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PROGRAM

FRIDAY, JUNE 16

THE MOON: CORNERSTONE OF SOLAR SYSTEM SCIENCE

2 PM – 2:45 PM

Location: 143

The Moon is a witness plate to the history of the Earth-Moon system – and the cornerstone for understanding processes affecting airless bodies in the Solar System. Come learn about the latest discoveries in lunar science from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, how these discoveries are revolutionizing our understanding of our nearest neighbor, and what insights we are gaining about our Solar System by studying the Moon.

Panelists: Noah Petro, Wes Patterson, Brett Denevi, Tim Livengood, Nayi Castro

Rated G

MUSEUM ON THE MOON

3 PM – 3:45 PM

Location: 143

Scientists, curators, and educators from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum share the many wonders of our Moon. Ask the experts about the evidence that the Moon is shrinking, how our Moon compares to others, the fates of the spacecraft we’ve left behind, how to preserve and display iconic Apollo spacesuits, where you can go to see the Apollo XI Command Module Columbia on its upcoming US tour, and how to enjoy the Moon's moment in the sun, this summer's solar eclipse.

Rated G

NASA'S SPACE LASERS

4 PM – 4:45 PM

Location: 143

Beaming down from spacecraft to measure Earth, investigating lunar dust, and tracking satellites from suburban Maryland -- lasers are been at the forefront of cutting edge technology at NASA.  Explore the latest laser technology and the key science behind missions helping us investigate our home planet and beyond. Engineers and scientists will take you behind the scenes with missions like the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite 2, launching with its green lasers in 2018, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter currently orbiting the Moon, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission, and the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration. Plus, watch what happens when scientists team up with art and design students, producing an animated short starting an anthropomorphic light photon.

Panelists: Luis Ramos-Izquierdo, Erwan Mazarico, Jan McGarry, Jennifer A. Sager, Kate Ramsayer

Rated G

THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE, FROM NASA

5 PM – 5:45 PM

Location: 143

"A total solar eclipse will cross the United States on August 21, 2017. Come find out how eclipses help us learn about the Universe - and what we can learn about the Sun only during a total solar eclipse, how our detailed knowledge of the shape of the Moon's rugged surface affects the viewing experience for Earth-based observers, and what you can expect to experience in North America.

Panelists: Michelle Thaller, C. Alex Young, Ernie Wright, Kristen Weaver, Hannah Wakeford

Rated G

IBM WATSON: SUPERMAN OR SUPERCOMPUTER? MAKING MONEY WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM

Location: 146

IBM’s Artificial Intelligence, Watson, made its debut as a research project on the American gameshow Jeopardy! in 2011. As part of IBM’s strategy to accelerate the growth of artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, today Watson is an open platform to the world! With millions of developers connected to this advanced and diverse cognitive computing tech, entrepreneurs, students and tech enthusiasts can easily tap into the growing solution base for use and deployment. The community is growing quickly –in over 45 countries, across 20 different industries - of those who build and bring to market their own powered-by-Watson applications. Learning what is possible may seem obscure. With thousands of companies who build and offer ‘smart’ products, we may be lead to think that AI is just to enable ‘new things’. But, says Teerlink “it turns out that people just want to do the same things they’ve always done, only faster, across an obscene amount of data, and preferably cheaper”. Marc’s guidance for startups is no-nonsense: “If you want to build a successful business, take a process that you know well, and move the heavy lifting to AI, whilst letting humans do the creative thinking”.

Panelist: Dr. Marc Teerlink, Chief Business Strategist, IBM Watson

Rated G

THE HUMAN-TECHNOLOGY FRONTIER: TO ENHANCEMENT AND BEYOND?

6 PM – 6:45 PM

Location: 143

Geordie LaForge’s visor. Luke Skywalker’s prosthetic hand. Identification and memory implants in The Expanse. Cybernetically enhanced humans in Robocop and Ghost in the Shell. Science fiction gives us so many examples of humans using technology to overcome, adapt, and enhance the body – for ends good and…not so. But what’s actually possible? How do scientists see us integrating technology ever closer into our lives and bodies? And will these technologies cause us to become more or less than human? Join the National Science Foundation and NSF-funded researchers for a discussion about the cutting edge research in engineering, computer science, materials, biology, and the social and ethical implications of our increasingly technologically advanced lives.

Panelists: Katherine Pratt, Tim Brown, Dr. Suveen Mathaudhu

Rated G

THE AMAZING COLLABORATION BETWEEN HOLLYWOOD AND REAL SPACE EXPLORATION

7 PM – 7:45 PM

Location: 143

This panel will feature representatives from both the entertainment community and the space exploration community to discuss their ongoing synergy and how both communities can build on this relationship to not only create profitable, accurate (as possible), and entertaining movies and television shows, but also to inspire the public about the true prospect of space exploration and discovery over the next few decades.

