by Chris Tobias
Even though we haven’t quite closed the books on 2015, here at Take Back the Sky we’re already looking ahead to next year. 2016 will be a pivotal year in our efforts to convince SpaceX to name their first Crew Dragon Serenity. In fact, with the first launch scheduled for 2017, next year will most likely be the year they name the ship. Needless to say (which, as you well know, means we’re going to say it anyway), it’s now more important than ever that we get our message out to the people of the ‘verse, and one of the best ways to do that is by tabling at events that attract folk who genuinely care about space in general and space exploration in particular, as well as fans of science-fiction, especially Browncoats.
Until now, that’s meant traveling to sci-fi and comics conventions, but we’re pleased to announce that we’ve booked our first table at an event that tends toward the hard science end of what we do. On January 15, 2016 Take Back the Sky will have a table at the “21 and Over Rocket Science Night” at the Carnegie Science Center of Pittsburgh from 6-10pm.
The 21+ nights at the Carnegie Science Center are a great opportunity for adults to enjoy all of the facility’s shiny exhibits without having to elbow an eight-year old out of the way to play air hockey against a robot or launch a plastic rocket.
For “Rocket Science Night,” the Carnegie Science Center is teaming up with Pittsburgh’s City Theatre to explore the space race and the science of rockets. City Theatre will present the world premiere of the play Some Brighter Distance, which explores the true story of Arthur Rudolph, a German rocket scientist who helped America win the space race before being cast out of the country. Actors will perform under the stars in the Carnegie Science Center’s Buhl Planetarium, and a planetarium show will follow the performance.
In addition, “Rocket Science Night” promises “explosive” demonstrations in the Science Center’s Works Theater and the chance for attendees to build a space shuttle glider, design and launch their own straw rockets and take a ride in a zero-gravity simulator. And on the Science Stage, they’ll screen vintage films depicting what people thought space travel would be like “in the future.”
While all that is going on, Take Back the Sky will have a table set up where we’ll be meeting and greeting folk and talking about Commercial Space in general and SpaceX’s accomplishments and future goals in particular. And of course, those who stop at our table will have the opportunity to sign a hard copy of our latest petition to SpaceX and write letters and post cards to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk and SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell asking them (politely) to name their company’s first Crew Dragon after everyone’s favorite Firefly class transport ship.
If you are planning to attend, you need to keep in mind that the Highmark SportsWorks and the USS Requin submarine will not be open for the evening, and you will need to show proper ID at the door. And of course, you’ll also need to buy a ticket, which you can do at the door or on the Carnegie Science Center’s website.
So if you’re in the Western Pennsylvania area, and you think this sounds like a mighty fine shindig to you, we hope you’ll come down to Pittsburgh’s North Shore and see us at the Carnegie Science Center on January 15.
Peace, love and rockets…