Nov 15, 2013

SpaceUp LA and the MAVEN Launch on Planetary Radio

SpaceUp gatherings are all about preaching to the choir.  And what’s wrong with that?  Even the choir needs to preached to.

After reporting from two SpaceUp San Diego Unconferences, it was about time I visited SpaceUp LAThis week’s Planetary Radio will give you a feel for the passion, beauty and joy that suffuse these meetings of the space faithful.  I took the stage right after dinner on the cool night of Saturday, November 9.  We were in an open hanger at the Western Museum of Flight, a great little aviation collection at the Torrance, California airport. 

I gave the attendees this premise:  You are the Administrator of NASA.  The President of the United States has just handed you $10 Billion to use as you see fit.  What do you do with it?  The answers you’ll hear on the show are thoughtful, deeply committed, and often very entertaining.  (Especially the suggestion from a very young attendee that spacesuits should be developed for cats.) 

One additional program note.  You can join Bruce Betts, Emily Lakdawalla and me for live coverage of the MAVEN Mars orbiter launch on Monday, November 18.  We’ll be on stage at Southern California Public Radio’s Crawford Family Forum, while Bill Nye and others will check in live from Cape Canaveral.  There are still free tickets available as I write this, with RSVPs required.  We’ll also be webcasting the celebration, beginning at 9:30am Pacific.  Join us for the start of this terrific mission that will help reveal the fate of the red planet’s once plentiful water, and, perhaps, its life.

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