RoundupReads JSC wows thousands at Houston comic conventions

JSC wows thousands at Houston comic conventions

Even in Houston, it’s not every day that you see a spacecraft headed down the interstate. #SpotOrion received 22 million impressions on Twitter as a full-scale Orion capsule mock-up moved from its home at the Sonny Carter Training Facility to the George R. Brown Convention Center for Comicpalooza from June 17 to 19. 

Orion PORT mockup on its way to Comicpalooza

Between Comicpalooza and Space City Comic Con, which was May 27 to 29, Johnson Space Center connected with more than 74,800 space, science fiction, fantasy and comic-book enthusiasts who visited the NASA information booth to learn about programs like Orion, robotics, the International Space Station and more. Even celebrities were drawn in, with Brian Mahoney of “Boondock Saints,” Gigi Edgley of “Farscape” and Walter Koenig of “Star Trek” stopping by.
At Comicpalooza, some lucky fans were treated to a short ride on the Modular Robotic Vehicle. This fully electric and innovative vehicle was developed in collaboration with an automotive partner to determine its suitability for busy urban environments, industrial complexes or large resort areas.
The Post-Landing Orion Recover Tests (PORT) mock-up was on display at Comicpalooza. The PORT is an 18,000-pound full-scale replica of the Orion crew module used to train teams on how to safely recover the real vehicle from the ocean after landing.
Fans were also able to see Robo-Glove, a wearable human grasp assist device, and X1, a wearable exoskeleton device. NASA technology was an eye-catching way to draw fans in for a more in-depth talk about robotics and how it is important both on and off Earth.
None of this could have happened without the 107 volunteers who contributed more than 500 hours to staff the exhibits and convey the excitement of space to thousands of convention goers. 
The conventions also allowed fans to learn more about NASA’s technical projects, as JSC scientists and engineers participated in 12 panels with more than 500 attendees.
Michelle Fraser-Page
NASA Johnson Space Center