Intergalactic Planetary

HD_40307g_20x30A few weeks ago, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released a series of three retro-travel posters promoting the exoplanet discoveries of the Kepler Space Telescope. The focus on travel to other planets and the style of the posters reminded me immediately of the artwork used by the Intergalactic Travel Bureau (art created by Steve Thomas) in their outreach. The Intergalactic Travel Bureau uses Thomas’ art in combination with in-person interactions with performers playing the part of a space travel agent to engage and excite audiences.

While the retro-poster concept is far from unique, the use of the phrase “Exoplanet Travel Bureau” made me wonder if the folks at JPL were inspired by the Intergalactic Travel Bureau project or if they had stumbled onto a similar idea independently. So I asked them; and they actually answered.

The concept for JPL’s posters was developed by David Delgado. Delgado collaborated with Joby Harris and Dan Goods to create the posters, according to Elizabeth Landau (JPL Media Relations Specialist). Joby Harris* said:

The existing posters by other artists out there were not inspiration for ours, but rather confirmation that our posters in progress would be well received.

While I’m a bit disappointed that the JPL team was unaware of Steve Thomas’ posters (the Intergalactic Travel Bureau has also received NASA funding), it is admittedly difficult to be aware of everything on the Internet these days. I do hope that the creative convergence of JPL and the Intergalactic Travel Bureau might lead to creative cooperation on science outreach efforts in the future.


The Travel of Tomorrow

Art by Steve Thomas

At ScienceOnline 2014, Eva and I encountered the folks from The Intergalactic Travel Bureau. They create a unique science education experience where folks get to plan their own getaway to the other planets in the Solar System – as well as some of the larger moons and dwarf planets.

I planned a trip (price tag >$3 billion) to the moons of Jupiter and sent postcards back to my kids.

They are looking to take The Intergalactic Travel Bureau on tour and need your help. Consider donating to their Kickstarter campaign. Do not be dissuaded by the fact that they have already met their goal. More donations just means they can expand the scope of the tour – and donating means you get to vote on where they show up.

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