Tuesday night we dressed up and headed in for a late session at the World Space Congress. It was Poster Night, the one time we are required to be with our poster, to answer questions and otherwise "defend" it.
The poster room is a great hall all the way at one end of the building and all the way up on the third floor. As I mentioned before, there were rows upon rows of posters. This time the sponsors had set up a free snack bar with punch and even wine, which you see Cheryl holding, (right).
Not a lot of people talked to us about our poster, "Mare Orientale Prime Meridian Lunar Coordinate System," but those who did included Stephen Durst of Space Age publishing, publishers of Space Daily out of Hawai'i, who was quite interested. Turns out they're also working on a "Hawai'i to the Moon" program. At present, they're doing "planetary tours" of Hawai'i including volcanos, lavatubes, and the "Atlantis" submarine Cheryl and I went on when we were there on our tenth anniversary trip. Some of you may recall the "Oceans of the Solar System" baseball hat I picked up there, left over from a conference the Atlantis submarine folks were involved in about the purported oceans of Europa (Jupiter's moon).
One gal complemented us on our design. She pointed to a panel across the aisle that was nothing but sheets filled with normal 12-point type and a few small line graphs. "This doesn't attract me at all," she said. Then, appraising our panel, she said, "Now, you've got pretty pictures, and I can read it from a distance, and it's laid out nicely. That's much more interesting." That was nice, even if she wasn't particularly interested in the subject! I thanked her, of course.
While I was off skimming over the other posters in the room, Cheryl stayed with our poster. A "distinguished, conservative businessman-type" from Boeing talked to her about our topic for awhile, and was eager to get his hands on a copy of the "Lunar Map" we made up using the new system. Luckily, I had run off about 10 extra copies before we left! I'm reminded Steve Durst asked if the map were available on our website. I had to tell him it was too new, but it would be there shortly after the conference. Let me just say to our webmaster Gus, the reason you're not getting it now is that it's several megabytes in size and the telco connection we have here is both slow and unreliable. Sometimes it has taken me five tries to get the 0.3 MB pictures to you all that I have been sending. When we get back to our broadband connection, I expect to upload some more pictures, and the map, that can then be viewed on our website. Anyway, you can get a general idea what the map looks like by viewing the horizontal page on the third row down on our poster board. Cheryl found the USGS website that allows us to create custom lunar maps from the Clementine dataset, the best there is at present. Thanks, Cheryl!
Toward the end of the session Bernard Foing from the Netherlands, the Chair of our COSPAR section (i.e., the Boss) listened to our spiel and wondered if we were ready to give our talk. We kind of looked at him blankly, then explained that we weren't scheduled to give a talk, we just had been accepted for the poster session. He then asked if we could give a five minute talk about it if called upon. We considered for about two seconds and both answered "Yes, of course!" in our best "can-do" mode. He said he may do so the next day (today, Wednesday, which he didn't) or the day after.
At lunchtime today we ate at the Food Court down in the Exhibit Hall. I was able to add to our collection of posters, books, gewgaws and odds'n'ends for friends, family, and the office. Picked up (bought, that is) a World Space Congress polo shirt for an "official" remembrance for myself, too. I almost physically ran into the Planetary Society's Louis Friedman in the Food Court, and for those who may know him we saw Rob Pearlman of NSS helping out at the Countdown Creations booth where I bought my shirt. The Houston chapter of NSS was manning an NSS company booth, as well. But frankly, it's more fun going to the Lego Mars Rover booth, the Japanese Space Agencies booth, the Lockheed-Martin golf course (not really, but they had thick carpet that felt good on weary feet), and the many smaller companies and organizations involved in actual space work. Many "booths" also included small "offices" where people were meeting from time to time behind closed doors. All sorts of stuff going on down here . . .
More later, as time and events warrant. Live from Houston,
Bryce and Cheryl