Welcome to the Space Track – Dragon Con 2015 – September 4 – September 7

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Doesn’t that sound exciting – and it’s true!  Our Universe is filled with enough fascinating stuff to fill billions of light years and the Dragon Con Space Track wants to help you discover it.

Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, said –

“The dream of yesterday is the hope of today
and the reality of tomorrow”

The dream of yesterday has been the countless ages that mankind has looked into the heavens and wondered.  What are the lights in the sky?  Why do they move and yet return the same each year?  And eventually, when will we be able to go there?  The hope of today is to continue to expand our knowledge.   Commercial space ventures.  Protecting Earth from comets and asteroids.  A human presence on Mars.  Finding other Earth like planets.  The reality of tomorrow is as wide as our own imaginations.  Faster than light travel.  Terra-forming other planets.  Interacting with intelligent species from other worlds.  Parallel universes.  These are only a few of themes the Space Track has, and continues to, explore but there is so much more!

‘Space’ today encompasses almost the full spectrum of sciences and engineering.  Astronomy?  Cosmology? Sending humans into space?  Those are still relevant but now there’s also AstroPhysics, Exo-Biology, Exo-Geology, specialized photography, Astro-Navigation, Aero-engineering, propulsion technology, Astro-Chemistry, human physiology, adaptive techniques for anything and everything humans need to live off planet and the list goes on. The scope of Space is as vast as the universe itself.  We invite you to bring us your dreams and hopes of space and we’ll tell you how they could become the realities of our future.

We are the Dragon Con Space Track – We bring the universe to you!

**DragonCon 2015 Gets Closer Every Day!**

Yes, as I write this Space Track and DragonCon is only 217 days away!!! For many of you that may seem like forever. For me, it already means ‘Yikes! I’m behind schedule!’

Planning for Space Track 2015 is already a little chaotic. There is SO MUCH happening this year and a number of things that have already happened since the end of DragonCon 2014, that I want/NEED to have on the 2015 program. There is no way I can adequately accommodate all of them but it is my job (and passion) to try. I thought I would give you all a peek of some of what has happened space-wise just since DragonCon 2014, some of which MIGHT be talked about on Space Track 2015. Just a small peak at the craziness of having to decide what to program!

September 8, 2014  –  Evidence of plate tectonics on Europa discovered.
September 9, 2014  –  1st evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System discovered.
September 11, 2014 Curiosity rover reaches Mount Sharp, a mountain at the center of Gale Crater & the rover mission’s long-term prime destination.
September 21, 2014 – 1) MAVEN probe reaches MARS & successfully orbits; 2) water vapor detected on the exo-planet HAT-P-11b, the 1st molecules of any kind have been found on such a relatively small exo-planet.
September 24, 2014 – India’s first probe to Mars – the Mars Orbiter Mission, Mangalyaan, successfully enters Mars orbit.
September 25, 2014 – A complex organic molecule, Iso-propyl cyanide, has been discovered near the galactic core in abundance.
October 1, 2014 –  GRAIL detects ancient rift valleys surrounding the “Ocean of Storms” region of the Moon.
October 15, 2014 – Several Kuiper belt objects identified as possible new targets for New Horizons spacecraft.
October 16, 2014 –  What appears to be a signature of ‘axions’ are detected, which are predicted to be dark matter particle candidates. If confirmed, this would be 1st direct detection & identification of the elusive substance.
October 19, 2014 –  Comet Siding Spring flies by of Mars; comet dust includes: magnesium, iron, sodium, potassium, manganese, nickel, chromium and zinc.
October 28, 2014 –  Antares rocket explodes just after launch, completely destroying the vehicle and badly damaging launch pad 0 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.
October 31, 2014 –  Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo experiences an in-flight anomaly followed by an explosion and crash in the Mojave desert, killing one pilot and injuring another.
November 5, 2014 –  ALMA telescope reveals a protoplanetary disk in never-before-seen detail; series of concentric rings are visible, showing the likely orbits of young planets in the process of being formed.
November 12, 2014 –  Philae lands on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko after bouncing off surface and re-landing.
December 1, 2014 –  More precise measurement of universe shows it is 13.8 billion years old and is composed of 4.9 percent atomic matter, 26.6 percent dark matter and 68.5 percent dark energy.
December 5, 2014 –  1st successful unmanned test flight of Orion, NASA’s future manned spacecraft.
December 10, 2014 –  Scientists decide it’s very unlikely that water found on Earth came from comets such as comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, according to the composition of water vapor (ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the water from the comet was 3x that found for terrestrial water) which is substantially different from that found on Earth.
December 18, 2014 –  Newly configured Kepler, detected its first confirmed exoplanet, HIP 116454 b, a Super-Earth.

So Space Fans, that’s JUST from the end of Con to the end of 2014!  Anything interesting that you want to hear more of?  Let me know; send an email to ‘space@dragoncon.org’.  Remember, Space Track is for all of YOU.  YOU make it successful by your attendance and your attendance is dependent on me programming talks you want to hear.

Hope to see you all at Space Track 2015!


“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”. ‘excerpt from the Armstrong family statement of Neil’s death’