NASA’s Next Giant Leap: Comic-Con 2014

Aug 7, 2014   //   by Pamela Greyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA, The Launch Pad  //  No Comments

It’s now official.  When NASA comes to do a panel at Comic-Con, the once geeky comic book, action figure, and superhero film convention where if you aren’t dressed up as some character, person, or alien from popular comic fiction, you’re not cool.  I didn’t make it to Comic-Con this year and missed this panel.  After watching this mix of NASA planetary science and engineering and the commentary/questions from the Comic-Con panel facilitator Seth Green, I realized that STEM has moved from the textbooks, the SmartBoards, the classrooms, and even the iPads (that can be seen in the video held high to record the panel) to a new audience of people.

OK, maybe not a totally new audience.  The people who attend Comic-Con are serious about their comics, the art, the movies, the collectibles, the celebrities, the robots, and the science.  It’s cool (yes I said cool) to hear the enthusiasm of Seth in questioning the panel that included NASA astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Mike Fincke, NASA Planetary scientist Dr. Jim Green, and “Mohawk Guy” Bobak Ferdowsi ( (Seth) ” You landed a car on Mars!”) It’s also a great way to give NASA exposure beyond the traditional press conferences, the educational webinars, and even the NASA web portal.  The panel marked the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and it is great to see these guys talking about planetary exploration, space, dreaming of becoming an astronaut, planning the next Mars robotic rover mission, 3-D printing, building habitats on Mars, and the future of exploring the final frontier. 

The wonderful folks at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are the genius minds behind this. The conversation of space exploration and engineering innovation and what we can look forward to for the next 45 years is fantastic.  Questions from the children are priceless especially the little girl who asked Buzz Aldrin, “What made you want to go to space?  What inspired you?” Watch the panel, enjoy, and be inspired!

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