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An Incredible Weekend of Science Fiction Overload!
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Sunday, April 19 • 11:30am - 12:45pm
Dreams of Space -- A Special Space Program at StarFest

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A special presentation highlighting the space program that could have been. Hosted by StarFest emcee Kevin Atkins.

The Space Shuttle era has ended! Construction of the Space Station is complete! Our manned spaceflight program is in a state of flux. With these thoughts in mind, Kevin thought it would be interesting to go back in time to the days before NASA. Before President Kennedy pledged that the US would go to the Moon and return before the end of the 1960′s.

With the end of WWII, the beginning of the Atomic Age, and the first use of large scale rockets as weapons, outer space was seen as the next great challenge. With the defection of rocket engineers such as Dr. Werhner von Braun and his team to the US, the groundwork was in place for our future journeys into space. A little known fact, Project Mars: A Technical Tale is a science fiction novel written by on Braun in 1949. It tells the story, in somewhat technical terms, of the first manned mission to Mars.

Join Kevin Atkins in Main Events on Sunday morning for a look at what was imagined to be our future in space. He’ll be presenting an illustrated look at some of the early designs for space shuttles, lunar landers, space stations and even a mission to Mars. He’ll examine the visions of space presented in a series of Collier’s magazine articles often referred to as the Collier’s Space Program.

In 1952, Collier’s magazine sponsored a gathering of the world’s greatest space experts who, in a series of illustrated articles, outlined one of the first comprehensive scenarios ever conceived for the exploration of space. To translate the hardware concepts of Dr. von Braun and Dr. Willey Ley into visual form, Collier’s commissioned artists Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman and Rolf Klep. The Collier’s series was collected in three books: Across the Space Frontier (1952), Conquest of the Moon (1953) and The Exploration of Mars (1956). These books along with the magazines are highly prized.

 The AIAA has recently reprinted the entire Collier's series in its on-line newsletter. New scans were made of all the pages, which were then digitally restored and enhanced.

Our journey moves from the printed page to television.

What did Disneyland and Werhner von Braun have in common? A visionary named Walt Disney. Disney had a television series, Walt Disney Presents, which he used to promote the park. He had segments that covered all of his Lands but one. After the Collier’s series was brought to Disney’s attention, he had his final segment, Walt Disney Presents: Tomorrow Land. He produced three segments that traced the history of Man’s fascination with space, from the earliest observations of the night sky through the first manned Mars mission. These three programs -- Man in Space (1955), Tomorrow the Moon (1955) and Mars and Beyond (1957) -- utilize animation and live action to tell their stories. Wernher von Braun served as Technical Advisor and also appeared in several of the episodes.

Kevin will present a behind the scenes look at these three productions.

avatar for Kevin Atkins

Kevin Atkins

Our beloved Master of Ceremonies, Kevin, has been with the convention for over 30 years, but he amazingly shows very little wear and tear. Kevin is famous for his corny internet jokes which he unleashes whenever there is a pause in the action onstage. Because we have bugged him so much about it, Kevin’s stand-up talents have really improved over the years. | Kevin has been working on the “technical” side of space science his... Read More →

Sunday April 19, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Main Events Marriott West past Atrium

Attendees (24)