Thursday, May 30, 2013

My God... It's Full of Astronauts!


What a week! Spacefest V was a complete whirlwind of space missions, science, astronomy, social media, moon walkers, brilliant space art, and people from all around the world. And I truly do mean all around the world. I met one woman who flew from Australia just to be here for these 4 days.

Astronaut Gene Cernan
Sitting in Gene Cernan's lap... oh, those flyboys!

The highlight of our last day with the astronauts was getting to meet the "Last Man on the Moon", Apollo 17's Gene Cernan! (For the record, before anyone starts quibbling, Jack Schmitt was the 12th man on the moon, Gene was the last one in the LM before ascent to rendezvous with the orbiting CSM).

Friendly and quite game for anything, Gene recorded messages for children who could not be in attendance, and in one situation, even spoke to someone's mother on the phone!  Talk about accommodating. Sure, let me just dial my friend and hand you the phone...

Another huge highlight was visiting the booth of the Meteorite Men, for books, rocks, autographs and pictures!  One conference attendee even purchased from them a small fragment of the Chelyabinsk meteorite that fell in Russia this past February.  Amazing to think they travel the world to get their hands on such things!

Geoff Notkin Meteorite Men
Geoffrey Notkin and his Rock Hound Fans

Sunday was panel day at SpaceFest 5; after we all learned about meteorites, we could also choose lectures about Mars issues, the outer solar system, volcanism on distant moons, astrobiology, asteroids, and even spacecraft modeling.

The packed house of the day was the Apollo Panel, where all the Apollo astronauts (missions 7 through 17 were represented by multiple crew members!) and one Apollo mission controller came together to answer crowd questions about mankind's most ambitious project in history -- landing 6 times on our lunar satellite. It was amazing to watch them bask in Apollo glory, though a bit sad to hear their worried commentary about the state of NASA exploration plans today.

However, my favorite was the Comets Panel. A personal hero of mine is David Levy... and as anyone who comet-hunts through telescopes these days know, just about every comet we've seen from Earth in the last era is named after Levy somehow! The sheer list of how many comets he has discovered is incredible!

Comets Panel
COMET Panel: Hergenroether,Skylab astronaut Ed Gibson,
astronomer Nick Howes, Kitt Peak Spacewatch's Jim Scotti,
Hale-Bopper Tom Bopp, and industrial-strength Cometeer David Levy!

There's entirely too much to describe, even across a blog-post-per-day! However, I hope people enjoy these small descriptions enough to consider attending a Space Fest Conference in the future! If you were unable to make it this year, I'll definitely be promoting next year's conference as soon as I know the location has been settled. Seems it's between Las Vegas, Nevada and Pasadena, California.

The web sites to watch are the SpaceFest home (where you can see the history of the past 5 conferences) and Novaspace, the organization of people who plan the festivities each year.

Sunday, May 26, 2013



Day two of SpaceFest V, and we have slowed down not at all! Yesterday was the anticipated astronaut marathon, but today I concentrated more on the lectures and all the amazing scientists here. And what an incredible line-up of 21st Century frontal lobes...!

Carolyn Porco and Brian Cox
Carolyn Porco and Brian Cox

We were treated to a lecture by the captivating Dr. Carolyn Porco, one of the most brilliant planetary scientists alive today; she was also a consultant on Carl Sagan's "Contact" and the last Star Trek film. Following her was British particle physicist, Brian Cox. It was gratifying to hear them speak, largely because they didn't "dumb down" their work into bite-sized pieces. Carolyn detailed new and as-yet unpublished discoveries around Saturn, including recent findings about the moon Enceladus. Brian covered photon physics and the Large Hadron Collider, each with the confidence that the audience was adept with scientific concepts and equations.

It's a relief to get the real data, not the quick-cut-edited tidbits from the History Channel (which isn't really History anymore) or the Discovery Channel (which doesn't always discover) and the Science Channel (which is actually brilliant, and you should be watching it regularly).

Phil Plait
The BadAstronomy Guy! With pal Richard & Phil Plait

My luncheon host that day was Phil Plait, a fantastic author and über-blogger I've followed for many years. Just before we ate, we sat in probably the most packed lecture so far for a single speaker, while Plait offered up details on Martian terrain, and the Curiosity Rover landing (can't believe that was nearly a year ago now!). We all remember the elation of the MSL success, following the riskiest entry, descent and landing (EDL) sequence ever attempted.

