Celebrate Anniversary of First Spaceflight at NASA Ames

On April 9th and 10th, the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View will be joining over 120 other cities to celebrate Yuri's Night. The event commemorates two achievements, the first of Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who on April 12, 1961 became the first man to fly into space. The second achievement celebrates is the launch of the first Space Shuttle by NASA on April 12, 1981, exactly twenty years later. In honor of these grand milestones of human exploration, NASA Ames Research Center is hosting a two day party. April 9th is Multiverse Education Day, a free event for elementary, high school and college students lasting from 9am-3pm. Leading NASA scientists and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs will be giving talks; there will also be several exhibits, activities, workshops, and art.

Speakers include:

  • Pam Marcum (NASA), who will be discussing how astronomers use infrared light to explore the universe
  • Steve Wozniak on his life in general
  • Brian Day (NASA )on robotic missions, specifically the L-CROSS mission to the moon
  • Android Jones on using technology to create art
  • Jon Jenkins (NASA-SETI) on the Kepler Mission which is tasked with detecting Earth-like planets.

Exhibits include:

  • A portable planetarium from the CA Academy of Sciences
  • The RV-9A N42PE, aka how to build a home-made aircraft
  • Butterflies from the Space Station
  • An exhibit called Humpback Whales and Life in the Universe, which will "explore the unique collaboration between the Alaska Whale Foundation and investigators at the SETI Institute"
  • Grassroots Innovation by the people who bring you Maker Faire
  • Lego engineers: RC Airplanes and Helicopters
  • Many fun things from NASA, including tires/tiles from shuttlecraft, a 3D Mars Panorama that uses 3D glasses, and a human gyroscope

After all that fun is April 10th: the Festival Day, a concert festival lasting from noon to midnight. There will be lots of music, as well as more speakers and exhibits. Interesting speakers include:

  • Bruce Damer on Avatars, Life, The Universe and Everything, a talk on how the technology of James Cameron's film Avatar might be made manifest.
  • Ryan Wyatt of the CA Academy of Sciences, giving a tour of the Universe
  • Richard Garriott talking about "What happens when a video game designer gets to train as a cosmonaut and spend 10 days on the International Space Station

The festivities of April 9th are free and open to the public. April 10th's events require the purchase of a ticket, which can be done online for around $50.

For more information, and for full schedule information, including an extensive list of speakers and events, visit the website.

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Astra Bryant

Astra Bryant is a graduate of the Stanford Neuroscience PhD program in the labs of Drs. Eric Knudsen and John Huguenard. She used in vitro slice electrophysiology to study the cellular and synaptic mechanisms linking cholinergic signaling and gamma oscillations – two processes critical for the control of gaze and attention, which are disrupted in many psychiatric disorders. She is a senior editor and the webmaster of the NeuWrite West Neuroblog