Launch Pad 2010 open for, um, launch

By Phil Plait | March 9, 2010 12:17 pm

Last year, I attended the NASA-sponsored Launch Pad Workshop, a week-long camp in Laramie, Wyoming, to help science fiction authors learn astronomy. That way, they can get ideas and write more accurate stories! It was a lot of fun, and I had a fantastic time.

Registration is open again for Launch Pad 2010, with guest speaker Kevin Grazier, who is a planetary scientist and science advisor for TV shows, including Battlestar Galactica.

Launch Pad will be from July 11 – 18, 2010, and if you’re a science fiction author you can apply to attend from now until March 31. And if you are an author, I urge you to go. It’s more than just getting the science right; it’s about inspiration, and there’s plenty to be had in astronomy. Launch Pad is a great way to meet it head on.


Comments (8)

  1. DTdNav

    Will it be in Laramie, WY again this year?

  2. Matt G.

    This is the first time I’ve heard of this, what a fantastic idea!

  3. Tangofish

    Speaking of authors and science;

    is it?
    Heres hoping ūüėČ

  4. Jya Jya Binks Killer

    Great idea – but will TV /movie SF follow suit?

    Most SF novels and short stories I’ve read are reasonable science wise but movies and TV shows not-so much.

    Plus whatever the medium, there’s always some room for “artistic licence” isn’t there?

  5. George Martin

    @4 was wondering about movies and television. Last year the National Academy of Sciences established The Science and Entertainment Exchange.

    The Science & Entertainment Exchange is a program of the National Academy of Sciences that provides entertainment industry professionals with access to top scientists and engineers to help bring the reality of cutting-edge science to creative and engaging storylines.

    The wonderful Jennifer Ouellette, of Cocktail Party Physics, is its director. How much use Hollywood will make of this resource is anyone’s guess. You can read more here:


  6. I did Launch Pad two years ago. It was awesome. Highly recommended, if you’re eligible to apply.

  7. JB of Brisbane

    How far is Laramie from Devil’s Tower?
    (Cue “Close Encounters” music – “Doo-doo-doo-doo-DOOOOO…”)


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