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Monthly archive March, 2012

SpaceUp San Francisco!

This is the inaugural year of SpaceUp San Francisco. The amazing space enthusiasm is going to happen on March 31 and April 1, 2012 at Citizen Space and is in partnership with the AIAA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Space is limited so register now to make sure you get a spot.

SpaceUp is a space unconference, where participants decide the topics to discuss and everyone is encouraged to give a talk, moderate a panel or start a discussion. Sessions are proposed and scheduled on the day they’re given, which means the usual “hallway conversations” turn into full-fledged topics.

If you’ve been to a SpaceUp elsewhere, then you know the fun and stellar ideas that are born there. It is truly the place for space enthusiasts, students, pros and wide-eyed kids. What makes SpaceUp SF unique is that we are also encouraging the strong SF culture of hackers, makers, artists, entrepreneurs, and web pros to attend. For example, organizer Sam is part of the steampunk culture, a bot maker and space tourism advocate. Crossing those ought to make for a really radical space movement! We hope to see the brilliance Bay Area people bring to startups, art and tech companies melded with the space community. Come to SF to see a new take on SpaceUp!

If you’ve never been to a SpaceUp, this is your chance! You will be amazed at what comes out of SpaceUp. Based on past SpaceUps, we expect to see businesses started, problems solved, projects kicked off, plans hatched, and amazing friendships born. Plus there is the amazing fun of Moonpie eating contests, the cool gadgets in the Artware Alley, and a chance to talk about the space topics that interest you! From rockets to space settlements, science projects to scifi, if you’re into it, it goes at SpaceUp!

We hope to have the Space Tweeps community in full force at SpaceUp SF. Get more information at www.spaceupsf.org. Please spread the word if you can! We are on Twitter and Facebook.

SXSW Panel: How to Win Friends and Influence Space Exploration

Yesterday at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival the Space Tweep Society was represented on one of the panels: How to Win Friends and Influence Space Exploration. Though I wasn’t able to be there, I could tell by the numerous positive tweets filling my stream that the panel was very well received.

Great job @harbingeralpha, @mrdoornbos, @absolutspacegrl, @chris_radcliff, and @Astro_Ron!

Here are a just a few of the tweets I found about and in response to the panel:

MarsTweetup: experience a Mars analog simulation in a cave

MarsTweetup: experience a Mars analog simulation in a cave

Since Nasa started organizing tweetups for space events I always had in mind to do a similiar thing in Austria. But I wasn’t sure if such an event could attrack tweeps to come to Austria. Then last year the first #spacetweetup was annoucend. A tweetup on European soil organized by DLR (German Aerospace Center) and ESA (European Space Agency), what unique opportunity for me. Of course I had to apply and luckily got in. This day was amazing (more articles on #spacetweetup) and after that day it was clear I want to organize a tweetup in Austria too and I was sure, my new friends will help me.

But what event could be attractive enough, so that people from Europe would like to travel too?
How about a Mars analog simulation, where a Mars spacesuit simulator is tested? How about a test site, which is situated at ca. 1,300 sealevel in a cave, in a region which is a world heritage site?

Sounds great 🙂

And as I’m a volunteer at the Austrian Space Forum (@oewf), which is building the Mars analog spacesuit simulator Aouda.X, I conviced the OEWF board, that we have to do a tweetup during our Dachstein Mars Simulation and the idea of the #MarsTweetup was born.

Dachstein Giant Ice Cave

Inside the Giant Ice cave

Some context on the Dachstein Mars Simulation:
Between 27Apr – 01May2012, a five day Mars simulation, coordinated by the Austrian Space Forum, will take place at the Dachstein caves (Mammoth & Giant Ice cave) in Austria. The Dachstein region is located in southern Upper Austria near Hallstatt in Austria (47°28′32.5″N 13°36′23.2″E). The geology of the Dachstein massif is dominated by the so-called Dachstein-Kalk (“Dachstein limestone”), dating from Triassic times. In common with other karstic areas, the Dachstein is permeated by a rich cave system, including some of the largest caves in Austria. The Dachstein is also famous for its fossils, including megalodonts.

But why in the world, should we go into a cave for a Mars simulation?

Since serveral years we know that caves exist on Mars and that these caves are probably one of the hotspots for astrobiology on that planet. Caves are a natural shelter against the harsh environment on the surface of Mars and it’s only logical if humans once make a step on Mars, they probably will look into caves too. Therefore is necessary to investigate in operational issues related to (sub)surface operations in a Mars analog environment.

20 Twitter followers have the chance to be part of this unique Mars simulation. This kind of test has never been done before.  Not only the Aouda.X spacesuit simulator will be tested, also international partners will participate at the simulation. The Polish MarsSociety, will test their MAGMA2 rover, who won the University Rover Challenge in 2011, a team of the WISDOM rader (a rader experiment on ESA’s ExoMars rover) will also conduct experiments as well as the Part-Time Scientist (a Google Lunar X-Prize team who are building a lunar rover) and the Jet Propulsion Lab (remote science experiment).

Registration for #MarsTweetup is open until 8th March, 12:00 p.m. CET.

#MarsTweetup will be held on Saturday, 28th April 2011 (ca. 09:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m)

Read also: Official annoucement for #MarsTweetup

@NeilTyson to host “John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon with John Logsdon” on March 5th

John Logsdon

If you are in the New York City area, you have a chance to join author John Logsdon as he traces the factors leading to President John F. Kennedy’s decision to send astronauts to the Moon and discusses Kennedy’s concerns as the massive effort unfolded. The program, hosted by Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson, will conclude with a signing of Logsdon’s book, John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon.

The program “John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon with John Logsdon” will be held at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium on March 5th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 and $13.50 for members, students, or seniors. Click here to purchase tickets or to get more information.

Thanks to Ellen Evaristo of the American Museum of Natural History for the information.