Last weekend was a celebration of space at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. A Yuri's Night party and SpaceUp Seattle provided for both a celebration of the beginning of manned spaceflight 52 years ago and some contemplation about the future through part what's being done today, part what could be done.
April 12, 2013 was the fifty second anniversary of the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin. Then, the space race not yet fully in motion, a cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States of America, now a celebrated event that gets us an inch closer every year to be a truly unified planet, if only for a little while, rather than the savage territorial animals that still live inside us.
|Landed the space shuttle. Welcome home, virtual astronauts.|
|SpaceUp Seattle - Setting up discussion topics the unconference way. (Photo: Nat Seymour)|
|Garrett Reisman - Falcon 2.0|
For the rest of the day we talked about commercial space, asteroids and other space topics. The good parts about this format is that it flattens the hierarchy of presenter and audience and promotes new ideas and interesting discussions. However, the unknown nature of the topics and people bears a risk as much as it is a benefit.
The last session of the day was set aside for a series of Ignite talks - 5-minute presentations with 20 slides each that advance automatically every 15 seconds - no time to hesitate, pause or go on a tangent. It was a good exercise in conciseness and sticking to the point. Topics varied from space missions to how to buy a telescope. I presented Astronauts4Hire, and I hope that after a whole day of talking mostly about missions and hardware, talking about the often-neglected topic of the human workforce aspect of commercial spaceflight was interesting for the attendees.
|Round tables at SpaceUp prompted lively discussions. (Photo: Jeff Slostad)|