Talk with Astros, Play with Moon Rocks, Be at SpaceUp Houston

I will be at SpaceUp Houston and I think you should come too. SpaceUp Houston is an “unconference” that makes sessions from the awesome conversations people have in the hallways and informal gatherings at regular conferences. In essence YOU are the conversation.

My personal experience with this event started from a tweet by @txflygirl on Twitter. I met @txflygirl during the STS-132 JSC Mission Tweetup, it was an amazing experience for me and I have stayed in touch with many people from the tweetup. The @txflygirl tweet explored the possibility of a SpaceUp event in Houston and asked for people who would like to help and I thought, “why not”. I had heard about SpaceUp DC but I didn’t find out enough about it before the event to attend and since I still wanted to go to this type of event I thought I could put my programming/computer science skills to good use. In addition, having my interest in space exploration rekindled after attending the NASA Tweetup I thought I would have to be crazy to let this opportunity pass me by. Once the SpaceUp Houston’s team started to form, I helped out @harbingeralpha (Dennis Bonilla) with the website and technical set-up for SpaceUp Houston. I helped find a web host along with setting up a domain and Dennis and I set up the site despite being several states apart. I did a lot of the fighting with the website customization and have learned many things through this process. I’ve now worked with the WordPress blogging environment, and integrated various social media sources such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn into a powerful communications platform. I will be responsible for managing the scheduling software once the event gets under way so that attendees are aware of what events are happening in which room at the Lunar and Planetary Institute during the event. As the event gets closer I am becoming more and more excited about being a part of an event that includes speakers such as Boeing, SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (ULA), Sierra Nevada, and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) which will be part of a commercial space panel, and hear from Astronaut Clay Anderson on Saturday, February 12.

How will you be getting there? I’m personally driving a little over 1,100 miles each way to be at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX on February 12-13 (hopefully my professors don’t mind me missing a day or two of class), below you will find links to get more information and to purchase tickets so that you won’t miss out on this opportunity to meet some cool people and engage in productive conversation. I am also looking forward to hearing what many people think is next for NASA and the future of Human Space Flight in general. I hope to see you there!

Official website: http://www.spaceuphouston.org
Tickets: http://spaceuphou.eventbrite.com/

Our official press release:

Grassroots Space Conference Announces Houston Dates: Astronaut and Others to Attend February Event

SpaceUp Houston Opens Registration and Invites the Public to Play With Moon Rocks and Telescopes, and Mingle with Fellow Science and Science Fiction Fans

Houston, TX – January 15, 2010 – SpaceUp Houston has announced availability of tickets for its February 12-13 “unconference” to be held at The Lunar & Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX. Tickets are available at http://spaceuphou.eventbrite.com. The third conference of its kind, SpaceUp Houston will include spontaneous sessions created by attendees as well as telescope viewing of the night sky, costumed Star Wars characters courtesy of the 501st Legion, and a Saturday evening presentation by Astronaut Clay Anderson. Other sessions at the two-day event will include a commercial spaceflight panel and a space show-and-tell. Lunch will be provided with every ticket to the event.

Attendees have previously arrived from across the country with ages ranging from seven to seventy years old. SpaceUp Houston, as described on the unconference’s website, “will nurture new and radical concepts, will help develop partnerships, and is meant for you to create a future worth living in.” Previous attendees had this to say about SpaceUp events:
“Awesome.”
“Inspiring.”
“SpaceUp was about the people.”
“The conversations people care about by the people who care about them.”

Space unconferences have been held in San Diego, CA as well as Washington, DC to promote discussions on cutting edge technologies, space outreach, and the future of the space industry in the United States. This will be the first SpaceUp event in Houston; it has been planned and promoted by members of the Houston tech industry as well as space enthusiasts from across the country. Major sponsors for SpaceUp Houston include The Boeing Company, United Launch Alliance, and Telestream’s Wirecast software. The event will be livestreamed on February 12-13 at http://spaceuphouston.org.

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A SpaceUp is a space unconference, also known as a user-generated conference or a BarCamp. Participants will decide the topics, schedule, and structure of the event.

SpaceUp, founded in 2010, has successfully been held in San Diego and Washington D.C. SpaceUp Houston will build upon their success by involving the Houston-Clear Lake community in sharing and discussing the possibilities for space exploration covering NASA programs, hobbyist projects, start-up companies, research, and the arts. SpaceUp strives to include children, university students, and anyone who has a passion for space exploration. There are no spectators at SpaceUp Houston, only participants. All attendees are expected to give a demo, present a talk, or participate in a panel or roundtable. Above all, SpaceUp events are designed as catalysts for future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics development.

SpaceUp Houston has partnered with the Clear Lake Area National Space Society (CLANSS) which has 501(c)(3) status.

The official SpaceUp Houston Twitter stream can be found at http://twitter.com/spaceuphou

For more information visit the SpaceUp Houston website at http://spaceuphouston.org or call Dennis Bonilla at (202) 670-4740 or email SpaceUp Houston at press@spaceuphouston.org