After lunch, we moved on to the esteemed Dr. Rosaly Lopes, solar system volcanologist -- and one thing I've learned that I honestly had NO inkling of before, is how difficult it is to deduce topography of distant Moons to detect volcanic activity! In years past, we simply didn't have good enough instrumentation for certain types of studies, but our current and next-gen crafts headed toward the gas giants should fill in many blanks.

Another highlight of the afternoon was the articulate-if-tremendously-fast-speaking Dr. Britney Schmidt, who knows more in her sleep about Europa, analogous Antarctica, and life of extremophiles than I will probably ever know! When I have more time, I'll definitely describe her amazing Jovian system projects more in-depth, and promote their mission to Jupiter's Moons!

Scott Carpenter
"Original Seven" astronaut Scott Carpenter

The diamond of the day was getting to have dinner with Mercury 7 Astronaut Scott Carpenter, one of only two living members of the most exclusive astronauts, chosen by NASA in April of 1959.

Scott was the second American to orbit the Earth and the fourth American in space, following Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom and John Glenn. Carpenter and Glenn are the last surviving members of the Mercury Seven.

He is still the test-pilot charmer at 88, to be sure, and it was a heart-racing experience to watch him receive a standing ovation from the entire crowd at SpaceFest, as this week is the 51st anniversary of his Aurora 7 flight, in which he orbited Earth 3 times!

Quite the finale. I'm trying to think of a better Saturday somewhere in my past. Can't!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

SpaceFest V


SpaceFest V is in full swing!  I cannot believe this is the 5th SpaceFest, and I am just now getting on board.  To be fair, it's probably the most expensive space conference in the industry for astronauts, scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts... and it took a week of road-tripping just to reach the Tucson, AZ resort where it's being held.

Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean
Alan Bean, Apollo 12 & Skylab III
Fourth Man to Step on The Moon
(Sneaky Photograph by Tom McCool)

Holding a pretty nifty behind-the-scenes universal badge, we got in early to meet the astronauts as they were setting up, and it was a dream come true to meet Alan Bean, both an extraordinary astronaut and stunning painter!  I wish I could afford his art!  Alas, I had to settle for a handshake, a few minutes of jovial conversation, and a few precious photographs.

Armed with a PACKED schedule, I ran from room to room, enjoying lectures by Dr. Marc Rayman (JPL), a fellow Trekkie who detailed the unique ion-propulsion Dawn mission, which orbited the asteroid Vesta, and will soon reach our solar system's largest-asteroid-slash-dwarf-planet Ceres.

Following his talked was Dr. Leslie Young of the New Horizons mission, another fine NASA project which is pioneering new territory, and will soon take the clearest-ever pictures of Pluto and its 5 moons!  Mark your calendars -- NH reaches Pluto on July 14, 2015 at precisely 11:50am UTC!  Seriously.

Astronaut Dick Gordon
Richard Gordon, Gemini 11 & Apollo 12

I joined some Russian children and a delightful couple from Buffalo, NY in the banquet room, where we enjoyed lunch over lively conversation with Apollo 12 Command Module Pilot Richard Gordon.  He kept us in stitches the whole hour, which seemed to fly right by!

Each table held at least one astronaut... from every era!  Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle veterans were all on hand, enjoying pizza, pasta, and lovely chocolate desserts... and... I'm pretty sure the topic of space may have come up at a few tables. ;)

astronaut Jack Lousma
Jack Lousma, Skylab III & STS-3 Shuttle Columbia

The best lecture of the day was by Mission Control Houston's Apollo-era EECOM, Sy Liebergot... a legend in the MCC arena who gave a no-nonsense description of the Apollo 13 disaster -- and an even less-nonsense opinion about what he thinks of the state of NASA's plans and budget these days!  (Let's just say we heartily agree.)

I made one last trip into the astronauts' room, to see if the lines had cleared, and it was my absolute pleasure to meet one of my childhood heroes, Astronaut Jack Lousma!  As a member of a Skylab crew, the first missions I watched on television in the 1970s, he's one of the very first astronauts I learned about -- and it was a pleasure to talk space science with him! We each experienced many of the same symptoms in our work, his in weightlessness and mine in simulations. Imagine my surprise when I described the NASA bedrest studies to him, and he whistled through his teeth thinking that *I* had been through a rough program!

