Press Release – Porirua City Council
NASA astronaut Dr Yvonne Cagle and NASA scientist Dr Jen Blank are coming to Porirua as part of the 2017 Space & Science Festival.
The pair will be welcomed at Takapūwāhia Marae on Saturday 6 May before fronting a free public event on Sunday 7 May that will see them speak and take questions before a screening of the movie Hidden Figures.
Then on Monday 8 May they will share their inspiring life stories with Porirua students.
“Getting NASA to visit Porirua was one of my campaign promises and we’re going to make sure it’s a fantastic experience for our community,” says Porirua Mayor Mike Tana.
“We’ve had a massive response with all tickets to Sunday’s public event selling out within hours of being released.”
“It’s going to be a very special event with Te Rauparaha Arena being transformed into a fantastical space world that you’ll enter through a 20m wormhole and airlock door. Inside there will be stalactites and stalagmites that glow in the dark and planets hanging from the ceiling, an astronaut will be flying overhead and 2m high rockets and moon rocks will adorn the stage. You’ll be shown to your seat by neon-clad ushers and a DJ will be playing spacey sounds. It’s going to be amazing.”
The 2017 Space & Science Festival is offering a host of events across Wellington from 6 – 20 May.It’s run by a not-for-profit organisation formed by volunteers who are passionate about inspiring the next generation of New Zealanders, says chairman Lee Mauger.
He’s thrilled that Porirua has jumped on board with the festival and given the community the chance to see the two inspirational speakers.
Dr Yvonne Cagle is a NASA astronaut and a doctor in medicine. Prior to her selection to the NASA astronaut corps in 1996, she served with the U.S. Air Force as a Senior Flight Surgeon.
Dr Jen Blank is a Senior Research Scientist with NASA AMES Research Centre, where she works in the field of Astrobiology. She is also member of the Mars Science Laboratory science team, a group of over 400 scientists using data from the Curiosity Rover to explore Gale Crater on Mars.