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The Planetary Society at San Diego Comic-Con (UPDATED with video!)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

21-07-2016 18:04 CDT

Topics: events and announcements

UPDATE July 25: Enjoy the video of our Comic-Con panel, "Science Fiction/Future Now".

I'm going to be at Comic-Con tomorrow (Friday, July 22), for the first time ever (eep), participting in a panel called "Science Fiction/Future Now." There are five terrific science fiction authors and me, serving as the representative of "science fact," and we're planning to discuss how recent scientific discoveries and engineering accomplishments feed back into the worlds that fiction writers dream up:

Science fiction has ever been the muse of real-world advances, but now ideas can be achieved almost as soon as they are thought up. So how do writers, out-dream the dream makers? How do writers handle the truth of real science and the fiction that is needed for writing their stories? Is it a crisis for the writer's imagination? Or does it serve to inspire?

Here are the participants, with links to their various websites -- I'm honored to be in such company:

The panel is in room 26AB and runs from 4:30 to 5:30. There's a book signing after -- I don't have books, but I'll have Planetary Reports. If you can't make it to San Diego, never fear! Stalwart Planetary Society staffers will live streaming the panel on our Facebook page, and I'll post a recording of the event here after it's all over.

Science Fiction / Future Now Panel, Comic-Con 2016

Ashby's photo by Kayleigh McCollum Photography; Grillo-Marxuach's photo by Stephen Lemieux.

Science Fiction / Future Now Panel, Comic-Con 2016

SDCC attendees can also see a panel featuring Planetary Society Board member Robert Picardo on Saturday: "Trek Talks: Star Trek & NASA Boldly Go." That one won't be broadcast live, so attendees will have to tell me how it goes! You can check our Facebook page after the event for photos.

Star Trek has influenced many of us to fall in love with the infinite possibilities of space exploration. The various television series and films have also made an indelible impact on NASA. NASA scientists, engineers and astronauts often cite Star Trek as inspiring them to pursue careers in their fields. (Nichelle Nichols even helped NASA recruit astronauts in the 1980s.)

Today, NASA is turning science fiction into reality. Humans now live and work in space full time on the International Space Station. SNASA continues its goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s. How does NASA's vision of the future mimic the world of Star Trek and where does it differ? What technologies in the Star Trek world have paved the way for real technologies being developed by NASA?

This moderated discussion in collaboration with CBS will be accompanied by the latest visual and graphics of some of NASA's newest and most exciting missions. Robert Picardo, who portrayed The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, moderates a panel that includes Astronaut Kjell Lindgren (NASA Johnson Space Center), Amber Staughn (astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), Bobak Ferdowsi (flight systems engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory), and Jay Falker (early stage portfolio executive, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters).



See other posts from July 2016


Or read more blog entries about: events and announcements


gmonorail: 07/21/2016 06:29 CDT

sounds fun! wish i could listen to it. anyone thinking of periscope?

gmonorail: 07/21/2016 06:30 CDT

oh! fb. got it :)

sepiae: 07/22/2016 07:18 CDT

'Is it a crisis for the writer's imagination? Or does it serve to inspire?' - The latter, on to next question. (An aspiring scifi writer) Envy, envy, envy :) We need something like it here in Europe. But Cory Doctorow is not invited to the panel? In case he was forgotten, he usually is there. Just have a look around, he should be scurrying about somewhere.

dougforworldsexplr: 07/22/2016 10:16 CDT

Hi Emily; I am quite interested in science fact especially about planets and some related hard science fiction. Could you ask some of the other panelists and I would also be interested to hear what you think of science fact catching up with science fiction about planets or other stars like it did with Venus and Mars in our solar system in the late 1950s or early 1960s. For instance what do you or the other guests think that as far as I know not much science fiction has been written about settings around actual planets including some potentially habitable or otherwise interesting exoplanets in the Kepler, HD or Gliese planets and that there is isn't much overlap yet with the actual planets as listed in the Extrasolar Encyclopedia at or the fairly complete listing of planets around actual stars used in science fiction by typing on Google something like planets around other stars in science fiction. This is on Wikipedia. I would like to know why there hasn't been more effort by scientists to find planets around stars that are more famous and visible to the naked eye and used more often in science fiction and why there hasn't been more effort by science fiction writers to set some of their stories on actual planets found in science fact such as potentially habitable ones or other terrestrial ones or around actual double star systems, in open clusters, ones with quite elliptical orbits, tightly packed stellar systems etc.

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