Planning for the next day!

Rumor has it, next year's SpaceFest VI will be held in Las Vegas.  I'm pretty sure, after this experience, that I may be an annual attendee!  Photos from Day 1 are all inside the Pillownaut Picasa Gallery For SpaceFestV!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lowell Observatory's Pluto Money Vote


You can't pass through Flagstaff, Arizona without visiting the Percival Lowell Observatory on Mars Hill, a National Historic Landmark and home of Pluto!

Planet Pluto? Dwarf Planet Pluto? The observatory that first sought, observed and documented everyone's favorite "Trans-Neptunian Object" has come up with an interesting way to ask people what they think of Pluto's new designation:

Pluto VOTE at Lowell Observatory
Visit and VOTE!

Clever! I generally stay away from the topic of Pluto on social media, because it's like blowing a whistle in the dog pound. One must brace for vehement and sometimes even profanity-laced arguments or pointless debates about a block of ice 7.5 billion kilometers away.

The Lowell Observatory not only side-stepped the opportunity for fighting, but turned it into a money-generating endeavour.  We counted through the tops and sides of the cases, and it seems the most cash is inside the "I don't care I just want to support Lowell" box!

Planet Pluto Vote
Jeanette, me, Richard & Amjad at the entrance pillars

Lowell had many other clever attractions and awesome artifacts from the era when Pluto was discovered, not the least of which was Percival Lowell's very first telescope, original notes and calculations, and early astronomical tools used to seek planets and other celestial bodies, even if the names change over the decades.

We enjoyed an exhibit of space suits through the many NASA program eras, saw a giant Space Shuttle tire (let's just say I could live inside of it), and paid our respects to Percival's nearby Mausoleum.

After dark, we looked through 3 different-sized telescopes in various courtyards and slit domes to see Jupiter, an almost full-Moon, and, through the famed Clark Telescope, a breathtakingly crisp view of Saturn and her brightest moons!  I still can't believe I got to look through the CLARK at Saturn!

Clark Telescope at Lowell Observatory
117-year-old Clark Telescope

Lowell Observatory was established in 1894, placing it among the oldest observatories in the United States, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.  This can be found on my Pillownaut Map of Space-Related NHLs -- perfect for summer roadtrips!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Barringer Meteor Crater


BIG. HOLE. IN. THE. GROUND. I took a photograph of the Meteor Crater years ago from an airplane, but it's something else altogether to stand at the edge of it! (Although, the fact that you can even spot it from a plane is pretty freaking cool.)

About 50,000 years ago, an asteroid (or a very significant piece of one) traveling at approximately 42,000 kilometres (26,000 miles) per hour crashed into what is now northern Arizona with the impact of 2+ million tons of TNT, creating a massive crater that would take the average human a couple of hours to walk around.

So, naturally, we built observation trails around it, to take in all it's awesomeness from every angle, since it is the best-preserved impact crater in the world:
1.6 kilometers / 1 mile across
4 kilometers / 2.4 miles in circumference
168 meters / 500 feet deep

Arizona Meteor Crater

I visited the crater once in 1999, and was gratified to see the small center at the rim has now expanded into a larger museum, full gift shop, small restaurant, an Astronaut Memorial Park, and a wide-screen movie theatre, where we watched a fascinating movie with 3D-animated modeling on how the meteor smashed to Earth all those years ago -- sound effects and all .

Construction was underway on yet another building, which will include more food choices, an expanded rock shop, and interactive exhibits for children.  All in all, a wonderful science attraction!  And of course, this is featured as a "space stop" on my Pillownaut Map of World Museums and Space Novelties.

Also, they have an Apollo Test Capsule, since many of that era's astronauts used the crater for analog simulations prior to their lunar landings.

Seems like it should be a national historic site, doesn't it? However, it is privately owned. Founded by geologist Daniel Moreau Barringer in 1903, the Barringer Crater Company is committed to the preservation of the grand crater, and supporting scientific research in the field of meteoritics.

