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2012 Seattle Science Festival: Luminaries of Space

2012 Seattle Science Festival

Time: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

Event Type: Special Event

Location: Charles Simonyi Space Gallery

VIP Reception begins at 6:30 p.m.

Headlined by some of the greatest scientific minds of our time, the inaugural Seattle Science Festival presents five provocative and entertaining evenings that celebrate and showcase the intersections of science, art and society. Events are intended for middle school students and older.

Luminaries Series: Space takes place at The Museum of Flight!

For event details and other information, please visit: seattlesciencefestival.org

Tickets available via the Seattle Science Festival website

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In 2011, the 30-year U.S. Space Shuttle program drew to a close. The Shuttle, the first reusable space vehicle, made possible many formidable accomplishments including placing the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit, modifying and repairing it, transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station, launching many satellites and interplanetary probes, conducting space science experiments, and servicing and construction of space stations. We are now poised on the brink of a new era in space exploration pioneered by spacecraft developed and launched by private companies. The Seattle Science Festival Luminaries Series will illuminate this inspiring topic in its 'Luminaries of Space' event at the Museum of Flight by featuring two astronauts from the Shuttle era, as well as an executive from a company currently developing a winged and piloted orbital commercial spacecraft.

  • Astronaut Dr. Bonnie Dunbar's multi-disciplinary background includes developing equipment and processes for the Space Shuttle's thermal protection system, evaluating the effects of simulated space flight on bone strength and fracture toughness and serving as a guidance and navigation officer/flight controller for the Skylab reentry mission. A veteran of five space flights, Dr. Dunbar has logged more than 1,208 hours (50 days) in space. She served as a mission specialist on 3 Shuttle missions, and was the Payload Commander for two additional missions.
  • Astronaut Dr. George 'Pinky' Nelson's research background is in astronomy, but as a NASA astronaut he served as a scientific equipment operator, and helped to develop the Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (space suit) development effort. A veteran of three space flights, Dr. Nelson has logged a total of 411 hours in space on 3 Shuttle missions, including 10 hours of extra-vehicular activities.
  • Mark Sirangelo is currently Chairman of Sierra Nevada Space Systems that is developing the Dream Chaser Space System. The Dream Chaser is a reusable, lifting-body spacecraft that launches vertically and lands horizontally on a conventional runway and will offer a low-cost, safe alternative to commercial crew and cargo transportation to and from low Earth orbit, including the International Space Station. The system, capable of carrying seven crew and critical cargo will enter operational service by 2015.

The presentations by these fascinating, out-of-this world luminaries, in conjunction with topically-linked performances from the region's creative arts community will demonstrate, at the highest possible level that science is an integral part of our community's culture.