The Las Cruces Space Festival is providing a platform to showcase local space-related organizations in New Mexico and the talented folk that work for them. Throughout the week-long festival to be held April 7th-13th, there will be talks by New Mexico State University (NMSU) Academics, Researchers from New Mexico Observatories and NMSU Graduates now working in the Space Industry.
At the ‘Open House‘ event at Spaceport America, which will launch the 2019 Festival, guest speakers from the Very Large Array (VLA), Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic will update visitors on their respective organizations’ activities and plans for the future. Director of Operations at the VLA, Dr. Mark Mckinnon will discuss the exciting new science coming out of the Radio Telescope facility. Spaceport America CEO, and NMSU Alumni, Dan Hicks, will give visitors an update on developments at the world’s first purpose-built spaceport.
In Las Cruces on April 9th, Henry Cathey, Deputy Director at the Physical Science Laboratory at NMSU, will be giving a talk titled ‘A Trip to the Stratosphere’. Henry has worked on multiple NASA spaceflight missions during his career and supported the NASA Balloon Program since 1994. The Balloon Program provides high altitude scientific balloon platforms for scientific and technical investigations, including fundamental discoveries that contribute to our understanding of the Earth, solar system and the universe.
NMSU Astronomy Professor Chris Churchill will be speaking ahead of the movie ‘Contact‘ on April 11th. His talk ‘The Journey of Discovery to the Final Frontier’ will explore the way humans have transformed our understanding of the Earth through sea exploration and migration across the oceans how we will continue to follow the call of our DNA as we launch new missions to explore the solar system.
Also on April 11th, the Las Cruces Space Festival will host a ‘Making Contact‘ showcase at the Convention Center. The event, co-hosted by the Bridge of Southern New Mexico, is primarily aimed at helping aspiring students figure out pathways into space and aerospace work although it will also serve as an opportunity for all members of the community and visitors to the Festival to learn about the space-related companies operating in the region.
Organizations that range from engineering and education to service and commercial spaceflight will be hosting information booths. There will be opportunities to discuss university courses, internships and recruitment for available positions. Keynote guest Speakers include Dr James Rice an expert on Mars and the Moon,from the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona and Bill McCamley, the new Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
New Mexico’s Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum will be hosting an evening on ‘Satellites, Water and New Mexico’s Agricultural Future’. NMSU Professors Dr Zohrab Samani and Hatim Geli will each give presentations about how satellites are being used to gather information to aid water management in New Mexico. The talks will begin at 7pm and are free to attend.