Editor's note: Yuri's Night at Ames Research Center was a resounding successs - I saw things at NASA I never thought I'd see - all carried out with professionalism, precision - and sheer joy. Oh yes, that 18-24 year old demographic NASA wants to get to? ARC had thousands of them as guests - and they were cheering the people - including ARC Center Director Pete Worden - who spoke about space exploration.
The following are some news and blogosphere reactions to the event:
"What's more, Yuri's Night gave a glimpse of an emerging culture of space enthusiasts, of people who are as interested in science and technology as they are in partying and having fun. When the music was interrupted by PowerPoint presentations, the crowd, far from dispersing, gathered closer in to the stage and listened attentively. ... Mission accomplished. If Yuri's Night is any indication, people are wildly enthusiastic about space travel. Not to mention LCD projectors and wearable LED art."
Photos of Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007, A Giant Party at NASA, (photos) Laughing Squid
"Last night's Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 party was amazing. The night was in honor of Yuri Gagarin, who in 1961 was the first person to travel to space and orbit the earth. ... Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 felt like a really nice mix of space travel expo, Burning Man and Maker Faire. I really hope there do it there again next year."
"Plant-growth modules will be the first Martian astronauts," McKay says, "but sadly we have to do this on the moon first." The crowd goes wild. This guy works on planetary Lander projects, and he's talking about Martian geography and history to a room full of sequin-clad pandas and cosmonauts in fishnets. This is our space faring civilization, NASA: can you dig it?
"There was an amazing party last Friday at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA celebrating the anniversary of the first human spaceflight by Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin. While News.com has already penned a great article on the event, I thought I'd add my two cents on some of the cool gadgets I spotted at the party."
Yuri's Night, (photos) Redundantly Redundant
Making Space Sexy, Business2.com
"But the first time is always a wash, as the evening's veterans of space programs and dotcom startups knew. You have to stress-test a system to find out where the weaknesses are. It was exciting enough to see a crowd of hundreds of energized youth prepared to pay for such an event. Dare I say it: space is getting sexy again."
NASA Knows How to Party, TechNudge
"NASA's take on the festivities was a tribute to "our global heritage of space exploration," which it accomplished through techno-rave music, avant-garde dance routines and various displays pulled from last year's Burning Man."
Yuri's Night at NASA-Ames, Kaseido
"But this *blows my mind* - there was a Yuri's Night party there last week, in the big blimp hangar. Yep, a rave with the Center Director - a former Brigadier General in charge of Star Wars - my former mentor planetary scientist Chris McKay, and space traveler Anousheh Ansari (who is insanely gorgeous, and I crush on her massively) as the guests of honor. It ain't your daddy's space age anymore!"
Yuris was a Success!!!, Maria Mouk
"yes..... 4000 i anticipate were at Yuri's Night.. we had AMAZING coverage and it was definatly as one put it: an unprecedented event."
Yuri's Night 2007 (Photos), qdot
Yuri's Night, Matt's Waste of Your Time
"They had science exhibits, food, drinks, music, art, and a lot of stuff that's rather hard to classify. It was an odd combination of a party, a science fair, and Burning Man. It's kinda amazing to think of a Soviet accomplishment being celebrated on a NASA base, too."
"I am so inspired, this is how we are going to change this culture, not by beating people over the head and simply creating more resistance and conflict, but by opening our arms and welcoming people in and letting them see that there is another way that people can be with one another. People always talk about taking Burning Man home and out of the Playa and out of just our community of subversives. . and well, here it is!!"
Yuri's Night, Hickory
"It was hard to convince myself that this was happening as I watched the huge NASA logo changing colors. To some people it was just a party, to others it was so much more. To me it almost felt like we were celebrating on the flight deck of a space station. If a troop of aliens would have walked in, I wouldn't have been surprised. For all I know, they were watching from one of the many offices surrounding the hangar floor."
Yuri's night, doohickey
"I wanted to write a little about Yuri's night. I was SO excited to visit NASA and see science projects and research and hear speakers. I got there and did get to see Saturn. Yes! Saturn through a telescope that was 600 MILLION miles away. OMG! Hooray! It had little rings, looked yellow and was sideways. (I know you are all aware of that)."
Yuri's Night in Second Life ... Wow!, Space CoLAB
Let's Party Like Its 1961, NASA Watch