Owned and operated by fourth-generation descendants of Barringer, the company also provides research grants for field work and doctoral students, and bestows an annual award known as the Barringer Medal to recognize outstanding scientific achievement in understanding impact phenomena around the world.

Later today, we're going to an even bigger hole in the ground! Grand Canyon, brace yourselves for the Trek away team!

Saturday, May 18, 2013



I'm traveling again, and it feels great to be on the open road! Today I'll be exploring Wifi at the many Starbucks Cafes along California's Interstate-5 and Interstate-40. Tomorrow, I'll continue into Arizona. First major destination, Flagstaff!

This week, follow @pillownaut and @bauer1701 with hashtag #RoadTwip on Twitter for our Star Trekkie away-team adventures to the Meteor Crater, Apollo Moon Tree, Historic Route 66, Grand Canyon, Lowell Observatory -- and maybe even the cinema eto see the "Star Trek: Into Darkness" film? Should be an epic week, and that's only our first leg in northern Arizona!

Roadtrip Map

After a short tea break in Phoenix, we will head to Tucson to SpaceFest V, with Moonwalker goodness. I have lunches scheduled with the Mercury 7's Scott Carpenter AND Gemini/Apollo astronaut Dick Gordon. I honestly cannot even believe that is real until it is actively happening. Rumor has it, a Meteorite Man and a certain Bad Astronomer will also be within EVA distance!

The line-up for this year's SPACEFEST conference is incredible, and I'll have the extraordinary pleasure of sharing the driving trip with folks from all over the United States, Canada, England, Germany and Australia.  Those are just the ones I know of, from social media. I can't wait to meet new space enthusiasts, and see how many other states and nations are represented. It's amazing how NASA astronauts and world-renowned scientists inspire people to spend days in airplanes and cars, just for a quick chance of hearing them speak or meeting them in person!

Spacefest 5 

After the conference is over, I and the last dregs of the Brit Army will head to Los Angeles to see Space Shuttle Endeavour, NASA JPL, Griffiths Observatory and any other spacey goodness we can find.  I may have to take my visitors to the Anaheim Fry's Electronics to see the Space Shuttle flight deck.

I probably should have asked them if they wanted to do something that "normal" tourists do, like Disneyland, or something... Space Mountain? Anyone? ;) Who knows what will happen... hope everyone will share this with us through Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Skylab 40th Anniversary


Happy 40th Anniversary to SKYLAB, the first American space station! I'm continually amazed at how Skylab Missions, sandwiched between Apollo and the Space Shuttle programs, tends to be the Forgotten Orbiting Tin Can.

Compared to modules on other stations, and short-term capsules used in Mercury, Gemini, & Apollo -- Skylab practically had a ballroom!  Most of the best "micro-gravity acrobatics" videos came from this amazing program in the mid-1970s.


I was born just as the Moon landing program was revving up; my parents tell me I watched lunar footage on television, though I have no recollection. Honestly, Skylab is the first program I can remember seeing on television as a child: how they ran experiments in weightlessness, how the station hosted the first medical doctor in space (astronaut Joseph Kerwin) – and of course, how debris unfortunately plummeted onto Western Australia in July of 1979.

They had animals in space! I found that captivating, and plied my father with questions about how fish could swim in space, how spiders adapted, and how humans were affected by the longest space flights up to that time. Skylab was the first program to study bones, muscles, blood, heart function,and metabolism.

Skylab featured in my October 1974 issue of National Geographic,
which called the space station a "flying Dutch windmill"...

The three manned Skylab missions:

Skylab 2 (May 25 - Jun 22, 1973) - Pete Conrad, Paul Weitz and Joe Kerwin flew longest duration spaceflight at the time, to study fluid-electrolyte changes, cardiovascular changes, sleep patterns, exercise and space adaptation syndrome.
Skylab 3 (Jul 28 - Sep 25, 1973) - Alan Bean, Owen Garriott and Jack Lousma flew to conduct in-flight girth measurements, headward fluid shift, arterial blood flow tests, hemoglobin and urine specific gravity tests; animal experiments included the first fish in space (mummichog fingerlings and eggs), pocket mice, cellular organisms, fruit flies and the first two Garden spiders, Arabella and Anita.
Skylab 4 (Nov 16, 73 - Feb 8, 74) - Gerald Carr, William Pogue, and Edward Gibson flew to study body weight changes, bone and muscle deterioration, tissue dehydration, orthostatic intolerance, and factors determining severity of space sickness symptoms and possible countermeasures.

