It is our aim during the Festival to give kids a peek into these discoveries and distant frontiers by providing them an up-close look into cutting-edge space technology.
It may LOOK like just a dot from my backyard, but I know it's an orbital complex the size of a jumbo jet, built by 16 countries working together, and a house in space that's been inhabited continuously for more than half my life.
It seems there might be a new space race on, and some people think it's a gas! But hold on, before we get too lost in star-gazing, I thought we still had a few problems on Earth...
Here's a month-by-month listing of events I'm excited for in 2012.
Space tourism may seem like an excuse for joy rides for the rich, but in reality it's the start of a new and vital private sector industry that will help develop safer, cheaper and cleaner space travel and result in technology that will lead to broader innovation and discovery.
Named by Forbes as "one of America's most powerful women in business," Esther Dyson is a most fascinating lady.
The focus of Dr. Coleman's presentation was life aboard the International Space Station, from washing her hair (it's hard when water, like everything else, floats!) to the differences between modules built by different countries
"We're opening up the space frontier to all, not just those lucky few public astronauts who are sponsored by the government or those that happen to be rich enough to be able to spend 40 million to fly on a Russian vehicle."
After the presentation, we were allowed to ask Dr. Patrick questions. Mine was simple: "Since you're so involved with creating new spacecraft, what about the future of human spaceflight most excites you?"
Searching extraterrestrial beings is, perhaps, just the culmination of human imagination and ingenuity. But, as the late Carl Sagan, a strong advocate of this scientific search said, "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."
"As I stepped up onto the ladder, I looked back at Earth in all its splendor -- I call it sitting on God's front porch looking home -- then down at my last footprint and realized, 'Hey, I'm not coming this way again.'"
Fifty years after Alan Shepard became America's first astronaut, the U.S. launched its last space shuttle, marking the end of our space program -- and a new low for the American spirit.
Our exploration of space has allowed us, for the first time, to see our planet as a whole in its dazzling beauty, without the man-made borders for which so much blood was shed.
"Why did you want to go into space?" was the first question that I asked of Guy Laliberté. I was intrigued by a man who would spend 11 days in a space station 220 miles above the earth... and return with 10,000 photographs.
NASA has a responsibility to be a good customer. This means one that knows what it wants when it walks in, how much it wants and how often, and what it wants to pay.
Alan Shepard became the first American in space, twenty-three days after Russian Yuri Gagarin had orbited the earth. The flight was history-making.