‘The Virtual Astronaut’ launches live space explorer event series for charity

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You can now attend a full lineup of live astronaut talks and “meet and greet” opportunities —  all without having to leave your home.

“The Virtual Astronaut,” from uniphi space agency, founders of National Astronaut Day, is a new ticketed live event series offering unique takes on what it is like to leave Earth and live and work in space.

“Each individual event discussion is selected by and personally crafted by astronauts, and will cover a wide range of topics including significant space exploration milestones, mainstream culture celebrations and trends, STEM and STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering — Art — and Mathematics] education topics and individual astronaut memories and experiences from space, all with an ‘up close and personal’ astronaut perspective,” uniphi space agency said in a statement released on Wednesday (Sept. 9).

Related: Astronauts offer advice on keeping calm (and carrying on) amid coronavirus outbreak

Access to each live talk costs $20, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting a charity of the astronaut’s choice. Attendees can also choose to add on a “Astronaut Meet ‘N’ Greet” package for an additional $75, which includes one-on-one time with the astronaut through a virtual venue and a personalized, autographed photo keepsake. Group rates are available for schools and charitable organizations.

The Virtual Astronaut is set to launch with space shuttle and space station veteran Clayton “AstroClay” Anderson celebrating the release of his new children’s book, “Letters from Space” at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT) on Sept. 15. Like the book, the talk will be filled with “weird science, wild facts and outrageous true stories from life in space.” Ticket sales will benefit, in part, Reading Is Fundamental.

Additional scheduled Virtual Astronaut events include:

More Virtual Astronaut events are planned with Greg Chamitoff, Frank Culbertson, Jack Fischer, Susan Helms, Greg H. Johnson, Mark Polansky, Garrett Reisman and Steve Swanson.

To celebrate the series’ launch, a special Spotify music playlist, “Astronaut Space Jams: Soundtrack of Space,” was created featuring songs chosen personally by the astronauts, plus other space-inspired favorites. Each track recalls a specific memory, evokes an emotion or directly reflects a personal astronaut moment in time and space. 

The playlist and more details about The Virtual Astronaut series, including the opportunity to reserve your space, can now be found at TheVirtualAstronaut.com.

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