Skylab Space Station
One of my favorite astronaut pictures of all time!
Dr. Joe Kerwin giving weightless medical exam to Pete Conrad

 More missions to Skylab were planned, following a refurbishment project and orbital-boost, compliments of the newly-proposed crafts called "Space Shuttles".  However, construction was delayed, so NASA had no choice but to allow Skylab to re-enter Earth's atmosphere.  On July 11, 1979, Skylab disintegrated as it fell toward Western Australia, sonic booms and all.

As fiery pieces smashed into the ground near the mining town of Esperance, inhabitants Dorothy and Mervin Andre collected spherical containers, various strips and shards of metal, a hundred-pound door hatch, and an oxygen tank similar to the one I'm posing with below.

Me with a big ol' hunk of what was left of Skylab
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

When the American recovery team arrived in Australia to survey the debris field of the fallen station, Mervin Andre (town council president at the time), issued them a ticket for littering. FROM SPACE. That always cracked me up! I don't recall hearing that story on television at the time, but merely remember thinking the Australian government was remarkably cool about the whole thing, having announced from the capital city of Canberra that Skylab had "fallen harmlessly into the ocean" while pieces were in fact raining down over The Outback.

The Andre couple now operate The Skylab Museum of Australia, which gets about 12,000 annual visitors. Seems they’re proud and happy to share their salvage, and even happier to remind Americans that the ticket remained unpaid for three decades.

In July of 2009, they held an anniversary celebration whereby two American radio hosts, Barker & Barley of Highway Radio, challenged their morning listeners to raise the $400 necessary to pay the littering fine on NASA’s behalf, finally settling the ticket 30 years later.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tang Pie


Remember that sugary, orangey-but-not-really-orange drink from our childhoods?!

Contrary to urban legend, TANG was not developed by NASA, or created specifically for space missions. In fact, Tang was flown on just a few early trips -- the first orbit of the Earth by John Glenn in 1962, and select Mercury and Gemini trips -- but that was enough to capture public attention, particularly after it was marketed as the "astronaut's drink"!

The powdered treat was developed General Foods Corporation in 1957 and marketed as an "instant breakfast" food by 1959. Tang, now owned by Mondelēz International (and licensed by Kraft for sugar-free varieties) is still for sale today in different flavors.

Orange Tang
Tang packaging in 1979 and in 2009

Today, TANG is also in the Space Food Hall of Fame! In other news... there is actually a Space Food Hall of Fame.

A few years ago, I found and tweeted this amusing recipe from an old, old, old glass bottle: the pie of the future!  It made quite the splash on Twitter, but until I actually spotted a canister of it.  My foodie pal from the Pages, Pucks & Pantry blog bought half the ingredients, I bought the other half, and one evening we teamed up to make the recipe!

Okay, really we were eating pasta and watching a NHL playoff hockey game... but we eventually did make the pie. It only takes about 10 minutes to mix and pour, and if you put it in the freezer, it sets pretty quickly.  4 hours? We don't need no 4 hours!

Very tasty.  I mixed a glass of Tang, and just about spit it right back out upon tasting it.  I'm not 7 years old anymore, and the tart sugar water really loses something after puberty.  Or, maybe it's after one starts imbibing socially!  Either way, I'm no longer on board with the liquid version.

Tang Pie
Special thanks to Rene for foodie photo
and groovy 1960s backdrop

However, the pie was awesome!  Very sweet and moussy, and the cream ingredients cut the tartness of the orange sugar.  If I ever make another one, I would make one recipe change: I would cut the sour cream to 1/4 cup (it was too tastable), and replace with ditto amount of whipped cream, or light cream cheese.

So, if you're under 9, enjoy TANG!  If you're under 99, enjoy Tang Pie!  Just don't ever read the ingredients...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

GeekChicTees Prize Winner


Wow, this is like being Jayne in the town of Canton on Higgins' Moon! Talk about a mob scene!  It is with great pleasure that I report, unsurprisingly, that the collaborative T-shirt Giveaway between Pillownaut Blog and GeekChicTees was a rousing success... in no small part to Captain Mal's Wisdom, which has become just about the funnest place on Facebook for Firefly fans!


