The Planetary Society Announces Planetfest '21: To Mars and Back Again

Virtual conference and festival will feature experts and luminaries from across the space sector to celebrate the next era of Mars exploration.

For Immediate Release
02 Feb 2021

Contact
Danielle Gunn
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

Pasadena, CA (February 2, 2021) — With spacecraft from NASA, China, and the United Arab Emirates all arriving at Mars in February, The Planetary Society invites space enthusiasts from around the world to attend Planetfest '21: To Mars and Back Again, an unparalleled virtual conference and festival.

Taking place on 13 and 14 February, the virtual conference will feature panels and exclusive workshops by world-class experts from the space community. Attendees will learn more about the next era of Mars discovery and ways to level-up their involvement in the adventure of space exploration.

Speakers include:

  • Jim Bell, Principal Investigator of Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z
  • Brannon Braga, producer of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
  • Tory Bruno, CEO of United Launch Alliance
  • Bethany Ehlmann, President of The Planetary Society
  • Abigail Fraeman, Mars Curiosity Deputy Project Scientist
  • Mat Kaplan, Host of Planetary Radio
  • Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of the United Arab Emirates Hope Mars Mission
  • Katie Mack, Cosmologist
  • Rob Manning, Chief Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Derek Muller, Host of Veritasium
  • Hakeem Oluseyi, Astrophysicist
  • Britney Schmidt, Astrobiologist
  • Phil Plait, “The Bad Astronomer”
  • Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, Sci-fi author
  • Jessica Watkins, NASA astronaut
  • Andy Weir, Sci-fi author

All-access passes are $30 for the general public; $20 for Planetary Society members.

There are also two free public events being held as part of the festivities:

  • Saturday, 13 February, at 5:00pm PT / 1:30pm UTC - Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye will host Beyond the Horizon, a virtual fundraising gala to support The Planetary Society's mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration. The virtual gala can be watched on YouTube, Facebook, and at planetary.org/beyondthehorizon.

  • Thursday, 18 February, at 11:00am PT / 7:00pm UTC - Watch NASA's live stream of the Perseverance rover's dramatic descent to Mars with Bill Nye, Planetary Society President Bethany Ehlmann, and other special guests at The Planetary Society's landing watch party. The watch party can be viewed on YouTube, Facebook, and at planetary.org/watchparty.

Sponsors
Planetfest ‘21 is proud to thank a growing list of sponsors who are helping to make this event possible, including Hypergiant, MOVA Globes, Celestron telescopes, Penguin Random House publishing, Caldwell Vineyard, Yugen, Spicy Ninja Sauce, Space Art Travel Bureau, and many more companies and non-profit partners.

Credentialed media are invited to attend the conference for free. Fill out this form to register.

Resources

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/planetfest-21-to-mars-and-back-again-virtual-conference-registration-136451071829

Full speaker schedule: planetary.org/planetfest21

About The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. With the mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a longtime member of The Planetary Society's Board, serves as CEO.

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