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  4/24: Future of Space at Seattle Museum of Flight

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Author Topic:   4/24: Future of Space at Seattle Museum of Flight
p51
Member

Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-13-2012 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's an event scheduled for April 24 that would be of interest to people in the Seattle area.
Join us and Museum of Flight benefactor Charles Simonyi, Ph.D. to discover what the next great advancement of humanity will be.

A new company will be unveiling its mission to revolutionize current space exploration activities and ultimately create a better standard of living on Earth. Don't miss your opportunity to be among the first to find out what's next from the world's leading commercial space pioneers and the people who will chart the future.

I just got the day off from work for this, any other CS members in the Puget Sound area looking to attend?

p51
Member

Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-24-2012 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just got back from this, didn't encounter very many space fans, which surprised me. Most of the people I talked with were into the investment side of the venture or were into the engineering aspect of it.

The event itself is best covered on this site here.

In the Q/A session with the press, they answered three internet questions and one was from Robert here on cS. The funny part is everyone on the panel recognized the name and one even said, "Oh yeah, we know him well!"

The signing with Tom Jones afterward went very well. I'd heard he was a nice guy and he sure lived up to that. He signed my hardbound copy of "Sky Walking and a couple of 8X10s I had (one of him doing his STS-98 EVA and the other of him in his official portrait in the EVA suit).

Here's a couple of shots, I couldn't get very much because of the media wall and the distance my table was from the stage. Robert, feel free to use them anyway you want if you'd like...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-24-2012 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
The funny part is everyone on the panel recognized the name and one even said, "Oh yeah, we know him well!"
Yeah, Peter, Eric and Chris are all friends.

They referenced a common connection to SEDS — Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Peter started SEDS while a student at MIT, Eric was president of the chapter at University of Virginia, and Chris was president of the chapter at University of Arizona and then national chair.

I was president and a co-founder of Maryland SEDS at the University of Maryland, and then later vice chair to Chris' chair, and then national chair myself.

Eric, Peter and I worked together when Space Adventures was just starting, and Eric, Peter, Chris and I worked together on starting Starport.com (which was later acquired by Space.com). Chris also ran the server that hosted cS for many years.

FullThrottle
Member

Posts: 88
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 04-24-2012 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FullThrottle   Click Here to Email FullThrottle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had really wanted to go to this! I've been trying to hit up all astronaut appearances within 500 miles when I can, to hear the stories and learn something new about an astronaut and spaceflight missions.

I didn't realize how fast it would sell out or I would have just gotten a ticket when I first saw it on collectSPACE. Most of these kind of things I've been to have a fair turnout but sometimes they're empty... I didn't expect it to be a sellout, so I waited until after I had my two days off this week approved before I snapped up a ticket... SOLD OUT! Ahhhhhh!

I was tempted to go to the museum anyways, watch the press conference, miss the luncheon with spaceflight stories and stick around for a few hours for maybe yes/maybe no couple of free autographs. If I couldn't do the luncheon I decided that was most of the attraction of the event. Tom Jones will be at Spacefest next month so I'm hoping to get a chance to talk to him there and get a few things signed.

Does/did Charles Simonyi sign autographs when he goes to the Museum of Flight events generally? I couldn't find any references to past experiences at MOF with Dr. Simonyi. I only ask because I'm leery of printing off a bunch of expensive giclee prints and never being able to get them signed. Now that I've gotten a bunch giclees printed, I prefer the quality over the much cheaper standard mail order Fuji prints with various inks.

I seem to keep missing Dr. Simonyi when he's at the museum.

p51
Member

Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-24-2012 08:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FullThrottle:
Does/did Charles Simonyi sign autographs when he goes to the Museum of Flight events generally?
He spoke a little, hung with the other folks in suits, then vanished into thin air. He wasn't signing anything that I could tell.

As for the ticket, I was shocked to find out it was sold out once I got there. There were several seats available for the lunch, including one right next to me. A good (well, sort of good, anyway) lunch and empty chair saw no use at all.

FullThrottle
Member

Posts: 88
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 04-24-2012 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FullThrottle   Click Here to Email FullThrottle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
As for the ticket, I was shocked to find out it was sold out once I got there. There were several seats available for the lunch, including one right next to me. A good (well, sort of good, anyway) lunch and empty chair saw no use at all.
That breaks my heart! Between this statement and a phone call this afternoon I really should have rolled the dice and made the drive out. I had the day off but decided to go to work this morning with my tail in between my legs.

When I called the Museum of Flight on Monday to ask about the sold out tickets and get more info on the event, I was told by the person who answered the phone that it more or less wasn't worth bothering to drive 100 miles round trip and absolutely NO additional tickets would be available. But they did say I could attend a "press conference," which didn't sound very exciting compared to dozens of past astronaut speakings I've been to.

Hopefully my consolation prize is Dr. Dunbar will be at a lunch on Thursday, which I was smart enough to request time off way ahead and picked up a ticket a month ago for fear it would sell out with so much time passed from the announcement to the event.

I'll say it again, I was absolutely blown away that a MOF event on a Tuesday sold out 500 seats within a few days of initial posting and not much notice ahead of time. Wendy Lawrence had a half filled auditorium and Al Worden had the heaviest turnout I'd seen at MOF, for his Falling to Earth appearance which I'd guess to be close to 500 people, maybe.

p51
Member

Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-25-2012 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While it was interesting, anyone seeking insight into personal experience with space travel would have been badly disappointed. Only Jones made a quick reference to how taxing an EVA was and how they eventually were looking to have small 1-2 person space ships doing the mining work so the crews could, "Work in a shirtsleeve environment." Otherwise, it was all about the mining concept. It generated more questions than answers for some people, I could tell afterward.

I really didn't grasp the importance of this event until after I got there. There were people from as far away as China who showed up for this. The funny part was I was at a table with only a bunch of engineers and venture capitalist folks (some fundraising folks from the museum later had lunch next to me and they had some interesting comments about the new building).

The others started talking about that whole "elevator to space" thing that was bounced around for a while. They talked and talked about how you could build it and how much it'd cost to do so. After listening for a while, one of them noticed I hadn't said anything and asked why not. I pointed out the elevator idea couldn't be defended and would not only be a massive navigational hazard for airplanes, it'd also be a way-too-easy target for terrorists or other nations (for example, a MIG-25 with the right missiles or a long range surface-to-air missile fired from a ship in international waters).

Being former military (and having once dealt with security people at KSC on an issue along those lines), that was the first thing that popped into my mind. They just shut up, dumbfounded that this never even crossed their collective minds. One saw my NASA jacket on the chair and my tight haircut and asked what I did for a living (as in, "who are you really?"). I just politely changed the subject and I can't help but wonder who they thought I really was 'with'...

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