August 31, 2015) The Columbia Memorial Space Center is partnering with Long Beach Comic Con for Space Expo 2015, an innovative and one-of-a-kind program that will connect comic book convention attendees directly with the world of scientific discovery. Space Expo 2015 will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center as part of Long Beach Comic Con on September 12 and 13, 2015 with panels featuring top aerospace industry notables discussing hot button scientific topics. As part of Space Expo 2015, there will be interactive exhibits featuring robotics, 3D printing, and even a spacesuit – all curated by Columbia Memorial Space Center, the prestigious CA-based learning center dedicated to bringing the wonder and excitement of science to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
“Space, the space program and science are all a part of the same pop culture dialogue as comic books and science fiction,” said Columbia Memorial Space Center President Ben Dickow. "We want to create a fandom for science that will grow and support the next wave of space explorers and scientific progress--and there’s no better place to do that than at a comic convention.”
Panels at Space Expo 2015 at Long Beach Comic Con will include:
- Sci-Fi Space vs. Reality. Andre Bormanis, the director of scientific research for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and the science consultant for Star Trek shows, discusses the age-old topic of just how much Science Fiction is based on actual Science.
- Planning a Martian Roadtrip with Engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. What does it take to plan a 'road trip' on Mars? Experts will discuss driving from Acidalia Planitia to Schiaparelli crater, as astronaut Mark Watney does in the book The Martian.
- The Dawn Mission. Engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will analyze the Mars Dawn mission, discuss Ceres, the dwarf planet and the asteroid Vesta.
- New Horizons and Pluto. Discovered in 1930, Pluto remained a tiny burry point of light until the arrival of the New Horizons spacecraft. With this history making flyby of this dwarf planet and its moons, humans have for the first time seen their surfaces and detected their tenuous atmospheres. After a short history of Pluto observations, the latest information from this mission will be presented.
- “Crazy Engineering.” From supersonic parachutes to electric propulsion, the engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are coming up with innovative ideas to explore our solar system and beyond. This panel will discuss current and next-generation space missions, and the technology that makes it all possible. It only looks crazy, but it's result of reasoned engineering...Missions on the panel include: Dawn mission at Ceres, Juno mission to Jupiter, Europa mission, InSight and Mars Cube One (MarCO). Based on JPL’s web series Crazy Engineering.
“We’re incredibly excited about bringing the worlds of comics and space together in one fantastic event,” said Martha Donato, Long Beach Comic Con Executive Director and Co-Founder. “A ticket to Long Beach Comic Con admits fans to over 100 panels, including both the Space Expo programming and a wide array of pop culture programming focused on comics, video games, animation, cosplay and collectibles.”
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About the Columbia Memorial Space Center
The Columbia Memorial Space Center, located in Downey, California, is a hands-on learning center dedicated to bringing the wonder and excitement of science and innovation to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Through world-class programs and engaging exhibits, the Space Center strives to ignite a community of critical and creative thinkers.
About Long Beach Comic Con
Long Beach Comic Con is an annual event held at the Long Beach Convention Center that celebrates comic books and pop culture and showcases the exceptional works of talented writers, artists, illustrators and creators of all types of pop culture. At Long Beach Comic Con, you’ll find exhibitors promoting and selling all types of related products, as well as entertaining and educational programs for all ages, guest signings and meet & greet sessions with celebrities. Long Beach Comic Con is a MAD Event Management, LLC production. To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit www.longbeachcomiccon.com.
For all press inquires, contact:
Superfan Promotions LLC
1332 Manzanita Street
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Columbia Memorial Space Center
SMedina@downeyspacecenter.org or 562-231-1205
Keri Bean is a Mission Operations Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. She currently works on the Dawn mission in the asteroid belt as a science planning & sequencing engineer. Before starting at JPL in 2013, she completed her B.S and M.S degrees in meteorology at Texas A&M University in 2010 and 2013. While at Texas A&M, she worked on several NASA missions including the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the Phoenix Mars Lander, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Curiosity Mars Rover. She is also a member of the R2-D2 Builder’s Club. You can find her on Twitter as @PlanetaryKeri.
Andre Bormanis was the director of scientific research for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. He is perhaps best known for his involvement in the long-running Star Trek franchise, and was the science consultant on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. He also wrote a number of episodes of the Star Trek : Voyager series and was the science/technical advisor on two of the Next Generation films. In addition to his television work, he has worked as a consultant to the San Juan Institute and the Planetary Society in Pasadena, California
Dr. Fred Calef III is a planetary geologist and mapping specialist working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. He works for the Curiosity Rover science team as the 'Keeper of the Maps' and for the Opportunity rover as an engineering camera uplink lead (i.e. takes pictures of Mars' surface). When not working on the rovers, he helps find safe landing sites on Mars for future mission like InSight and Mars2020.
Kristina Larson is a Flight Systems Engineer on JPL's Dawn spacecraft. She builds, tests, reviews, and uplinks commands to control the spacecraft, as well as investigates any issues and finds ways to solve them. She has been part of the Dawn team since interning in 2008 and received her B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California in 2010 and 2011. She enjoys playing flute, climbing, and spoiling her cat. You can find her on Twitter as @ kristeenies.
Dr. Serina Diniega is a mathematical planetary geomorphologist -- what that means is that she figures out why landforms (such as sand dunes, lava flows, and gullies) look the way they do on different planets, and she approaches these problems by viewing them within a mathematical framework that captures the physical processes acting on the landscape. Serina received her PhD in Applied Math (minor: Planetary Science) from the University of Arizona in 2010, where she also joined the HiRISE Science Team.
Mike Seibert is a Rover Driver and the Lead Flight Director for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. As a Rover Driver he plans Opportunity's route for a sol (Mars day). Rover Drivers also create the commands that are used to move Opportunity's robotic arm to directly investigate the Martian surface. As a Flight Director, Mike assesses the health of the rover and is the engineering team representative during daily activity planning. Mike received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2005 and a M.Eng. in Space Operations from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2011.