturday: Okuda’s Patch, Voyager’s Discovery, Saturn’s Flying Saucers and More [UPDATED]

New Feature: Science and technology have always been a big part of Star Trek and so every week we will bring you news on how we are headed towards that future we know so well. Some things will have have a Trek connection and others will just be cool.

New Okuda-designed logo has landed
On Thursday, NASA announced that their new lunar lander is to be named Altair and introduced the lander’s new logo, designed by veteran Star Trek scenic artist Michael Okuda. The design is based on the logo for the Apollo 11 patch; both designs feature a bald eagle with outstretched wings clasping an olive branch with its talons. The Altair is expected to launch sometime before 2020, marking Earth’s return to the Moon after some four decades. To learn more about the Altair project, see the report at collectSPACE and

Okuda’s new patch looks back to the Apollo missions

Bursting our bubble
V’Ger’s distant cousin, Voyager 2, has discovered that our solar system is dented! Reuters reports that data gathered by the Voyager 2 probe has revealed that the heliosphere surrounding our solar system is not the nice, round bubble it was thought to be; rather, it’s being pushed in by the magnetic field.

The Voyagers are still boldly going

Flying saucers of Saturn
There are moons shaped like flying saucers (or, if you prefer, like a starship’s saucer section) located within the rings of Saturn, and scientists have finally figured out what they are. According to Live Science, new findings suggest that the saucer-shaped moons are products of the rings themselves: icy particles within the rings that have clumped together. Scientists believe this discovery may shed light on how Earth and her Milky Way neighbors coalesced.

Saturn’s strange new world explained

Cool-looking nebula
Over the year’s the Star Trek crews have run into a lot of nebulae. The Isaac Newton Telescope, located on the Canary Islands, captured an image of neat-looking planetary nebulae which, as Metro points out, looks a lot like an entity you might see on the original Star Trek series.

Is that a class J, class Y or Mutara?

A true space Odyssey
Private commercial lunar corporation Odyssey Moon is the first entrant in the Google/Lunar X PRIZE Competition — essentially, a race to the moon. Odyssey plans to win the competition with a history-making “private robotic mission to the surface of the moon.” See for more information.

Odyssey Moon’s K-10 Rover…first private citizen on the moon?

Bonus video on the Google Lunar X-Prize

UPDATE: Real reason for Shuttle Delay
This week the space shuttle Atlantis launch was delayed. NASA wants you to believe it was a ‘fuel sensor glitch,’ but this genuine secret footage shows the true danger they don’t want you to know about:

In the talk back below, let us know what you think of ‘Science Saturday.’ And feel free to send in tips via the tipline (right sidebar) on interesting news from the worlds of science and technology.

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sounds good

love it!

Cool news indeed.

Re patches: ONCE AGAIN:
The Apollo pathces look better than the Altair patches. Mike Okuda’s design looks like it was done on a cut rate, inhouse, CBS budget. Sound familiar? Hmm….kinda like his TOS-R. He tried to design it and be faithful to Apollo’s design (the original) and it blew up like Challenger.

I wish I could just touch the nebula. It looks so beautiful.

I like this new feature. Thank you for starting it!

Here’s something a friend just sent me – a video on how to make a Blu Ray Laser Phaser:

Well, I suppose I can justify posting this here, as a real laser is used!

“hey everybody! we’ve landed on the moon!!”
-lloyd christmas

this is cool stuff, anthony. i welcome it. thanks again for all the great work!

Cool feature, keep it up!

So, it seems that TM.COM is taking over the role of communicating things of this type from ST.COM, no?

Please do!

re: 3. Sean4000
Nothing wrong with the Altair logo. I do like the Apollo one much better, though.

Brilliant feature.

nothing of the sort. I asked Chuck to do this on Thursday, well before the news. In fact it was going to be called ‘science friday’..and it might be next week. still mulling it over.

I am also considering doing a weekly summary of scifi news outside of star trek news as well as other new features of the site. any thoughts please let me know via the contact button or the feedback section

don’t be a hater #3

I think keeping it on Saturday or a Sunday, rather than a Friday, is a good idea. There’s usually not too much news on the weekends, so having this week in trek and a science post on the weekends would be pretty cool. I’d have something to look forward to reading on the weekend.
It could be This Week In Trek Saturdays and Science Sundays!

Anthony, it’s just that this kind of stuff always came from the official website. What do the Okudas think?

The Altair logo is fine – its own identity while hearkening back (but not copying) the Apollo XI design.

Is Mike Okuda drunk? Is NASA high? It looks like he traced the old patch loosely in Adobe Illustrator. It’s so sad. If you’re going to kick off an entire series of space missions whip out a darn paint set, or at least Corel Painter.

Lol. Illustrator? That’s too generous Mark. I would have said MS Paint.

The irony of this whol thing is just astounding to me. :)

RE: 3 Insulting to Mike Okuda and anyone who actually saw Challenger meet its fate LIVE all those years ago. I know this is the internet but damn, have a little class man.

Like the new feature.

sean4000 re 3
that post was over the line and totally tasteless

I read this earlier this morning at I think it’s a damn fine tribute to Mike Okuda’s artistry and a validation of so much of the Trek aesthetic that we’ve seen over the last 20 years. It is, in it’s own way, a means of carrying Roddenberry’s entire concept into it’s own vision of the future.

I’ll admit that was tasteless please let me edit it to something more tasteful and less abrasive.

The last part was the offensive portion if you don’t like the top part. TOO BAD! That’s my opinion.

