by guest blogger Ken
There was just an enormous amount of activity at the ISDC this weekend. Far too much for my exhausted brain and body to cover in just one meagre post. I’ve heard very few complaints from folks, while the postive goodwill has been tremendous. Some highlights:
The movies were very well received. The plan was to show ‘Mars Underground’ and ‘Postcards from the Future’ on Friday, and ‘GaiaSelene’ on Saturday. There were so many queries on Saturday that we decided to show the first two again, as well as the ones scheduled. We would have shown the first two again had it not been for equipment trouble on Sunday. ‘Postcards from the Future’ should be getting a World Premiere Screening in LA later this year, and people wanted to know where to get the DVD (short answer: you can’t…yet). The conference was mentioned in an article on the Director at Wired magazine.
The Art Show had some great works in it, and I immediately picked up a work for the Lunar Library upon seeing ‘Lunar Base’ by NJ artist L W Perkins. First sale of the conference, and certainly not the last. We had the last painting of noted artist Kelly Freas at the show, but with no takers this time around. I would have liked to have seen more ‘real space’ works (don’t get me wrong, our Art Show director Teresa Patterson did a phenomenal job and provided a first rate Art Show, complete with a giant rocket balloon sculpture), but art is a tough gig, and there’s not a whole lot of it out there (yet…).
The Second Life virtual address by Ames Director Pete Worden was really cool. Fellow SGFer and young space hottie Jessy Cowan, and one of my ISU classmates Robbie Schingler, were the cybergurus behind the screen that pulled it off. Of course there were network problems.
Part of the problem seems to have been YouTube. The conference tech guru informed me at one point that they’d had to block access because uploads to and downloads from the site were consuming all of the network resources (~94% at one point), which crowded out everyone else. Conference goers were documenting the conference in real time, allowing people to watch a track they had missed while at another track.
My talk on ‘The Roadmap of Cislunar Space” was fairly lightly attended (<10?), though it was kind of cool to see Dallas Bienhoff from Boeing taking notes when I was answering Grant Bonin's question. I had mentioned that if I was going to Mars, I wouldn't go to Mars, I'd go to Mars-Sun L-1 and set up shop there, which then gives you access to Mars, its moons, as well as the asteroid belt. I mean seriously, someone from Boeing taking notes from me? I will note that there were a number of Boeing folks at the conference, keeping their ear to the ground. One issue was that there was not sufficient coverage of the conference from local media. By the time they finally did notice it it was already history, and not news anymore. The Dallas Morning News’ idea of a good way to celebrate space over the Memorial Day weekend here in Dallas was the various ‘Star Wars’ 30th anniversary stuff. In my view this earns our local newspaper the traditional Texas appellation of ‘idjits’, and merely reinforces my decision to no longer purchase their corporate rag. Luckily we did get a fair amount of local turnout Our exhibit space was tremendous. We had displays from Apogee, Armadillo, DARS, DPRG, DC-L5, Dii Aerospace Labs, Earthrise Institute, EMC2 Fusion, 4Frontiers, ISU, NSS Reading Space, Mars Drive Consortium, NASA FCU, NASA Centennial Challenges, NSS, NSS of North Texas, Moon Society, Orion Propulsion, Pegasus Publishing, X-Prize Foundation, SEDS, VM Direct, Rocketplane Kistler, and still others. Most of these were accessible to the general public, who might have turned up had the local media been on their toes. Getting interviewed by Chip Proser early on Sunday morning while still badly hung over from the hospitality party, which lasted till 3am before getting busted and moving into a room, was a wild experience. I don’t often get interviewed (like, never), and I’m sure I looked like heck, and the big black hat interfered with the lighting. I don’t clearly remember what I said, but both Charles and Dave Dunlop of the Moon Society, who asked the questions, said that they were very happy with what I said. I hope it was good. I also got interviewed by Celestine Star from the Arts Program track (as opposed to the Art Show). I was in a little bit better shape for that one, but still hurting. I’ll have more notes, and provide links, after I take another nap…