Tomorrow: The Fantastic

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Yesterday: The Futuristic

The heart of theLogBook is the Timeline Menu, updated daily, putting both fact and fiction in chronological context. Did our fantasies influence our future...or the other way around?

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Published On: April 25, 2002

Soyuz TM-34Russia launches a short-term visiting crew to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz TM-34. This is the last Soyuz TM class vehicle to fly, with a newer version of the capsule, Soyuz TMA, scheduled to launch later in 2002. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko, Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori, and South African space tourist Mark Shuttleworth comprise Soyuz TM-34’s crew, staying at the ISS for eight days. Like Dennis Tito before him, multi-millionaire and Linux developer Shuttleworth has paid for his own ride into space. This crew leaves the Soyuz TM-34 vehicle at the ISS, returning home aboard Soyuz TM-33.

Published On: April 25, 1997

GOES-10NOAA’s GOES-10 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral into a geosynchronous orbit to monitor weather patterns over the United States. GOES-10 suffers significant hardware issues upon reaching orbit, including the failure of sun-tracking sensors to orient its solar panels, and it will be over a year before it is pressed into operational service in the GOES-WEST orbit by the failure of GOES-9’s attitude control system. GOES-10 will operate there until 2006, when, upon the launch of GOES-11, it takes up a new position, GOES-SOUTH, monitoring South America and watching for Atlantic Ocean hurricane and tropical storm formation. It will be briefly moved back into the GOES-EAST orbit in late 2007, and with just enough maneuvering fuel left to boost it, it will finally be retired to the above-geostationary “graveyard” orbit in 2009.

Published On: April 25, 1983

AquariusTrying to join the ranks of game companies producing home computers, Mattel Electronics licenses a low-end computer from a Hong Kong manufacturer and releases it in the United States as the Aquarius home computer. The age of Aquarius is short-lived, however, as Mattel is incurring serious losses from slowing Intellivision sales, and the Aquarius computer quickly proves to be underpowered next to even its cheapest competitors (the Mattel programmers tasked with creating games and software for it refer to it as the “system for the ’70s”).

More about Aquarius in Phosphor Dot Fossils

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