2017 – Space Track Schedule

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FRIDAY

Friday, 10:00am, Pool Deck (Hilton 3rd Floor) – Solar Telescope – See the closest star to planet Earth; prominences, sunspots, maybe even a solar flare! Live, in all its glory – it’s our SUN! (Weather Permitting)
(solar astronomers: Stephen Ramsden & Ben Jenkins)

Friday, 10:00am, Crystal Ballroom (Hilton) – Blue Origin: Vehicles/Technologies Lowering Cost & Increasing Safety – At Blue Origin, they envision a future with millions of people living & working in space. Driven by their company motto, Gradatim Ferociter or “step by step, ferociously,” they are currently developing the New Shepard suborbital system as well as their New Glenn family of orbital launch vehicles
(guest: A. C. Charania)

Friday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Women of NASA – We Do It All! – At NASA, women occupy jobs at every level & every occupation. They work hard to get where they are & they give back generously. It’s not just STEM that gets you a job – STEAM is just as important.
(guest: Mary Kate Butler, Rebecca Kim, Sarah Milkovich, PhD, Trina Ray & Kim Steadman)

Friday, 1:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Holes, Caverns & the Geologic Features of Mars – Mars is full of amazing geologic features & 1 such was featured on the APOD site on June 12th – a hole! We’ve discovered the surface of Mars has many geologic features that give access to the subsurface of Mars which could give us insight into the history of Mars.
(guest: Sarah Milkovich, PhD)

Friday, 2:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop – Many believe that at some point in the future the human race will become an interstellar civilization. That may be a long time in our future but there are groups who are working towards that goal already!
(guest: Robert Hampson, PhD, Joe Meany, PhD & Les Johson)

Friday, 2:30pm, Overflow Room (Hilton 214) – Educational Outreach – Who, What & How – As education budgets get cut more each year & an administration that doesn’t believe in science, it is more important than ever that there be outlets for students and teachers to have access for space education.
(guest: Nick Eftimiades, Pam Gay, PhD, & David Hewitt)

Friday, 4:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Roving Mars – Opportunity has now been exploring Mars for over 13 years!!! Curiosity uses A.I. to choose science targets & an algorithm to help protect its wheels. Lots of great stuff still happening with the Mars Rovers!
(guest: Kim Steadman)

Friday, 5:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – News From the Invisible Universe – Our eyes, & optical telescopes, only show us a small portion of what’s out there. What does the sky look like in the radio? In X-rays? Infrared? We’ll explore the fantastic things you can’t see without special equipment & unravel the mysteries of the invisible universe.
(guest: Nicole Gugliucci, PhD & Charles Blue)

Friday, 7:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Space Tourism: Private Access Needs Private Destinations – Commercial space launches for private citizens are not far in the future but where are they going to go? Russia can give access to their section of the ISS but not something they will do unless they are paid for bringing that person up. Not happening these days so what’s left?
(guest: Richard ‘Lord British’ Garriott de Cayeux)

Friday, 8:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – What in the Universe are Neutron Stars?! – A neutron star is – what? Not a normal part of the life of a star. Not even normal matter as we think of it. Soon we hope to have a better understanding as a neutron star telescope is now attached to the ISS.
(guests: Roy Kilgard, PhD)

Friday, 10:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Hubble: 25 Years of AMAZING! & What’s New in the Space Observatory Front? – From the first stunning disappointment of a bad mirror to 3 in space upgrades to 1000’s of fascinating & beautiful images. Never has an instrument become so beloved by so many & been such a wonderful PR representative! Still, there’s a lot to look forward to.
(guest: Bill Keel, PhD)

Friday, 11:30 pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Live Astronomy!! – An astronomical tour of the universe via ‘TeleAstronomy’ from our Solar System to galaxies far, far away via large telescopes in AZ & Chile.
(astronomers: Bill Keel, PhD & Roy Kilgard, PhD)

SATURDAY

Saturday, 10:00am, Pool Deck (Hilton 3rd Floor) – Solar Telescope – See the closest star to planet Earth; prominences, sunspots, maybe even a solar flare! Live, in all its glory – it’s our SUN! (Weather Permitting)
(solar astronomers: Stephen Ramsden & Ben Jenkins)

Saturday, 9:00am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Solar Eclipse Stories & Space Track’s 10th Birthday!!! – 2017 marks Space Track’s 10th year of existence and that calls for a party! It’s also a great time for all of you play show & tell on your solar eclipse stories.
(guests: Space Track Volunteers & YOU!)

