Press Release

Planetfest 2012 August 4- 5, Pasadena, CA

By SpaceRef Editor
July 30, 2012
Filed under , ,

2-Day Event in Pasadena, Calif. and Around the World to Celebrate the Landing of NASA’s Rover Curiosity on Mars

Pasadena, CA (July 30, 2012) – On August 4 and 5, the world’s attention will once again turn to space, as NASA prepares for the descent and landing of its newest rover Curiosity on Mars. In celebration of this historic event, The Planetary Society, the world’s largest non-profit space interest group, is hosting Planetfest 2012 – in Pasadena, Calif., and at venues around the world.

“Planetfest is a rare opportunity for the public to get an insider’s look at the marvels of space and meet many of the people leading today’s most exciting space missions,” said Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, organizers of the two-day event. “There is nothing like it; the big room at Planetfest will be the most exciting place to watch, share, and celebrate, as we open the astonishing next chapter of discovery on Mars.”

Activities will include speaker presentations from high-level Mars and NASA experts, writers, artists, and educators. In addition, there will be family activities, art exhibits and displays of spacecraft and other space instruments. Attendees at the Pasadena Convention Center also will have the rare opportunity to touch a real Mars meteorite and climb into the cockpit of the Lynx suborbital space ship.

“From 10:00 to 11:30am on Saturday, join me in the cockpit of the Lynx for a photo, ” continued Bill Nye. “And, thanks to XCOR for making this possible.”

“We have entered a new era where the public can now fly to space and the Lynx will be one of the first vehicles taking you there,” said XCOR’s Andrew Nelson. “We could not be more pleased to participate in Planetfest, as we are huge fans of the Mars program, and happy to offer fellow space enthusiasts the opportunity to experience our Lynx suborbital craft from inside the cockpit.”

Speakers include Dr. Jim Green, NASA Planetary Science Division Director; Dr. Charles Elachi, Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Scott Maxwell, Curiosity’s Driver; Dr. Scott Hubbard former ‘Mars Czar’ and author of ‘Exploring Mars, among other experts. There will also be special tributes to Ray Bradbury and Sally Ride, by Actor Robert Picardo, Dr. Louis Freidman and NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver. A live webcast of all speakers during the two-day event will be available via webcast at

The Exhibitor’s Room at the Pasadena Convention Center will feature models and displays from Planetfest sponsors, including ATK’s Commercial Liberty Launch Vehicle and Crew Capsule; a RAT (Rock Abrasion Tool) built by Honeybee Robotics, similar to those currently used on Mars rovers; a full-scale inflatable model of Curiosity and a 3-D Mars panorama from JPL; and XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx suborbital space vehicle. In addition, Space Craft International and Bluroof Press will be selling spacecraft model kits and science fiction books.

Planetfest 2012 activities at the Pasadena Convention Center run from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, August 4, and from 2:00 pm to approximately 11:30 pm on Sunday, August 5, concluding with a live feed of the historic Mars mission direct from NASA’s Mission Control Center at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

Planetfest sponsors include: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SpaceX, XCOR Aerospace, ATK, Honeybee Robotics, Toshiba America, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Bluroof Press and Space Craft International, The Data Rescue Center, N2 Graphics, and Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems. Additional supporters include Luc Labenne of Labenne Meteorites and

Tickets to the Pasadena Convention Center event are available online at, and on-site during the 2-day event. Prices range from $19 to $37 for one-day entry and $56-$67 for a two-day ticket. Discounts are offered for seniors, students, and members of The Planetary Society. Children under the age of 8 enter free. The Pasadena Convention Center is located at 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, Calif.

Tickets for Celebrate Curiosity: A Party on Mars, produced by Black Star are available at . The public is invited and costumes are encouraged at this Pasadena event.

Live Webcast and Satellite Events: Planetfest’s Speaker Presentations and mission control video feeds will be available at The Planetary Society is also working with Yuri’s Night, Explore Mars, Astronomers Without Borders, and others to make this historic event a global celebration. A list of venues is available at

About The Planetary Society The Planetary Society has inspired the passion and imagination of millions of people. Today, its international membership makes this non-governmental, non-profit organization the largest space interest group in the world. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman, The Planetary Society is currently led by CEO Bill Nye, with its headquarters in Pasadena, California.

For a complete schedule of events, visit:

Media: Contact: Diane Murphy,; 202.361.9681 for passes to the Press Room or to arrange for interviews with Bill Nye or any of the speakers

Planetfest Video clip:\

SpaceRef staff editor.