Panelists: Chris Carberry - CEO, Explore Mars, James Green: NASA, Director, Planetary Science, Ann Merchant: The Science &a Entertainment Exchange, National Academy of Science

Rated PG

STARTALK LIVE!

8 PM – 10 PM

Location: Main Stage

Future Con’s kickoff event will welcome Colonel Chris Hadfield to host a special edition of StarTalk Live! Col. Hadfield is a veteran of two space shuttle missions and former commander of the International Space Station. He’s also been called the “most social media savvy astronaut” by Forbes for his ongoing documentation of his time in space to over 2 million Twitter followers. Col. Hadfield will appear at Future Con to lead a taping of StarTalk Live!, an award-winning talk show bridging the intersection between pop culture and science with humor and passion. Scott Adsit (Big Hero 6, Veep, 30 Rock) will take the stage as co-host for StarTalk Live!

SATURDAY, JUNE 17

DAVID TENNANT EXPLORES TIME AND SPACE

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

Location: Main Stage

David Tennant, a man who's pretended to visit the farthest future, is joined on stage by Dr. Grant Tremblay and Dr. Matt Shindell, experts on the outer reaches of our galaxy. Together they'll geek out about Doctor Who, what's really out there among the stars, and take questions from fans about life, the universe, and everything.

Panelists: David Tennant, Dr. Grant Tremblay, Dr. Matt Shindell 

Rated PG

OUTRAGEOUS ACTS OF SCIENCE LIVE!

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Location: 143

Join Science Channel as they celebrate the return of the hit series ""Outrageous Acts of Science"" with some of the greatest (and most hilarious) minds in science. Fans will have front-row seats to some mind-blowing experiments and exclusive footage along with fun giveaways.

Rated G

PARALLEL AND MULTI UNIVERSE THEORY IN SCI-FI

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM

Location: 143

In this talk, Dr. Erin Macdonald will present different theories of multiple universes and where they are seen in science fiction movies and television series. We will primarily explore infinite universes, quantum multiverses and simulated universes as well as the classic parallel universe (populated with many goatees). Come learn about some fun, theoretical science while traveling through our favorite moments in science fiction.

Panelist: Dr. Erin Macdonald

Rated PG

THE TECH OF BATMAN

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM

Location: 150

Panelists: Greg Capullo, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Rhea Waldman, Suveen Mathaudhu

HARRY POTTER AND THE GENETICS OF WIZARDING

2 PM – 2:45 PM

Location: 154

Witches and wizards can do many forms of magic. They can easily break the rules of physics by changing shape and size, creating energy and teleporting on a whim. One of the things they cannot do is create witches or wizards. The use of magic is an inherited genetic trait. Here we describe some aspects of the Wizarding gene, explain muggle-borns and squibs and explain why you didn’t get an owl on your 11th birthday.

Panelist: Eric P. Spana

Rated PG

ARTIFICIAL GRAVITY AND FASTER-THAN-LIGHT TRAVEL

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Location: 143

In this panel, Dr Erin Macdonald will present the science behind some of our favorite sci-fi concepts, particularly artificial gravity and faster-than-light travel. We will talk about warp drives, mass relays, hyperspace and much more, as well as the possibility of these technologies actually existing.

Panelist: Erin Macdonald, PhD

Rated PG

INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC: NANOTECH IN SCI FI

4:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Location: 143

No technology featured in science fiction may better exemplify Arthur C. Clarke’s third law, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,"" than nanotechnology. Often used as a panacea or doomsday device, nanotechnology is invoked to explain away phenomena that, at least for now, aren’t possible. Writers often summon nanotechnology to cure the incurable or to explain enhanced human abilities; to justify mystery materials that are indestructible, capable of cloaking, or impossible to characterize; or to rationalize instant, molecular manufacturing that meets all our needs. Join experts in nanotechnology as they share their predictions for the future of nanotechnology and discover how close your favorite sci fi reference to nanotechnology may actually be to coming true.

Panelists: Lloyd Whitman – Chief Scientist at NIST and Acting Lead for Technology and Innovation Policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Jordan Green, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Oncology, Neurosurgery, and Materials Science & Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Mihal Gross – former Program Officer at the Office of Naval Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Depart. of Energy; currently a patent agent specializing in nanotechnology Ronald Cowen – Science writer and editor at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Rated G

BRAVE NEW GIRLS: WOMEN IN STEM

5 PM – 5:45 PM

Location: 146

Some of the greatest scientific advances in history have been made by women, but girls are seldom encouraged to explore the sciences. Future Con presents a panel of celebrities and scientists jointly discussing the achievements of female scientists, the role of women in STEM today, and the need for advocacy to create the next generation of great female scientists, engineers, and astronauts.