Saturday, 10:00am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Solar Eclipse 2017 – August 21st saw the 1st total solar eclipse in U.S. since February 1979. This eclipse swept across the U.S. from Washington state to South Carolina & millions of us got to see it. All the details of Solar Eclipse 2017!!
(guests: Pam Gay, PhD, Stephen Ramsden & Trina Ray)

Saturday, 11:30am, Sci-Fi Lit (Hyatt Embassy AB) – Tabby’s Star- Mega Structures in SF – Joint panel with Sci-Fi Lit, we will cover what we see & what it might be, discussing things such as the Ringworld in sf & whether it might exist in reality & how.
(guest: Pam Gay, PhD, Nicole Gugliucci, PhD & Les Johnson)

Saturday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Behind the Scenes of Commercial Space – Rocket launches seem to get all the news regarding commercial space but that encompasses just a few big name companies. Many smaller companies lay behind the scenes pushing forward the needs for commercial space and what makes it go.
(guest: A.C. Charania, Andy Dykes, Laura Seward Forczyk, Richard ‘Lord British’ Garriott de Cayeux, David Hewitt & Sam Ortega)

Saturday, 1:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Marshall Space Flight Center – Life Behind the Scenes – Just south of the TN state line in Huntsville, AL lives a hugely important aspect of the space community – The Marshall Space Flight Center! Hardly anything related to NASA (& almost anything being launched) doesn’t go through MSFC at some point. So what’s it really like working there?
(guest: Mary Kate Butler, David Hewitt, Les Johnson, Rebecca Kim & Sam Ortega)

Saturday, 2:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – JUNO: Jupiter Revealed! – Expectations were high for the Juno mission & despite a slight setback in how Juno orbits Jupiter, those expectations are being met. The images are dazzling as we see the King of Planets up close & personal.
(guests: Scott Edginton, PhD & Kevin Grazier, PhD)

Saturday, 4:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – InSight & Mars 2020 – Looking Ahead – ‘Insight’ is the first mission dedicated to investigating the deep interior of Mars. ‘Mars 2020’ is the next generation rover. Mars exploration continues & not just by the US.
(guest: Sarah Milkovich, PhD & Kim Steadman)

Saturday, 4:00pm, Workshop Room (Marriott A 701/702) – NASA Kids’ Space Workshop – Let your kids have fun at DragonCon too while at the same time learning a little space science! A ride on a hovercraft will surely put a smile on their face!
(guest: Mary Kate Butler, David Hewitt, Rebecca Kim & Sam Ortega)

Saturday, 5:30pm, Grand East Ballroom (Hilton) – The Adventures of Garrett Reisman – NASA ASTRONAUT – Some astronauts have all the FUN! Having flown on 3 different shuttles, participated in 3 space walks & spent 2 weeks underwater at NASA’s NEEMO facility, Garrett Reisman surely has! Public outreach while on the ISS also made him a favorite of Stephen Colbert!
(guest: Astronaut Garrett Riesman)

Saturday, 7:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Black Hole Suns – Astronomers thought they knew how black holes were formed. They thought they understood the life cycles of various sized stars. Then a previously known star disappeared without a super nova & a believed black hole appeared.
(guests: Roy Kilgard, PhD)

Saturday, 8:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Reconnaissance Satellites – Since Russia launched Spunik 1 there has been a continuous increase in satellites circling our planet. Many help keep our modern technological society going. Many others are there to keep watch, on friends, foes & even you. Long kept secret, information on these satellites is finally being released.
(guest: Nick Eftimiades & Bill Keel, PhD)

Saturday, 10:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – ExoPlanets Updates: Tabby’s Star & the Trappist System – Exoplanets & stars come in all varieties but sometimes something really grabs at the imagination. Tabby’s Star mysterious dimming has spawned all kinds of sci-fi speculation. The Trappist System, with 7 rocky planets all within the Goldilocks zone brings dreams of a 2nd (or more) Earth.
(guests: Pam Gay, PhD, Nicole Gugliucci, PhD, & Bill Keel, PhD)

Saturday, 11:30 pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Live Astronomy!! – An astronomical tour of the universe via ‘TeleAstronomy’ from our Solar System to galaxies far, far away via large telescopes in AZ & Chile.
(astronomers: Bill Keel, PhD & Roy Kilgard, PhD)

SUNDAY

Sunday, 10:00am, Pool Deck (Hilton 3rd Floor) – Solar Telescope – See the closest star to planet Earth; prominences, sunspots, maybe even a solar flare! Live, in all its glory – it’s our SUN! (Weather Permitting)
(solar astronomers: Stephen Ramsden & Ben Jenkins)

Sunday, 10:00am, Grand East Ballroom (Hilton) – Living & Working on the ISS – Being in the Space Station is cool! Flying through the modules in zero gravity, ask anyone who’s been there – they’d do it again! But it’s not always easy & if you’re there you’ve got work to do!
(guests: Richard ‘Lord British’ Garriott de Cayeux, Rebecca Kim & Astronaut Garrett Reisman)

