2017 Novato Space Festival

Mark your calendars for the Annual Novato Space Festival, Sunday August 6th, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Meet legendary Astronauts from the Apollo, Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs.

EARLY ENTRANCE at 9:30am for families with CHILDREN 12 & UNDER
You’ll get to browse the exhibit area first,
THEN you’ll get to meet Astronaut Jerry Ross and he will read to you from his children’s book!

2016 Novato Space Festival


One of the best space memorabilia museums in the Bay Area will have its annual Space Festival on Saturday August 6th, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Come see both US and Russian memorabilia, from tools used in space, to garments worn by astronauts. There is also a Lunar Module and Lunar Rover on display. Five former astronauts will be on hand to give talks and meet and greet.

The best part of the 2016 Space Festival is that the event is free, that’s right no admission. Come join the fun and meet the astronauts who have flown in  space. More information can also be found here:


NASA Recruits Adventurous Kids For Mission To Mars


BERKELEY (KPIX) – UC Berkeley space sciences professor Davin Larson is thinking about colonizing Mars. “I think it easily could happen — and will happen — in a thousand-year time scale,” Larson said.

NASA agrees with Larson and has published recruiting posters that encourage people to think about taking the ( at minimum) 30-million-mile trip to the Red Planet. NASA isn’t only looking for astrophysicists, geologists and engineers. The space agency is targeting average folks.


“If man kind eventually wants to colonize Mars, you need all types of people. You don’t just need scientists. You need teachers, farmers, the garbage men — people who do everyday things on earth,” Larson said.

Even by NASA’s own predictions getting a human to Mars is still decades away, perhaps thirty years or so. Given that, most of us who are already working are too old. The ideal recruit is in second grade and that’s who NASA is aiming its promotion at.

“Kids now who don’t really know what they want to do, you’ve got to inspire them. I think these posters are good at inspiring,” Larson said.

When those Mars jobs are posted, we’ll let you know.

COSI is a balloon-borne soft gamma-ray (0.2-10 MeV) telescope designed to study astrophysical sources of nuclear line emission and gamma-ray polarization. NASA successfully launched this super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka Airport, New Zealand, at 11:35 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, (7:35 p.m. EDT Monday, May 16) on a potentially record-breaking, around-the-world test flight.

See the video in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfvMS76whEU

Live trajectory: http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/newzealand/wanaka.htm

A post in the NASA-Wallops-Flight-Facility webpage: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/home

COSI official web-page: http://cosi.ssl.berkeley.edu




On its way to Pluto, New Horizons became a tool for education like no other probe


The past few days have been a bit distracting for Andrew Poppe.

Back when he was a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he was in charge of one of the seven New Horizons instruments that collect data from outer space. Now, as a research scientist at the University of California at Berkeley who’s no longer part of the mission, Poppe has found himself glued to the Internet, checking for updates on the spacecraft as it approached Pluto earlier this week.

“It’s certainly very exciting, but it’s weird to think 9½ years have already gone by,” Poppe said.

His work on the historical mission was, in essence, a school project. He spent five years  working with the instrument, called the student dust counter — the first student-made instrument ever attached to a planetary probe.


As a student, he got used to always being the youngest person in the room. And when he graduated in 2011, he handed off his duties to the current instrument operator, Jamey Szalay.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” said Szalay, who had the chance to go to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to witness the mission’s flyby. “It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s great to be in the drivers seat.”

Operating the student dust counter means keeping track of any grain of space dust that comes in contact with the instrument during the four billion-mile journey to the unexplored dwarf planet and beyond.

The Washington Post complete story.


SSL now accepting applications for summer research programs

ASSURE 2015 flier. Application is open at multiverse.ssl.berkeley.edu/ASSURE/   Deadline is February 15th, 2015

Apply today for SSL’s 2015 summer research experience for undergraduates program.


The Space Sciences Laboratory is currently taking applications for it’s 2015 summer research experiences for undergraduates program – Advancing Space Sciences through Undergraduate Research Experiences (ASSURE). 
The ASSURE program partners undergraduate students from community colleges and universities around California with leading space science and engineering researchers based at the Space Sciences Laboratory. This program is dedicated to providing opportunities for enthusiastic and dedicated first generation and minority students, or other students for whom a research opportunity may be a challenge. The funded program starts June 8th and runs for 10 weeks. If you have any questions about the program, please email assure@sunearth.ssl.berkeley.edu. The deadline for 2015 summer program is February 15th 2015. Click here to learn about last years participants and their projects.

2014 AGU Public Lecture on MAVEN mission


The 2014 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Public Lecture will be held this Sunday, December 14th from 12 – 1 p.m. (PST) in the Marriott Marquis on 4th and Mission St. The focus of the lecture will be on the MAVEN mission and the speakers will include MAVEN Principal Investigator, Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN Deputy Project Manager at NASA Goddard, Sandra Cauffman, and MAVEN Interdisciplinary Scientist, Roger Yelle from the The University of Arizona.

At the Public Lecture, the panelists will discuss the mission science concept, science observations made during the cruise to get there, observations of Comet Siding Spring, and early observations of the Mars upper atmosphere. They will also go into detail about how the spacecraft was developed and launched, and the day-to-day operations as it orbits ‪#‎Mars‬.

If you’re in San Francisco or will be for the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, hop on a cable car and head over to the Marriott Marquis for this year’s public lecture.

For more information, visit: