News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

GREEN

A Brief History of Climate Change and the First Giant Step in History to Fight It

Posted by on Jun 7, 2014

For centuries people have known about the dangers of global climate change. Yes, centuries. Ancient Greeks and 19th century Americans debated about how cutting down our forests...

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INNOVATE

Rick Tumlinson Chairman of Deep Space Industries | National Space Society ISDC 2014

Posted by on Aug 3, 2014

One of the world’s top visionaries and influential people in the space field Rick Tumlinson Chairmain of the Board at Deep Space Industries. Deep Space is a renaissance company...

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TECHNOLOGY

13 Year old Quin Etnyre CEO of Qtechknow teaching Intro to Arduino Class at Deezmaker

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014

Quin Etnyre is a maker, teacher and entrepreneur at just 13 years old, he runs his own company Qtechknow. His company manufactures electronic ArduSensors and kits that enables...

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SCIENCE

Spitzer Space Telescope Team selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award | AIAA Space Forum 2014

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014

The Spitzer Space Telescope team has been selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award during the AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum August 4-7 in San Diego, California at...

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13 Year old Quin Etnyre CEO of Qtechknow teaching Intro to Arduino Class at Deezmaker

13 Year old Quin Etnyre CEO of Qtechknow teaching Intro to Arduino Class at Deezmaker

Aug 11, 2014

Quin Etnyre is a maker, teacher and entrepreneur at just 13 years old, he runs his own company Qtechknow. His company manufactures electronic ArduSensors and kits that enables beginners, intermediate and advanced users to start making and programming with the open-source computing platform – Arduino. Quin recently taught a fun interactive intro to Arduino workshop class at Deezmaker 3D Printers & Hackerspace in Pasadena, Ca to both kids and adults of all ages. Diego Porqueras Founder of Deezmaker said of the event, ” It’s a really fun experience to have Quin teach a class at Deezmaker working with the Arduinos that we love to do. He is super smart, fun to hangout with and his parents are very supportive. When people see him teaching Arduino, it amazes them and makes them also feel that what he’s teaching in the Arduino system is really not that hard to work with, its pretty accessible for everybody to learn it . It’s been inspiring for the young kids to see someone their age know about it and for the adults they understand that if a younger person can do it, maybe they can learn Arduino too.” This is Quin’s 3rd time teaching the intro to Arduino class at Deezmaker, he has also taught MIT graduates how to program electronics, he has been invited to speak at the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum and he was invited to participate at the first ever White House Maker Faire.

Matt Terndrup a Writer at Hackaday spoke with Quin, CEO of Qtechknow while at the Arduino workshop event at Deezmaker, as students were working on there projects.

Quin is also the Maker of Fuzzbot a fully autonomous small Arduino robot that acts like a Swiffer Duster to pick up any unwanted dirt off of the floor. Seen here in photo demonstrated on table by one of the students in the class.

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Check out more photos from the intro to Arduino class with Qtechknow at Deezmaker Hackerspace. Photos taken by Grant Keller.

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www.Qtechknow.com

Rick Tumlinson Chairman of Deep Space Industries | National Space Society ISDC 2014

Rick Tumlinson Chairman of Deep Space Industries | National Space Society ISDC 2014

Aug 3, 2014

One of the world’s top visionaries and influential people in the space field Rick Tumlinson Chairmain of the Board at Deep Space Industries. Deep Space is a renaissance company that combines veterans in space commerce, policy, asteroid missions, and risk management with young leading edge leaders from the “maker” and nanosat communities. Rick has also led the team that took over the Mir Space Station as the world’s first commercial space facility, signed up financier Dennis Tito to become the first citizen explorer to stay on the International Space Station and was a Founding Trustee of the X Prize. He co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation and founded the Texas Space Alliance, the EarthLight Institute and Orbital Outfitters – provider of commercial space suits to the new industry of suborbital space travel. He has testified on space policy issues twice for the US Senate, four times in the US House of Representatives and assisted NASA in the creation of its plan to return to the Moon and the formation of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group.

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QGITS had the chance to talk to Rick Tumlinson after his presentation at the ISDC International Space Development conference 2014, here’s what he had to say:

For more information visit:

Deep Space Industries

Space Frontier Foundation

International Space Development Conference

Interview with Entrepreneur Techie & CEO Neel Murthy of Swapbox

Interview with Entrepreneur Techie & CEO Neel Murthy of Swapbox

Jul 30, 2014

Originally from Huntington Beach, Ca Neel Murthy studied in the technical field at Stanford University where he started his first entrepreneurial venture videocrank with a few other Stanford students as a front-end and back-end developer. From there he leveraged his experience to become a lead developer of mylinkpower a startup from one of Stanford’s top entrepreneurial programs on campus called StartX and in his latest venture he is Co-founder & CEO of Swapbox a San Francisco-based startup that’s received $800,000 in seed funding from the Y Combinator accelerator program. Swapbox has now become a trending Bay Area startup that’s led by a team of engineers from Stanford, Google, Microsoft, and Zynga. I had the opportunity to have a phone chat with Neel Murthy and talk to him about his entrepreneurial experience and Swapbox easy convenient way to send/receive packages.

QGITS: What exactly is Swapbox?

Neel: Swapbox is a fully automated post office that is located inside places you already go – grocery stores, convenience stores, laundromats, etc…it’s like an atm for packages. It allows you to send and receive packages in a fraction of the time it took before and at your own convenience. To receive a package simply sign up at swapbox.com and choose your closest swapbox (you can change it later) and we’ll give you a new address to ship packages too and notify you via text/email when it arrives. To send packages, just take your item to your closest Swapbox, answer a few onscreen questions and drop off your item (packaged or not – we’ll professionally pack it up for you if it’s not packages) – That’s it!

swapbox 3Photo credit by: Swapbox

QGITS: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur and start working on your own ventures?

Neel: I think I was just fortunate enough to go to a place like Stanford where I was exposed to a lot of good people that inspired me to do something that has meaning and purpose. Before going to Stanford, I was on this path to become a doctor and that’s what I thought I would do my entire life. Since going to Stanford I connected with some cool people, worked on a couple of projects there and tried a couple of my own ventures also while in school. Eventually, I came across the genesis of Swapbox and worked on it for quite some time in school but then it just took a hold; it became something that I thought about all the time. I ended up dropping out of school in the MSCS/MBA program to pursue Swapbox full time. That was a hard decision and I am pretty thankful that I was able to do that.

QGITS: How did you and your team come up with the idea of swapbox?

Neel: Swapbox was not actually the first iteration it sort of evolved into it’s concept. The initial inspiration for both me and my co-founder Nitin Shantharam who I have known for 15 years, was that we would talk about how we thought transactions were broken. There are two things: 1) the global transaction, you buy from an ecommerce site and receive your package; 2) the postal system that was designed for a different age and purpose. Family dynamics are different today. I still have a stack of missed delivery notices that we keep as reminders and inspiration of why we started Swapbox.

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QGITS: Where we can find Swapbox locations?

Neel: So right now we have 21 kiosks in San Francisco area, we just got started a little bit over a year ago and we are working pretty hard to expand. We are targeting LA then New York next. We still have a small team and we want to make sure we get this right, to stay customer focused and make sure we don’t expand to quickly. We have locations in 7-eleven stores and also have plans to be in big grocery store chains. The biggest thing is we are so technology focused and we have algorithms for figuring out where the packages went, being able to dynamically route and store packages. It’s all suppose to be very hassle free and the biggest thing we like to do is make sure the interface is really easy to handle for our customer’s user experience.

Check out video by Swapbox:

www.swapbox.com

Spitzer Space Telescope Team selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award | AIAA Space Forum 2014

Spitzer Space Telescope Team selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award | AIAA Space Forum 2014

Jul 24, 2014

The Spitzer Space Telescope team has been selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award during the AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum August 4-7 in San Diego, California at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. This award was originally established in 1961 and is given to an individual for demonstrated leadership of innovative scientific investigations associated with space science missions. The citation for the award reads: “For outstanding science producing over 2,000 papers, 50,000+hours of observation, and significant findings such as the first telescope to directly detect light from extrasolar planets.” The award consists of an engraved medal and a certificate of citation.

spitzer space telescope Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech/SSC

The Spitzer Space Telescope is designed to detect infrared radiation, which is primarily heat radiation that allows scientists to peer into cosmic regions that are hidden from optical telescopes, including dusty stellar nurseries, the centers of galaxies, and newly forming planetary systems. Spitzer’s infrared eyes also allows astronomers see cooler objects in space, like failed stars (brown dwarfs), extrasolar planets, giant molecular clouds, and organic molecules that may hold the secret to life on other planets. Recently NASA’s Spitzer and Kepler Space Telescopes has helped scientist with the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet beyond our solar system. Their discoveries confirm Kepler-93b as a “super-Earth” that is about one-and-a-half times the size of our planet. Although super-Earths are common in the galaxy, none exist in our solar system. To learn more visit: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/

Join this year’s AIAA SPACE Forum: This event will give you a 360-degree view of the impacts of space activity on society. Focused on “Connecting, Protecting, and Enhancing a Global Society,” this forum will connect you with the researchers, engineers and experts who are driving our industry forward.

Attend & Register Here

AIAA

bioDensity Inventor Dr. John Jaquish Workshop Leader at Evo Kids Science Space Program | Evolution Expo 2014

bioDensity Inventor Dr. John Jaquish Workshop Leader at Evo Kids Science Space Program | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 16, 2014

Dr. John Jaquish PhD is the Inventor of bioDensity system that rapidly enhances bone health for individuals that are affected by the bone disease osteoporosis and helps Astronauts that spend long periods of time in zero gravity. After completing many years of research on osteogenic and neurological function/response, John developed the initial prototype of bioDensity. His doctoral dissertation in biomedical engineering research is from Rushmore University. He conducted 4 years of testing with human subjects focused on user comfort biomechanics and optimal bone muscular stimulation for individuals. This device can greatly benefit de-conditioned elderly populations, high performance athletes and Astronauts living in space – for stronger bone tissue and increased muscular strength.

John was one of the Workshop Leaders for the Evo Kids program at Evolution Expo 2014 in Oakland, Ca. Check out video and hear what John had to say about the family fun event and inspiring kids in science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields.

To learn more or purchase John’s book, please visit:

bioDensity

Evolution Expo

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Evo Kids “Think Tank” with NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards | Evolution Expo 2014

Evo Kids “Think Tank” with NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 9, 2014

NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence and Joe F. Edwards presented and interacted with kids at Evolution Expo 2014 – Evo Kids program talking with them up close and personal about their experiences in the pursuit of space exploration. They also discussed new technologies like having 3D printers in space that will manufacture tools on demand or even food and the challenges for future space exploration missions. The program was enjoyable for everyone as kids asked questions to both Joe and Wendy after panel discussion and soon after in the breakout session, they worked together in groups of teams called the “Think Tank.”

Astronaut Joe Edwards is also an aviator, combat Navy fighter pilot and experimental test pilot of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. In the Space Shuttle – Mir Space Station program he set world records for flying the largest mass in Earth orbit, the most humans in space simultaneously and he flew the closest flying maneuvers in the history of manned space flight in the Orbiter Endeavour.

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence former U.S. Navy Captain and helicopter pilot. She received a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering from U.S. Naval Academy and a master of science degree in ocean engineering from MIT and WHOI. She was selected as an astronaut mission specialist and worked at NASA for 14 years. Her technical assignments included serving as the Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. She is a veteran of four shuttle missions (STS-67, 86, 91 and 114) and has logged over 1225 hours in space.

Hear from both Joe and Wendy at Evolution Expo about what inspires them and advice to others in following their dreams:

For more information, visit:

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence

Astronaut Joe Edwards

Evolution Expo

EVO-graphic

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EVO Kids Program with Tony Leavitt NASA Ames STEM Education Specialist | Evolution Expo 2014

EVO Kids Program with Tony Leavitt NASA Ames STEM Education Specialist | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 2, 2014

At Evolution Expo in Oakland, Ca this past weekend Tony Leavitt, NASA Ames STEM outreach specialist & founder of The STEM-Space project worked with the Evo Kids program along with Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards also including scientist: Liz Warren (NASA Scientist); Chris McKay (Planetary Scientist & Mars Expert); Dr. John Jaquish (BioMedical Engineer); Pascal Lee (NASA/SETI Institute Planetary Scientist & Mars Expert) and Celeste Yarnall (Doctorate in Nutrition). The Evo team first presented about the challenges currently facing our ability to reach Mars and other manned space operations. Next, families and kids settled into groups in a classroom setting called the “Think Tank” as they tried to come up with their own solutions to these issues. Once the kids were in their groups, a scientist sat with them while they brainstormed ideas to see how they were able to take their ideas to another level.

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Pictured (starting left): Astronaut Joe Edwards, Celeste Yarnall, Tony Leavitt, Liz Warren, Dr. John Jaquish and Astronaut Wendy Lawrence.

QGITS had a chance to chat and interview Tony Leavitt at Evolution Expo with Nora Allstedt, California Educator for Exeter Unified Schools. Check out video to hear what he had to say about the Evo Kids Program and his new project the STEM-Space project:

At the EVO kids program at Evolution Expo,Tony Leavitt presented to kids and families “Exploring the Surface of Mars: Searching for Clues of Life: Past & Present” the exploration of Mars and how the “Follow the Water” strategy has lead to evidence of water both in ancient oceans and rivers on Mars and ways to engage students with this quest for life on other planets.

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To Learn more visit:

The STEM-Space Project

Evolution Expo

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CMTA Hosted It’s First Champions of Manufacturing Summit 2014

CMTA Hosted It’s First Champions of Manufacturing Summit 2014

Jul 1, 2014

California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) hosted its first inaugural Champions of Manufacturing Summit with more than 150 people in attendance and 300 watching the live broadcast online hosted by comedian and manufacturing enthusiast Adam Carolla helped recognize seven Champion companies for their commitment to California, their workers and innovation. The honorees covered a spectrum of specific industries and different regions: Vista Metals from Fontana; Keystone Engineering from Long Beach; Sierra Nevada Brewing from Chico; California Steel Industries from Fontana; California Custom Fruits & Flavors from Irwindale; FATHOM from Oakland; Parallax from Rocklin. View more about the Champions.

CMTA
Photo by CMTA: Adam Corrolla with Intel and Fathom -3D Printing & Advanced Prototyping for Product Development.

QGITS last met with Board of Director Chairman and Executive Committee member of CMTA & President of Bishop-Wisecarver Group Pamela Kan at the Automation Technology Expo and recently caught up with her again to chat about the Champions of Manufacturing Summit in Sacramento June 18th, here’s what she had to say:

QGITS: How important is it for Bishop-Wisecarver to participate in events such as the Champions of Manufacturing Summit?

Pamela Kan: Anytime we can get a positive message around manufacturing out, it’s a win for anybody involved, it’s a win for employees, it’s a win for the manufacturers and a win for our state economy. I am starting to get a sense that the tide is starting to turn back in support of manufacturing and I find that really exciting. I think it’s important not just for a business but for a state in general to really understand the importance of manufacturing and technology in a state economy as well as our country’s economy.

PK Blog

QGITS: During the summit, Adam Corolla talked about more hands on learning education in our schools, what did you think about what Adam had to say?

Pamela Kan:  Everything Adam was talking about was really music to my ears. I think it’s been a real disservice to our kids that we have taken out those opportunities in High School. For kids that really are more kinesthetic learners who really love to create and make things, it’s a real injustice. Most schools now don’t have the opportunity of having industrial arts, wood shop or auto shop the type of things that give kids that applied learning…the hands on learning experience. I also think it’s not realistic that every kid is suited to go to a four year college and I think Adam was really spot-on in that comment. The reality is not every kid is suited to go to college and not every kid wants to go college. Our economy needs kids and needs people that want to be making things. As our aging employee population start to retire out, we have a real skill set brain drain happening in our companies and I am bit fearful for our state, to be honest. The supply chain around skilled labor is really lacking in our state and we need to figure out how to get these kids opportunities to start learning technical skill sets and keep them engaged and give them opportunities in the class environment to have them want to go to school and at least graduate high school. That it’s ok if they want to make things. The trades are important and they are vital, on average they earn around $20K more for jobs in manufacturing. It’s a very liveable salary and viable career for kids and they do not get that message in our school system right now. The message shouldn’t just be about that in order to succeed in life that you have to go to a four year college because that’s not the case and maybe they go back later when they really have a clear path but they do not have to be pushed into going to college right after high school.

QGITS also had the chance to talk with CMTA Vice President, Communications Gino DiCaro.

CMTA Adam Corolla Photo by CMTA: (Left) Gino DiCaro, Mike August and Adam Carolla.

QGITS:  What’s different about this year’s CMTA Champions of Manufacturing summit compared to other events you have put together?

Gino DiCaro: We thought it was time to start highlighting the wide range of the very innovative manufacturers that California does have, as well as highlighting the incredibly talented workers these companies employ. There is more than 1.2 million manufacturing workers in California and we would like the companies that employ these workers to certainly continue to operate here and find ways to grow even more in the golden state. We met with countries manufacturing investment members over the last couple years and in 2013 California received only 1.5% out of the countries manufacturing investments, so its clear that while we are a great manufacturing state, we do have a job to do to make sure that were making California a competitive place to operate and attract that growth. We have been doing a lot of complaining for a long time and we really needed to show the legislative community, the regulatory community and the media that there’s a reason why we got to fight for California manufacturing because these companies are great, there workers are incredible, they are the most innovative in the country, they are the most efficient in the country in terms of energy consumption, and we got a find a way to help make these great companies stay here and grow here.

QGITS: I asked Pamela same question, what did you think about what Adam had to say about education in our country?

Gino DiCaro: I really appreciated his comments on that stuff as well, Adam Corolla really kind of found a way to his own success through working with his hands. The biggest problem in California is the state, public high schools have all but given up on vocational and career technical education in our high school curriculum and we got a find a way to prioritize those classes and extend those classes. We find out to often that within the manufacturing communities that these companies just can’t find skilled workers. The lack of skilled workers is a grand problem for the manufacturing community so we got to find a way to instill those courses back into the schools but also maybe work on the perceptions of these types of classes and jobs. These are very rewarding skills and jobs…on average they pay $77,000 a yr in California. We really hope that this event Champions of Manufacturing will help underscore the need for that focus of skilled workers in California.