Sunday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Descent and Landing on Moon & Mars – That’s Easy to Do, Right?! – Humanity’s going to Mars & will stop at the moon first to test flight & landing systems. While not Earth, the Martian & lunar landing environments are very different & require different systems. We’ll talk about plans being formulated by public & private commercial companies in partnership.
(guest: Mary Kate Butler, A.C. Charania & Sam Ortega)

Sunday, 1:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Jupiter & Saturn: The Solar System’s Dynamical Duo – Our Solar System offers hints about its early origin & evolution. Countless planetesimals filled the gaps between the embryonic gas giant planets. Previous years’ talks discussed the outcome of simulations performed attempting to answer mysteries of the early Solar System; the discussion continues.
(guest: Kevin Grazier, PhD)

Sunday, 2:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Carrington Event 20XX: How Bad Could It/Will It Be? – In 1859 there was a solar event so massive that it overwhelmed Earth’s magnetosphere causing auroras to be seen in the Caribbean! It also shorted out huge swaths of telegraph systems throughout the northern hemisphere. Should such an event happen in modern times, the results could be catastrophic!
(guest: Les Johnson)

Sunday, 4:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – The Cassini Grand Finale – The end of the Cassini Mission is just less than two weeks away. The Grand Finale of Cassini is 22 orbits where the spacecraft plunges between the planet and the rings and was extraordinarily challenging to plan and execute and the science results have been amazing.
(guests: Scott Edgington, PhD, & Trina Ray)

Sunday, 5:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Enceladus: Cassini’s Most Surprising Discovery – The brightest planetary body in the solar system held many mysteries. For the Cassini spacecraft to solve them required scientists and engineers working together to overcome a series of challenges that put the spacecraft at risk of spinning out of control.
(guests: Sarah Milkovich, PhD)

Sunday, 7:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Titan: The Most Earth-like Non-Earth Place in the Solar System – In our solar system there is a place where liquid lakes lap frozen shores. Where rain falls from the skies. Weather systems & geologic features change. But this is not Earth. Saturn’s moon Titan is considered the most Earth-like body in our solar system.
(guest: Trina Ray & Kim Steadman)

Sunday, 8:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Cassini: So Long And Thanks for All the Pictures – 11 days after DragonCon ends & 2 days short of its 13 anniversary, Cassini completes its mission with a dive into the planet itself. Our panel of Cassini mission specialists tells their favorite memories, moments of panic & greatest discoveries while spectacular images from those 13 years play on.
(guests: Scott Edgington, PhD, Kevin Grazier, PhD, Sarah Milkovich, PhD, Trina Ray & Kim Steadman)

Sunday, 10:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Gravitational Waves & Merging Black Holes – LIGO has done it again – a third discovery of gravitational waves rippling through the universe & passing through the Earth. Orbiting black holes have been discovered seeming to confirm the theory that merging black holes are the origination of gravitational waves.
(guest: Richard ‘Lord British’ Garriott de Cayeux, Sarah Milkovich, Ph.D & Kim Steadman)

Sunday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Live Astronomy!! – An astronomical tour of the universe via ‘TeleAstronomy’ from our Solar System to galaxies far, far away via large telescopes in AZ & Chile.
(astronomers: Bill Keel, PhD & Roy Kilgard, PhD)

MONDAY

Monday, 10:00am, Pool Deck (Hilton 3rd Floor) – Solar Telescope – See the closest star to planet Earth; prominences, sunspots, maybe even a solar flare! Live, in all its glory – it’s our SUN! (Weather Permitting)
(solar astronomers: Stephen Ramsden & Ben Jenkins)

Monday, 10:00am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Space in the New Administration: National Space Council & Space Force – The new administration may be doing away with most kinds of science but they seem to love Space! Recently the National Space Council was brought back (for the 3rd time) & preparing for far future possible events, a ‘Space Force’ has been approved!
(guest: Nick Eftimiades)

Monday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Deep Space Gateway – The area of space near the moon offers a true deep space environment to gain experience for human missions that push farther into the solar system, access the lunar surface for robotic missions but with the ability to return to Earth if needed in days rather than weeks or months.
(guest: Laura Seward Forczyk & Sam Ortega)

Monday, 1:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Project ESPRESSO: Studying Earth to Understand the Solar System – A consortium of seven partner institutions which is home to 17 co-investigators, and is dedicated to enabling and enhancing future solar system exploration by developing the tools and techniques our explorers will need.
(guest: Mika McKinnon)

Monday, 2:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Earth’s Most Distant Envoy. Voyagers at 40! – 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager I & II. Voyager I has left the solar system and Voyager II is not far behind. These amazing probes still have a lot of information to send back home!
(guest: Bill Keel, PhD)