10 a.m. – Two Suns in the Sky
Panelists: Courtney Schafer, Eva Elasigue
This panel was missing its third panelist. Perhaps that person would have kept it from being dry. The two remaining panelists were reasonably knowledged, but didn’t keep the exchange very engaging for me. There was a lot of hard science combined with a lot of conjecture. In many of the cases members of the audience seemed to know more about the topic than the panel. With my own level of expertise, I really wouldn’t share any of the facts, not being sure I could communicate them correctly.
11 a.m. – Why Mars is Hard
Astronaut Stan Love
The NASA contingent was one of the highlights of the con. The Martian-related Hugo wins, and theri NASA-acceptance persons, led me to follow up today with the presentation on what it would take to get to Mars.
I generally knew the concepts he shared, but the presentation, guaranteed to make us all rocket scientists, was entertaining and informative.
He told us what it takes to get to Low Earth Orbit, The Moon, and Mars, to show how speed and time and distance affected each of the three.
He mentioned mother nature being a hard grader. If you don’t get 100% the result is destruction and death.
When it came time for audience questions, one person asked about space debris being a problem. He said an option was building it in high lunar orbit, where we don’t, yet, have a debris problem.
Betsy asked her first question of the convention: whether hydroponics could help in the food supply issue to Mars. The answer was the weight of the system is enormous, and you need sunlight-strength energy to grow the plants. Then the heat created needs to be dumped into space, which isn’t easy. Then disease could wipe out your entire food supply. Hydroponics can be practical for a planet, but not a space ship.
We spent the rest of the day in the con suite, or roaming the dealer floor. We had good conversations with various people about the con.
4.p.m. — Closing ceremonies
I came to these with some sense of trepidation. What sort of self-glorifying .escapade would they put on? That turned out to be a false concern.
They started late. They started with a presentation of gifts to the guests: Mugs with images of astronauts on them.
Everyone said relatively simple thank yous.
They gaveled the con closed and turned it over to the World Con 75 team, which talked about Finland and played a promo video for Finland.
Then they closed with the MidAmeriCon I chair initiating the MidAmeriCon II chair and the Toastmaster in the Bob Tucker Smooth tradition. The three of them downed the entire bottle of Bourbon. We all said it was smooth, and things were over.
Except Cadigan stopped us on the way out the door to present her gift to the MidAMeriCon II chair, since she had forgotten to present it earlier.
We weren’t part of the MIMO crew (Move In Move Out), so we went to our private suite and helped that group do its Dead Dog cleanup. Said our goodbyes, and headed home. First con a success.
NOTE: Tomorrow, if folks will indulge me, I currently intend to make one final post on my reflections on the con as a whole, if I decide that I actually have enough reflections to make that worthwhile.