TWEETSTORM! Over a thousand entries poured in through Twitter!  Then a few hundred more through Facebook, Google+, PInterest, Tumblr -- and many asked if they could join for emailing their friends, and/or posting on their blog or LiveJournal. News traveled to thousands.  The most any one person entered was 30! (Seems there are some folks out there who have multiple Twitter accounts.)

Browncoats sure are a creative bunch. In my last few prize giveaways for shirts and calendars, I had about 100 entries per. This Firefly-themed contest really broke the 'verse barrier, with a fair percentage entering multiple times on multiple days.

So, the cat. He likes to roll around in paper. It helps if you sprinkle a little catnip around it. Funny little quirk, he will play in it, then pick something to chew. So, I just watched him until he chomped on a piece and carried it off toward the scratching post. And there's our winner! With toothmak

Lindsey of Kalamazzo, Michigan is the lucky one! Twitter handle @Linzey101182, please contact me to claim your prize!  You have 24 hours to respond, and thank you for your 7 entries!  Please send Direct Message back to me on Twitter, or email me (hra2362 at yahoo dot com), and let me know your address and shirt size.  If no response by Friday at 8am, we will randomly choose another name.

And if you didn't win, well, we're sorry we can't give a freebie to everyone!  But this went so well, I am sure we will have another giveaway ... perhaps for Christmas?  In the meantime, all the shirts are available on GeekChic. This has been a wonderful way to find new Browncoat friends all across social media, and get the #Firefly hashtag front and center for all to see.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Win Free Firefly T-Shirt!


Browncoats! Know what the Alliance hates? Dedicated freedom fighters, creativity and probably most of all -- free stuff. This past September 20, 2012 was the 10-year anniversary of the premiere of Firefly. And even a decade later, I still live to wave the Serenity Valley flag.

Firefly Browncoats

If you belong to the largest social media site in the world, you're surely seen the great GEEKCHIC TEES Firefly products on Captain Mal's Wisdom or Facebook Firefly.

Now, Mr. GeekChic Tees himself offers a gift to one lucky Browncoat!  The contest will run for one week, today through next Wednesday (May 1st - 7th).

At the end, we let the cat pick a name at random (for real), and the winner, upon sending clothing size and address confidentially, gets to pick their favorite product from the GeekChic Tees catalogue!

Firefly T-shirts

"I Wish This Was Nathan Fillion" ... that one slays me. I'd wear it because I love it, but I don't hate any of my friends enough to wear it right next to them.  I think a great viral-photography project would be to wear these next to unsuspecting strangers. Or, perhaps go to Disneyland and just wear it next to Mickey Mouse.

The ultimate? Wearing it right next to Nathan Fillion himself. That may even open a black hole of irony in the multiverse. Let's try it.

Geek Chic Tees

To enter the contest for the free T-shirt, simply tweet one of the following, so Mr. GeekChic and I can see it in our feeds:

Browncoats! Win FREE Firefly TShirt from @geekchic_tees at @Pillownaut blog SHINY #YouCantTakeTheSkyFromMe #FIREFLY

#Firefly Win a Free FIREFLY shirt from @geekchic_tees at @Pillownaut blog. Browncoats Unite! #Shiny #Serenity

Win FREE Firefly TShirt at @Pillownaut blog @geekchic_tees Spread the word, Browncoats! #CantStopTheSignal #FIREFLY

#FIREFLY Win a Free Firefly shirt from @geekchic_tees! Browncoats Unite! #Shiny #BigDamnHeroes cc @pillownaut

Or, make up one of your own tweets, but be sure to include, AT MINIMUM: the link to the contest, both Twitter handles, the hashtag #FIREFLY and any other Browncoat saying or quote... but please, not too much gorram cussing in Chinese!

If you are not on Twitter, share this page to Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and/or Google+ and then email Pillownaut to say you have done so: h r a 2 3 6 2 - at - yahoo dot com.

Enter as many times as you like, on as many platforms as you like. Every share and tweet counts as an entry!  It also counts as an entry if you follow either of us on Twitter for shiny space and Firefly clothing updates in the future.