Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PATS Redux

A lot happened at PATS last weekend, this is just my first post on some of what took place.

On the evening before PATS began I got to speak to Dave Doody who works on the Cassini mission. He wasn't there to speak about Cassini, but rather Planet Trek. Planet Trek is to be a scale model solar system for the City of Pasadena. It is am ambitious plan, and they are still needing money to make it happen (anyone?), but it looks to be a great project where everything will be set to the same scale. That is very important because it is the only way for people to use to model to learn how vast the solar system is (of course it is tiny when compared to everything else!).

After learning about Planet Trek I went over to the gallery which was displaying photos from The World at Night project. If you haven't been to their website, block out a few hours of time and prepare to be amazed. Some of the work featured was captured by Wally Pacholka. That's Wally below. He was one of the speakers at PATS and from his booth you could buy reproductions of his amazing photographs.

The keynote speaker at PATS last weekend was former Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart. That's Rusty (in the yellow) when he stopped by our Palomar booth.

Rusty wasn't at PATS to retell the story of his spaceflight. He's got more exciting things to talk about. His talk was entitled: Prevent Impacts? Yes we can. He is very much aware of the damage that an asteroid impact could inflict on civilization and as such he is involved in the B612 Foundation which wants to demonstrate our ability to alter, in a controlled fashion, the orbit of a near-Earth asteroid.

It is an ambitious, but perhaps someday, necessary program. Be sure to follow the link to the B612 Foundation to learn more about it.

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