Saturday, September 22, 2012

SpaceUp Europe!


Coming to you live from SpaceUpEU at the Cosmodrome in Genk, Belgium! Are you watching all the sessions and presentations at  We have already enjoyed a wonderful slideshow by particle physicist Christer Fuglesang... I think my favorite part was where he introduced himself, and did not even mention that he was an ESA astronaut who went into space... TWICE! 

Logo Design by Jen Scheer @flyingjenny

If you have not yet tuned in to the vidcast, definitely do so within the next few hours, where we are continuing sessions and presentations, and NASA astronaut Ron Garan (now spear-heading the Fragile Oasis projects) will also be guest-starring!  Tomorrow, keep watching, for we will see Italian space traveler Paolo Nespoli... quite an impressive line-up!

My part was over pretty quickly, since I arrived this morning to find the schedulers had put me first in the line-up for a T-5 talk.  I had a moment of panic that I was prepared enough (I thought I would speak tomorrow, and have another evening to review me notes), but Remco replied that he knew I was a veteran speaker and could kick things off.  Well!  It is amazing how someone showing faith in you can help you calm your natural fears and rise to the occasion!  I happily bounced up to speak first, and was pleased to see so many people tweet and re-tweet the space maps I created and displayed for the SpaceUpEU crowd!

So far my only complaint is that it's a BEAUTIFUL day outside, and I would rather go hike the nearby Solar System Scaled Hike near the grounds of the Genk Cosmodrome that be cooped up in a building, even if I am getting to hear tons of geeky space stuff!  I have thus far met fascinating scientists, physicists, astronomers and space enthusiasts from Belgium, Germany, Holland, Britain, France, Sweden and Spain!

Also, having traveled 5624 miles (9051 km) from San Francisco to Genk, I think I am probably the space geek who traveled the farthest to attend!  And may I just say, it is completely worth it!

Tonight, we will all be treated to a sky show in the grand, domed planetarium onsite, after which we will enjoy a dinner in the resident restaurant called... wait for it... "The Crater"! Stay tuned, picture galleries and videos to come later!