2016 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, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Exploring Mars – A Year in Review & What’s Coming Soon – Mars remains a top focus for futurists & planetary scientists. With 2 active rovers & 4 orbiters, there is a lot of scientific investigation constantly ongoing & there is more coming! We’ll review the discoveries of the past year & hear about upcoming missions.
(guest: Sarah Milkovich, PhD & Kim Steadman)

Friday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Antarctic Search for Meteorites – Earth is bombarded by meteorites daily but unless they’ve made a spectacular entrance in our sky, they’ve likely landed without much fanfare & you’ve probably stepped on one. But in the stark white Antarctic landscape meteorites stand out & people go there specifically to find them!
(guest: Barbara Cohen, PhD & Robert Coker, PhD)

Friday, 1:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Pluto Update: What We’ve Learned in a Year – A year ago New Horizons blazed past Pluto & its moons & astounded the world with the images of what many expected to be a frigid, dead rock. Pluto has been nothing of what we expected. It grabbed our attention with its ‘heart’ but find out what we’ve learned since!
(guest: Scott Edgington, PhD)

Friday, 2:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Commercial Space Is Blasting Off Everywhere! – It’s been a big year in the world of commercial space with SpaceX and Blue Origin making the big headlines. But there are many other commercial space groups making big strides. We do a Q & A with our commercial space panelists.
(guest: John Bradford, PhD, Stephen Fleming, Richard Garriott de Cayeux, David Hewitt & Chris Hofmann & Shae Williams, PhD)

Friday, 4:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Jupiter is Not a Shield – Continuing the Debate – For years we’ve heard that Jupiter acts as a ‘shield’ & without it life on Earth would likely not have survived. Grazier’s original 2012 talk disputed that concept. Furthering his research resulted in a published paper offering further evidence disputing the Jupiter ‘shield’ myth.
(guest: Kevin Grazier, PhD)

Friday, 5:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Price Competitions in Space & on Earth For Fun & Profit – For a number of years now NASA has been reaching out to the public for new ideas & innovations in key areas. Almost ‘crowd sourcing’ in reverse, by offering prizes for the best & brightest. A panel discussion about Prize competitions from NASA, XPrize, & other organizations.
(guest: Sam Ortega & Jyotika Virmani)

Friday, 7:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – NASA Human Spaceflight: Following a Flexible Path – NASA funds missions in many areas but from the time Alan Shepard became the first American launched into space Human Spaceflight has remained a priority focus. How do they keep that focus moving forward?
(guest: Robert Coker, PhD)

Friday, 8:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Cassini – The Beginning of the Grand Finale – In late 2016 Cassini begins its final mission, The Grand Finale, which includes orbits high above Saturn’s north pole. This will lead to Cassini making a final plunge into the gas giant planet just after DragonCon 2017. But there is still a lot of new information being discovered.
(guests: Scott Edgington, PhD & Trina Ray)

Friday, 10:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – A Funny Thing Happened While Contemplating the Universe – Even in science ‘the best laid plans . . .’ Clouds can ruin a night of observing but how about fake phosphorus flares on distant stars? Dead snakes wiping out antennas? Having your rental car hit by a building? Or a calibration anomaly caused by large insects inside hermetically sealed equipment!
(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, 9:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – ‘Footsteps of Voyager’ – Beginning at 9:30 am!! Space Track regulars know that the Track Director is a big fan of Voyager as is the moderator. We’ll screen this great movie of rare footage & ‘mission scientists’ memories & then allow some Q&A with a woman who worked on the mission.
(guests: Trina Ray)

Saturday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Juno at Jupiter: Queen of the Gods Visits the King of the Planets – NASA & July 4th have a history which continued in 2016 when the Juno probe arrived at Jupiter. Juno’s mission looks for greater understanding of the king of planets but that could also offer better understanding of planetary formation in general.
(guest: Scott Edgington, PhD)

Saturday, 1:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – NASA’s Facilities- A Hitchhikers Guide to the Resources – Kennedy. Marshall. Johnson. JPL. Well known names to most of the population but those are only 4 of 21 NASA facilities across the country. But what makes them each different? A discussion about the unique resources NASA has to make space exploration possible.
(guest: Andy Dykes, Sam Ortega & Trina Ray)

