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Sun, Apr 09, 2023

Yuri’s Night Celebrated

LA Party to Serve as Worldwide Event’s Flagship Happening  

Yuri's Night is a global celebration of space exploration’s power to bring together the nations and peoples of the Earth. Every April, Yuri's Night parties are held worldwide for purpose of commemorating the dual anniversaries of humankind’s first venture into space—cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s 12 April 1961 orbital odyssey, and the 12 April 1981 inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia.

Adherents of Yuri’s Night assert the event will be observed ten-thousand years into humanity’s future, when mankind is scattered across a dozen star-systems. Yuri’s Night is an undertaking of The SpaceKind Foundation, a California non-profit dedicated to inspiring future generations of space explorers by leveraging the thrill of humanity’s cumulative orbital and deep-space endeavors.

On Saturday, 08 April 2023, Los Angeles celebrated Yuri’s Night with a party at the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion at the California Science Center. Attendees will have the rare opportunity to closely examine the historic spacecraft, to dance beneath its fuselage and wings, and lose themselves at the energetic confluence of space exploration’s grand past and dazzling future.

The Los Angeles celebration was slated to be the flagship event of Yuri’s Night 2023, and will kick-off the year’s For All SpaceKind theme. The hootenanny featured, in part, NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins, who will share a colorful account of her 170-day stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS); and actress Tawny Newsome, who portrayed a lunar inhabitant on the television show Space Force. What’s more, the Spirit of Yuri’s Night Award will be presented to Seth MacFarlane’s space satire The Orville.

Following the scheduled program of speakers and awards, DJs—to include DJ Dr. Chrispy, who traveled to space with William Shatner aboard a 2021 Blue Origin flight—spun beneath the Space Shuttle Endeavour, providing a rhythmic and raucous backdrop against which attendees reveled while taking in the best of the LA space cosplay scene.

Yuri’s Night LA 2023 was attendee’s final opportunity to rub proverbial elbows with the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The museum has broken ground on the venerable spacecraft’s long-term home, within which the great machine will be displayed in launch-configuration, mated to the orange external fuel tank and side boosters rockets by dint of which it roared spaceward on 25 separate occasions between 1992 and 2011.

In addition to frolicking beneath the shuttle, Yuri’s Night attendees can dance in the facility’s aquarium, where they’ll have opportunity to try the silent disco and select between dueling DJs in the kelp forest adjacent a 188,000-gallon aquarium tank.

Twelve local space personalities dubbed Yuri's Night Ambassadors were on hand throughout the event. Subject individuals include: Derek Mueller, founder of the YouTube channel Veritasium, on which he shares scientific adventures with his 13.5-million subscribers; Tracey Drain, contributor to NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Kepler, and Psyche missions, and lead flight systems engineer for the agency’s Europa Clipper mission; Bailey Burns, a Blue Origin engineer, official Rubik’s Cube ambassador, and claimant of the distinction of having solved a Rubik’s Cube in 19-seconds—in zero-gravity, no less; and Maynard Okereke, creator of Hip Hop Science, which encourages young people to pursue STEM careers.

Yuri’s Night Ambassadors were identified by blue sashes, and made themselves available to answer attendees’ questions pertaining to space and the exploration thereof. Ambassadors attended a dedicated meet-and-greet from 18:00 to 19:00 PDT beside the Apollo-Soyuz Command Module at the top of the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion’s main escalator.

Additional special guests at Yuri’s Night LA 2023 included Robert Picardo, Doug Jones, Denise Crosby, and Nana Visitor of the Star Trek Universe, and The Expanse’s Nadine Nicole.

Yuri’s Night 2024 will be held in Kerrville, Texas on 08 April. The location and date were chosen to fall within the path of totality of the coming year’s total-solar-eclipse—a not-to-be-missed cosmic experience by which the upcoming year of the Wood Dragon will be punctuated.

FMI: http://LA.YurisNight.net

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