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CMTA invites you to join the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting manufacturers ability to operate competitively in California.

Interview with Vocademy’s Founder Gene Sherman at the 1st-ever White House Maker Faire DC 2014

Interview with Vocademy’s Founder Gene Sherman at the 1st-ever White House Maker Faire DC  2014

Jun 24, 2014

Congratulations to our friend and one of QGITS favorite local Entrepreneur, Maker and Inventor -Vocademy - The Makerspace founder/CEO Gene Sherman received an official invitation as an honored maker to attend the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18th. In 2011, he did a TEDx Talk titled “The Importance of Making Things” and it felt very surreal to him that he was at the White House listening to President Obama saying the exact same thing. He represented Vocademy and their mission to promote “education-focused” makerspaces. He was one of the 80 Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs selected to attend the first White House Maker Faire.

QGITS spoke with Gene via phone to ask him about his incredible experience at the White House Maker Faire and what it meant to him to be at the forefront in celebrating a nation of makers that day.

Maker Faire DC
Photo by: Vocademy

QGITS: What is it like to be there in DC for the 1st-ever Maker Faire Summit and to hear the President speak in person?

Gene Sherman: The amazing thing is that they are doing this. The White House is finally acknowledging how important making things are for this country. To hear the President use the same words I have been using for years is really very reassuring. It was very cool to see him in person,  I was about 20 ft away in a room full of maybe 120 people and he spoke at the State Floor in the East Room of the White House. He has a great sense of humor, he said some really nice things, he made a lot of sense, he wasn’t very political and what he said was very common sense.
Click here to watch or hear President Obama speak at the White House Maker Faire.

QGITS: As a Maker, Innovator & Entrepreneur what were some of your favorite highlights from the Maker Faire event?

Gene Sherman: Everyone at this event, really felt that this whole maker movement is about to go big. For years I have been trying to teach people about the term “Makerspace” and what it means and now the President actually used it in his speech and then in his proclamation. He also just announced June 18th is the official Day of Making and to be just a part of that – was just incredible. Most of the people attending were the leaders of the Maker Movement and to be around that and smiling at each other that this is about to go mainstream..is very special. The goal is getting more adults and kids involved into hands on making things.

Gene Sherman & Bill Nye Photo by Vocademy. Cool snapshot of Gene Sherman and Bill Nye the Science Guy at the White House Maker Faire.

QGITS: Anything else you would like to mention that you took away from the Maker Faire?

Gene Sherman: We all realize how important this is too our country, we all realize that is goes beyond just entertaining ourselves by tinkering. That as a country we need to have more Makers and Innovators. Almost everyone agreed that we need to get our kids using their hands whether they are going to college or not..if they want to be a doctor, a mechanic or anyone else we need to start letting them play. We also thought that schools are becoming very boring and rigorous and we agreed that playtime also becomes your passion eventually in life. Until middle and high schools bring back hands-on shop classes, we would like to fulfill that role and offer our facility to everyone.

Vocademy  summer pack 2014

www.vocademy.com

Vocademy logo

Entrepreneur Video Game Mogul & Private Astronaut Richard Garriott at the National Space Society Conference | ISDC 2014

Entrepreneur Video Game Mogul & Private Astronaut Richard Garriott at the National Space Society Conference | ISDC 2014

Jun 18, 2014

Entrepreneur, Adventurer, Online Video Game Mogul – Richard Garriott followed in the footsteps of his father, NASA Astronaut Owen Garriott paying $35 million dollars for the opportunity to go into space. On October 12, 2008 he launched from a Russion Soyuz TMA-13 rocket to the International Space Station for 10 days as the 1st second generation American Astronaut and the sixth private astronaut client of Space Adventures. Growing up in the space community, his passion and dream has always been to go to space, as he devoted from an early age his own personal investing towards the privatization of space travel. Richard is also an Investor and Vice-Chairman of Space Adventures, the world’s premier private space exploration company and he hopes to see the cost of getting private citizens into space come down dramatically.

QGITS had the chance to catch up with Richard at the National Space Society ISDC conference after the opening reception and his presentation talk “Opening the Floodgates to Entrepreneurial Space Exploration.” Here’s what he had to say:

To learn more visit:

Richard Garriott

Richard in Space

Space Adventures

Apogee of Fear Film made in Space

International Space Development Conference (ISDC)