Saturday, 2:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – To Live and Die As a Star – Stars. There are billions upon billions upon billions of them in the universe. Some live brilliant short lives & seed new stars or become black holes in their spectacular explosions. Some live for trillions of years & die long slow deaths. Come see a star explode!
(guests: Bill Keel, PhD)

Saturday, 2:30pm, Overflow Room (Hilton 214) – History of Human Stasis Research & How It Will Further Space Exploration – Human Stasis, not cryogenics, is the science that is making the most strides in possible long term human spaceflight. We’ll look at the history & give updates on previous years’ talks reflecting how it might advance human spaceflight.
(guests: John Bradford, PhD & Dr. Douglas Talk)

Saturday, 4:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Tyranny of the Rocket Equation: What does It Take to Lift Things Off the Earth? – Gravity may be considered the weakest of the 4 natural forces but don’t tell that to any agency or company with a business focus of launching ‘anything’ into Earth orbit or beyond! It’s expensive! It’s messy! And it’s damn HARD!
(guest: Robert Coker, PhD)

Saturday, 5:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Liftoff is Hard; Vertical Landings Are a BITCH! – Vertical landings are the financial key to many commercial space ventures but getting it right isn’t easy and when it goes wrong – it goes VERY WRONG!
(guest: Chris Hoffman & Shae Williams, PhD)

Saturday, 7:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Satellites: Large, Medium, Small & Cubed? – Do you know that satellites pretty much run your life? Without them: no cell phones, no gps, no easy transferring of money, no accurate weather forecast, no ‘on time’ deliveries & the list goes on. There are now satellites of all sizes, doing all kinds of things & launching in all kinds of ways!
(guests: Caleb Adams, John Bradford, PhD, Andy Dykes, & Shae Williams, PhD)

Saturday, 8:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Helped Launch JPL – JPL is a NASA facility but it has always walked its own path. Early on that path was helped paved by women who were known as ‘the human computers’. Nathalia Holt wrote a wonderful book about these women who broke the boundaries of both gender and science & our NASA women will tell that story [Recording for Astronomy Cast Live].
(guest: Pam Gay, PhD [M], Barbara Cohen, PhD, Sarah Milkovich, PhD, Trina Ray, & Kim Steadman)

Saturday, 10:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Gravitational Waves Verified – Einstein’s 100 Year Wait – Finally! We’ve detected them now multiple times but really, what are they? Where do they come from? What do black holes have to do with them? We’ve got the experts & some demos that will explain it all.
(guests: Roy Kilgard, PhD, & Erin MacDonald, 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)

Saturday, 10:00am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Short & Long Term Health Effects of Space Travel – NASA has a Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health program in place for monitoring former astronauts but that’s all it does – monitor them. We’ve heard about some possible short & long term health issues but are there others? How severe? Could they affect the brain? The genes?
(guests: Mohamed A Noor, PhD, Robert Hampson, PhD & Dr. Douglas Talk)

Sunday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – University of Georgia’s SmallSat Research Laboratory – Giving a shout out to UGA! UGA’s Small Satellite Research Laboratory has a goal of launching a student built spacecraft – a CubeSat – into low earth orbit. They aim to teach students how to design, build, & operate spacecraft while providing faculty with unique space based data.
(guest: Caleb Adams, Helena Bales & Graham Grable)

Sunday, 11:30am, Workshop Rooms (Hilton 311/212) – Kids Space Workshop – Let your kids have fun at DragonCon too while at the same time learning a little science! They’ll learn (and see) why ‘peeps’ blow up in a vacuum chamber. See a rocket in a briefcase! Then they can build their own ‘bristle brush robot’!
(guest: David Hewitt & Sam Ortega)

Sunday, 1:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Why We Need to Go Back to the Moon – Everyone wants to go to Mars. Before we make those plans, we need to go back to the Moon: to build infrastructure, to develop technology, to learn about human biology — and to save money!
(guest: Stephen Fleming)

