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.
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.
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