Panelists: Dawn Myers, LRO Science Mission Planner, Dr. Lynnae Quick

Rated G

DARK SKIES, BRIGHT SCIENCE: THE 2017 GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM

Location: 143

The Sun? Solar Superstorms? The 2017 Great American Eclipse? In 1989, a solar eruption with the strength of thousands nuclear bombs knocked out power to over 6 million people in North America. Hear from the National Science Foundation about how we understand our nearest star and its phenomena that can impact life on Earth. The 2017 Great American Eclipse will present a unique opportunity to study the Sun using ground-based observations by citizen scientists and professional researchers alike. Learn the science behind a solar eclipse and how you can safely observe it. Explore the future of solar astronomy with the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, the world’s largest and most powerful solar observatory currently under construction on a mountain in Hawaii.

Moderator: Joseph Pesce (Program Director, NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences)

Panelists: Dr. Dave Boboltz, Dr. Valentin Martinez Pillett (NSO Director), Dr. Joseph McMullin (DKIST Project manager and DKIST Deputy Director)

Rated G

ALIEN CLIMATES ON PLANETS NEAR AND FAR

6:30 PM – 7:15 PM

Location: 143

A panel of NASA scientists will discuss some of the ingredients that make planets in and beyond the solar system habitable or uninhabitable. Join us as we explore processes that govern planetary climates on real (and fantasy!) alien worlds near and far.

Panelists: Giada Arney, Hannah Wakeford, Ravi Kopparapu, Conor Nixon

Rated G

HOW DID WE GET HERE, HOW FAR CAN WE GO? OBSERVING THE UNIVERSE WITH THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

6:30 PM – 7:15 PM

Location: 150

Dr. Mather will tell the awesome story of our amazing history, from the Big Bang to now, and how we will learn more with the astounding James Webb Space Telescope, successor for the brilliant Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST, planned for launch in October 2018, will unfold after launch to be far larger than the Hubble, and cooled to a low temperature so it can detect infrared. If you were a bumblebee, hovering at the distance of the moon, the JWST could see you, both in reflected sunlight, and in the heat radiation you would emit. With these superpowers, what might the JWST reveal? Astronomers will use it to study everything from the first stars, galaxies, and black holes, to stars forming nearby with planetary systems, to planets, dwarf planets, comets, moons, and asteroids in our own Solar System.

Panelist: Dr. John Mather

Rated G

FROZEN FOSSILS: DINOSAURS OF THE ANTARCTIC

7:30 PM – 8:15 PM

Location: 143

Dinosaurs? In Antarctica? How do we find them? Once you’ve found them, how do you bring them to life in film and in museums? Hear from National Science Foundation’s researchers about the process of unearthing dinosaurs in one of the most remote and formidable locations on the planet. Learn how filmmakers bring these monstrous and fascinating creatures to life on screen, and how museum curators transform them beyond the screen into exhibits that capture the human imagination like few creatures- living or otherwise- can.

Panelists: Nate (Nathan) Smith, David Clark, Tom Skwerski

Rated PG

AN ASTRONAUT AND AEROSPACE LEADERS DISCUSS SPACE

7:30 PM – 8:45 PM

Location: 146

This panel will explore the influence of science fiction on careers in aerospace and the development of new space technologies. Panelists will include a former astronaut and aerospace leaders from NASA, Virgin Galactic, and SSL.

Panelists: George Zamka, Astronaut (retired); Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic; Mike Gold, Commercial Space Transporation Advisory Committee

Rated G

NERD NITE DC CRASHES AWESOME CON!

8:30 PM – 9:15 PM

Location: 143

Nerd Nite DC is crashing Awesome Con again this year with a super nerdy panel. Think Sci Fi & Fantasy Nerd Mashup and Science in Pop Culture and you'll get a sense of what to expect. What is Nerd Nite? Nerd Nite is a worldwide organization that brings scientists, engineers, artists, and all types of super nerdy specialists together to blend fun with facts. It is a monthly event held in more than 75 cities across the globe during which several folks give fun and information-filled presentations across all disciplines in a bar while the audience drinks a few or a few too many. Nerd Nite DC has covered everything from space toilets and voodoo zombies to roman hairstyling techniques over its eight year span, and we then we spice it all up up with music, trivia, costumes, and other nerdery. Nerd Nite DC at Awesome-Con is bringing you some of the best speakers in order to Nerd out!

Speaker #1

Fly by Wire? More like Die by Wire: When software kills, crashes, and combusts.

Scared that the MRI you're about to get will fry your brain? You should be: this sort of thing has actually happened; as well as spacecraft smashing to pieces, airplanes flying without air traffic control, and World War III almost wiping out humanity, all due to simple software faults and design mistakes. Come hear about ten of the most awful disasters in software engineering, and you'll never want to trust anything connected to a wire again.

Speaker #2

The Biophilia Hypothesis: How what makes us animals, may very well be what saves our humanity.