Sunday, 2:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Beyond Warranty – Opportunity & Cassini Still Going After All These Years – In 2004, Opportunity landed on Mars and Cassini arrived at Saturn. Both missions are still going 12 years later. What has enabled both to still be working years after their “expiration” dates and what is the future for them.
(guest: Kim Steadman)

Sunday, 4:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – S.T.E.M. Education: Everybody Wants It; No One Wants to Pay For It – S.T.E.M. education has been drastically reduced while budgets on the federal, state & local levels have been cut. NASA’s outreach budget is almost non-existent. How can this vital piece of education be delivered to our younger generation? Some creative & old fashioned methods are presented.
(guests: Nick Eftimiades, Pam Gay, PhD, David Hewitt, & Sam Ortega)

Sunday, 5:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Mission Planning: Choosing the Science & Instruments – Science on our planetary neighbors is something that must be carefully planned for in missions conceived years before our probes arrive at their final locations. How are decisions made on what science will be done & which instruments will be created & what are we doing now?
(guests: Sarah Milkovich, PhD)

Sunday, 7:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – 1916 – The Future of Astronomy! – In character recreation of a public astronomy talk as it would have been presented in 1916. Looking at progress made in a century, when we didn’t know the power source of stars, thought the “seas” on the moon were formed by water, we were sure that Mars & Venus were teeming with life.
(guest: Roy Kilgard, PhD)

Sunday, 8:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Is It Out There? The Theory & Search for Planet 9 – Our Solar System has 8 planets. Most of us remember a time when we were taught there were 9 planets. Then Pluto got demoted. In 2014 2 planetary scientists put forth their theory on why there must be a massive 9th planet far out in Kuiper Belt. Will we be a Solar System of 9 planets again soon?
(guests: Nicole Gugliucci, PhD)

Sunday, 10:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Mars in 10 Years! Can Elon Get It Done? – Lots of major space players are focused on putting humans on Mars. NASA. Mars One. Many are pushing to ignore going back to the Moon in favor making that jump straight to Mars. Buzz Aldrin. SpaceX. But Mars is HARD & there’s no easy rescue if/when something goes wrong. Still, Elon says he can do it!
(guest: Richard ‘Lord British’ Garriott de Cayeux, Sarah Milkovich, Ph.D & Kim Steadman)

Sunday, 11:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Sex in Weightless Environments… It WILL Happen, But HOW? – 2015 we discussed that there WILL be sex in space. But what about the more interesting questions: When? Where? Who? and most importantly… How? Come learn the intimate details on how to reach the ultimate final frontier. [This is SCIENCE folks, fun talk but not salacious]
(guest: Dr. Douglas Talk)

Sunday/Monday, 12:30am, 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, 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) – Masten Making Major Moves – Founded in 2004, Masten Space Systems has been committed to rapid reusability for over a decade. There have been up & down times as most space start-ups have had but Masten is seeing blue skies in the Mojave Desert!
(guest: Chris Hofmann)

Monday, 11:30am, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – The Girls of Atomic City – Denise Kiernan wrote the untold story of the 1000’s of women who were essential in building the atomic bomb. In 1942 young women from all over the country were recruited for a secret mission that they were told would help end WWII faster. 60+ years later our female scientists tell their tales.
(guest: Pamela Gay, PhD, Nicole Gugliucci, PhD, Erin Macdonald, PhD, & Mika McKinnon)

Monday, 1:00pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – Bang, Zoom, Straight to the Moon: Lunar Science in a New Age of Exploration – Humans haven’t been on the Moon since 1972. Afterward the Moon was almost ignored. But the past 10 years has advanced lunar science dramatically & advancements continue. Should we go back to the Moon? Most believe we will eventually & when that happens we’ll have the science to make the most of it.
(guest: Barbara Cohen, PhD)

Monday, 2:30pm, Track Room (Hilton 212/213) – 2017 Solar Eclipse! Where? When? How to See It? – On Aug. 21, 2017 (next year!) the U.S. will experience its 1st Solar Eclipse since 1979 to be visible to the full continent. Where can you go see it? How long will it last? How do you view it safely? We’ve got all your answers!
(guest: Stephen Ramsden & Trina Ray)