NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., will host a major celebration of space exploration commemorating humankind’s first flight into space by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Yuri’s Night is an international celebration of human space achievement designed to raise awareness and support for space exploration.

According to Lewis Braxton, NASA Ames’ director of center operations, the celebration is an ideal opportunity to introduce guests to what Yuri Gagarin’s successors are up to. “We hope to get people enthusiastic about NASA’s plans to establish lunar outposts and send humans to Mars, and we also want them to know the key role the Ames Research Center will play to get us there,” Braxton said.

WHAT: An opportunity to attend a unique gathering of scientists, artists, performers and musicians celebrating the excitement of future space exploration and historic accomplishments of previous space missions. During this ‘cosmic journey,’ cutting-edge interactive technology and science demonstrations, including robotics and engineering, as well as space art, sculpture and video screenings will be featured. Attendees will be able to ‘explore space’ using NASA Ames’ Worldwind (interactive zooming from satellite altitude into any place on Earth), Gigapan (explorable high-resolution panoramas from around the world) and portals into Second Life, (an Internet-based, 3-D virtual world) and Burning Man Google Earth (a demonstration of how to access a 3-D virtual representation of the Burning Man festival). The event also will feature remarks by NASA Ames Center Director S. Pete Worden, renowned NASA planetary scientist Chris McKay and pioneering space traveler Anousheh Ansari. Also featured will be robotics competitions, live music performed by Plaid, Telefon Tel Aviv, Bluetech, as well as dance and acrobatics fused with audiovisual performances throughout the night and into the early hours of the next morning. In addition, several exhibits highlighting NASA science, technology and education, a live robotics feed and a rover demonstration, also will be featured.

WHERE: NASA Ames Research Center, Hangar N211 and adjoining airfield tarmac.

WHEN: Friday, April 13, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. PDT to 6:30 a.m. PDT Saturday, April 14, 2007. NASA Ames Research Center Director S. Pete Worden will deliver a brief welcome address at 7:20 p.m. PDT and will be available for media interviews at 9:15 p.m. PDT in the Media Room, located in Room 104, Hangar N211 (SOFIA Hangar). Worden also is scheduled to address the crowd at 1:15 a.m. PDT about the Vision for Space Exploration and the Yuri’s Night celebration. NASA Ames’ planetary scientist Chris McKay is also scheduled to address the gathering at 10:15 p.m. PDT about “Life on Mars: Past and Future.”

Additional information about the event, including ticket prices, is available at:

MEDIA CHECK-IN: News media check-in will be located at the event entrance gates, located at the end of Bushnell Street. The Media Room, which opens at 4 p.m. PDT in Hangar N-211, (two hours prior to the start of the event) will have wireless Internet and power sources available. Please contact Delia Santiago, 408-306-8579,, or Zachary Warnow, 415-786-5285,, for media passes, press kits, parking and further information. Television news media planning to cover the event should contact Delia Santiago in advance concerning television truck access/parking.