Image above: Eclipse party 2017 with Meteor Mike.
In July, I plan to attend Spacefest IX, a celebration of astronauts, mission controllers, scientists, space novelists, science journalists, and all stripes of space enthusiasm and enthusiasts. This being my first time, I’m excited at the chance to meet so many of like mind, people who live and breathe the future of humanity by celebrating our spacefaring spirit. I can’t wait to meet the Poor family, the ones who pull off this monumental gathering and carry on the legacy of Kim Poor, the visionary who created this event nearly a decade ago – a man I wish I could have met.
I look forward to talks by: Emily Carney, a witty and wise writer who guides modern space culture and provides a guiding light for other writers to chase; Dwight Steven-Boniecki, who will be premiering his film Searching For Skylab: NASA’s Forgotten Triumph, a presentation that’s guaranteed to leave us all with chills, from everything I’ve heard; and, Phil Plait, a man whose Bad Astronomy writings have guided a generation of planetarians and space educators, myself included.
I cannot wait to immerse myself in the artwork, the foundation of this festival, to see what inspires and fits within my budget (and my plane’s overhead bin). I envision a new painting in my office, perhaps of an alien landscape, spacecraft, or astronauts hovering before diamond stars scattered across a velvety black backdrop. Such a painting could pull five thousand words from me each day, I’m sure, if I could find exactly the right one.
Of course, the reason for Googling “cool space gatherings” a year ago was the search for those who are of my tribe, but particularly, those who can tell me tales of astronauts coming to my home town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Hearing tales during the Apollo speakers panel, at the banquet, during the luncheon, and over drinks at the cocktail party–I cannot wait for these. It seems a priceless gift hearing from the astronauts who once trained under the Morehead Planetarium dome where I now present the heavens to grade-school future astronauts.
And yet in July, I expect to receive this amazing gift on my birthday, in fact! And all thanks to those with vision. Those who created Spacefest. Thank you, Poor family. Meeting you might be the best part of the trip.
So, who’s up for a space adventure? Meteor Mike is ready if you are!