Join Alexis for a crash course into the planet-people-profit nexus across human history. From the big bang launching star dust into the cosmos, to millennials taking selfies at the Capitol, learn how the emerging field of sustainability has shaped the human experience yesterday, today and optimistically tomorrow.

Panelists: Cat Aboudara MC: Alexis Goggans & Kinga Dobolyi

Rated Rated PG-13

SUNDAY, JUNE 18

CITIZENS IN SPACE! EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE!

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Location: 143

From studying gravitational waves emitted from distant black holes, to analyzing the hunting patterns of rare species of bats, to identifying new forms of cancer, non-scientists are working with professional researchers to answer some of the most difficult scientific questions of our day. Find out how you can be an integral part of exploring our universe through free and engaging online programs like Zooniverse. Talk with scientists and learn how you can explore our planet, our Sun, and the most distant galaxies by becoming a Citizen Scientist!

Panelists: Dr. Henry ""Trae"" Winter, Kaitlyn Loftus, Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald, Dr. Shane Larson

Rated G

CASSINI'S SPECTACULAR GRAND FINALE AT SATURN

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

Location: 143

On September 15th, the incredible Cassini voyage comes to an end. For more than 13 years Cassini has orbited Saturn, making repeated close encounters with its diverse satellites, rings and the giant planet itself, taking spectacular pictures and making new scientific discoveries. But all good things must come to an end, and Cassini's journey is nearly finished now that its fuel supplies are running low. However before the spacecraft plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere to disappear forever, the mission team has planned a daring finale: Cassini will dive into the narrow gap between the rings and planet to make a final set of unique measurements, including where ring particles spiral into the planet. We will show the latest images, and discuss Cassini’s incredible science legacy from the discovery of giant seas of liquid methane on Titan’s north pole, to a year-long storm on Saturn, to water geysers caught in the act of erupting from the small moon Enceladus, and more.

Panelists: Conor Nixon, Paul Romani, Carrie Anderson (tentative), Mike Flasar (tentative)

Rated G

SCIENCE OF SPIDER-MAN

12:45 PM – 1:30 PM

Location: 146

Panelists: James Kakalios and Rebecca Thompson

YOU'VE HEARD OF BLACK HOLES - WE REVEAL THE TRUTH

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM

Location: 143

Two black holes come crashing together, sending ripples through the very fabric of space-time. A star wanders too close to a monster black hole, disappearing in a bright flash of light that signals its demise. The tiny region at the center of a galaxy packs an enormous punch, blasting its radiation out to stars and planets over 500 trillion miles away. These are not science fiction, they are the real objects and events studied by astrophysicists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Come see and hear about some of these extremes in the universe from the scientists making front-line discoveries.

Panelists: Dr. Barb Mattson, Dr. Bernard Kelly, Dr. Erin Kara, Dr. Travis Fischer

Rated G

ARE WE LOOKING FOR THE WRONG ALIENS?

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM

Location: 150

Could our efforts to ferret out signals from extraterrestrials be misdirected? We’ve always made the assumption that the aliens share some of our own fundamental characteristics – that they’re members of a brainy species consisting of billions of individuals, living out their lives on planets or moons sporting liquid oceans and thick atmospheres. But could the truth be entirely different? Could it be that the majority of the intelligence in the cosmos is not soft and squishy, but in sophisticated machines that might not be limited to the type of worlds we examine? If so, what would this mean for our search for cosmic company, and for the future of Homo sapiens?

Panelist: Dr. Seth Shostak

Rated G

ROBOTS IN SPACE

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM

Location: 143

Satellites do a lot for us, including allowing us to explore and learn about the universe itself. In an average year, several billion dollars’ worth of satellites are retired when their fuel supply is exhausted, or when repairable issues are overlooked. But there’s a better way! Rather than launching new satellites when previous ones run out of fuel or run into issues, why not try to fix, refuel, or upgrade them?

That’s where NASA’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division (SSPD) comes in. After completing five successful Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing Missions, SSPD is continuing this legacy by advancing the state of the art in robotic servicing.

Join SSPD engineers as they walk you through the revolutionary robotic technology NASA is developing to facilitate and advance satellite servicing and other missions. From robotic arms to relative navigation systems and beyond, these technologies are paving the way to the future.

Panelists: Benjamin Reed, Ross Henry

Rated G

MARS - PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE: NASA EXPLORES MARS

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Location: 143

Come hear NASA scientists talk about catastrophic climate change in Mars' ancient past, about how NASA is today searching the martian surface for clues about the possibility of life, and how astronauts might someday explore the martian surface. If you joined us last year, we'll be updating our presentation with the latest results and it'll be even more awesome!

Panelists: Jared Espley, Jake Bleacher, Jen Stern, Andrea Jones

Rated G