Spacefest Stars Sparkle

Photo Credit: Mark Usicak / AmericaSpace

Photo Credit: Mark Usicak / AmericaSpace

TUCSON, Ariz — This Memorial Day weekend, a wide range of space experts, officials, and astronauts descended upon sun-baked Tucson from May 24-27 to discuss space exploration efforts past, present, and future. Their destination? Spacefest 2013.

Speakers ranged from Sy Liebergot to astronomer and planetary scientist Carolyn Porco! Book signings from numerous authors including Andy Chaikin filled up the calendar for the day. Astronauts from Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and the shuttle program signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans young and old alike. By all accounts the event was highly successful.

Apollo 12's Dick Gordon and Alan Bean review a text on Gordon's phone. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Apollo 12’s Dick Gordon and Alan Bean review a text on Gordon’s phone. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Spacefest is an annual gathering that includes the aforementioned astronauts, scientists, and space artists. The event was started by Kim Poor and Novaspace. Novaspace is a mail-order organization formed by Poor in 1978 to promote Poor and other space artists’ work. The founders of this annual event describe how it originated as such:

We had been selling astronaut-autographed items, because of our Houston exposure, and it very quickly began outselling the art. Many of our customers, gained through years of art shows in malls, festivals, and street fairs throughout the West and across the USA, began to add astronaut items to their space art collections. So we had a ready-made, large and valuable mailing list, and were able to attract Apollo astronauts to Tucson for book signings, etc. Our website, Novaspace.com, was becoming bloated, and confusing, so we recently spun off AstronautCentral.com as our dedicated astronaut site, while NovaspaceArt.com remains pure space art.

In 2007, Novaspace’s managers combined the organization’s various efforts to form Spacefest. This year it was held at the Starr Pass Resort.

Apollo 13's Fred Haise. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Apollo 13’s Fred Haise. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

A star party was held during this year's Spacefest. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

A star party was held during this year’s Spacefest. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

One of the many panel's held at this year's Spacefest. This one included Apollo astronauts (from left-to-right) Walt Cunningham, Jim McDivitt, Fred Haise and Walt Cunningham. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

One of the many panel’s held at this year’s Spacefest. This one included Apollo astronauts (from left to right) Walt Cunningham, Jim McDivitt, Fred Haise, and Walt Cunningham. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Jim McDivitt inspires the next generation of explorers during Spacefest 2013. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Jim McDivitt inspires the next generation of explorers during Spacefest 2013. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Star of "Wonders of the Universe" and "Wonders of the Solar System" - physicist Brian Cox. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

Star of “Wonders of the Universe” and “Wonders of the Solar System,” physicist Brian Cox. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / AmericaSpace

 

 

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