Wow its nice to read about real science!
Cool idea Anthony!
Science Friday is a good idea.
Thats what the Friday edition
of NPR’s Talk of the Nation is called.
The show is hosted by Ira Flatow.
The two would go good together.

I have made a request for tweaking post 3 in the “about” forum.

I’ll keep it clean but these pathches are “just not doing anything for me.”

Funny, cosmologists are claiming that looking into the universe is reuining it. There was an article published about that a week ago. It was hilarious.

Great feature!!!

One of the things Rick Berman should be creditted with is that he read science texts. Yes, the technobabble got to be a bit much, but we all like nanites, worm holes, and a.i. holograms, don’t we?

Anyway, this is a feast for the underworked logic centers of my brain.

Thank you. Thank you.

Excellent idea guys. I generally try to keep up on this stuff by going through different sites but it would make it easier to have it all here at every week which I check pretty much every day now. :) I had no idea about the Okuda patch though, that is really cool.

RE: Saturn’s discoid moons, may I paraphrase one of my favorite heros from another franchise. “Those aren’t moons, there space stations!” LOL!

A science and technology feature would be a welcome addition to Trek Movie as far as I am concerned. To quote Shaggy; “Excellent idea guys”.

Okuda’s patch design is fine.

This is solid stuff–this is what Rodenberry would have asked for if it was possible in TOS (and not twisted by Lost in Space)–so keep it up. It’s facinating to see the real world reach the levels of technology predicted. If you saw Aviation Week and Space Technology about two months ago, they specifically posted the TNG Enterprise-D with an ion-powered probe that will visit two cometary bodies because it can “break orbit”.

Okuda has hit the best of the Apollo 11 patch–even the sublety of the wings touching. I hope it takes as patches are specific to missions, not systems, usually. The stars are tradtionally the lost crewmembers…my count is above ten for the US.

You got your opinion out, you got the attention you craved. Enough on the patches.
That’s my opinion

Love the new feature. Look forward to reading it every week.

Good to see Michael Okunda’s work on Star Trek has been recognised by NASA.

The guys at NASA have always appreciated the impact that Star Trek has had. That much was obvious when they named the first shuttle Enterprise back int he 70’s!

Anthony- I think a weekly science roundabout is a great idea. The poster above who said that having it on the weekends when other news is slow makes sense to me.
Thank you for this, and your many other creative and fun ideas for this site.

That’ts whay I am trying to talk about other things instead of Okunda’s “remaster” of the Apollo design….oops. Apollo-R

If the site would like interviews from NASA employees I can arrange them. Many of my friends from UNO now work for NASA and I would be happy to get their insight.

Great design by Okuda.

The subtle 11 stars on the patch directly signal Apollo 11 also.

Anth: Keep up the great work and please do go forth with the “science day” concept. As a scientist myself, it’s a great way to bring some real world larnin’ to everyone in an enjoyable format.

Absolutely keep this feature! Great stuff for slow-news weekends.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I love articles like these. More, please.


Exactly what I was thinking. This is interesting to the MAX. I got a little carried away but it is a relief from the 40000000000 Quinto news bites.

#37 “…but it is a relief from the 40000000000 Quinto news bites. ”

LOL! That’s where you and I differ. I *love* the 40000000000 Quinto news bites! Maybe it’s a girl thing. ROWR! }:-)

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

This is a great idea, and I agree with it being on Saturday or Sunday for the same reason – not much else happening except for Mr. Trotter’s excellent weekly update.

Oy, I can’t believe Sean4000 referenced the Challenger disaster in that way…

Anyway, I do like it. It’s certainly reminiscent of the Apollo 11 patch, but the variation is a nice take on it. Man, I can’t wait until we get back to the moon. I still can’t believe all the people who put credence into the whole lunar landing hoax theories.


Oy, let’s all move on please. I’ll break out the violins and we can all have a cry but it’s over, I admit I AM WRONG, and this is really over..

If Anyone here knew anyone onboard Challenger, then my heart goes out to them. Anyone else, oh well.

Great article, Anthony! Love this!

And indeed, that nebula looks like it’ll turn into a hand any minute :)

I like it, although I expect there generally may not be a lot of feedback, I think people will probably look forward to checking this page out every week.

Doug L.

Logo: It’s saright…I don’t know if it was Okuda’s decision to keep it similar to Apollo or NASA’s. So, if he was told to make it like the Apollo logo I guess it’s a nice enough design…I would have rather seen something completely new though.

41. Sean4000 – December 15, 2007

Oy, let’s all move on please. I’ll break out the violins and we can all have a cry but it’s over, I admit I AM WRONG, and this is really over..

If Anyone here knew anyone onboard Challenger, then my heart goes out to them. Anyone else, oh well.”

I think we’ll stop bothering you, because you keep digging your hole deeper, IMO.
Please keep this feature.

S C I E N C E !
Yea, like this feature.
NASA & Star Trek have a loooooooooong history of working together.
X-prize going to the moon ?
Great, while they’er up there could they take some live video of the old landing sites to shut up the loonies who say we never went.
Seriously i’m getting sick of them going on & on how we never went.
We went.
It would take something out of this world for me to believe that we didn’t go.

I was at work when news came of the Challenger disaster. I can remember excatly where I was, what I was doing and who was with me – because time instantly froze – I was in a state of shock. It was a national tragedy. I didn’t personally know anyone on board, but knew of them. One did not have to know them personally to be deeply affected by their loss.

science saturday – it’s a great idea.

Hey, to Sean, if you want to go insulting people, espeically Mr. Okuda, please go somewhere else. I do realise it is you’re opinion, and freedom of speech and all. But come on. You can keep these kinds of comments to yourself. It is okey to do that you know.