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October 22, 2014

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Joe Downtown: How’s this for mixology? Stops on pub crawl feature science topics

The federally funded space shuttle program ended three years ago, a move that opened the door a little wider for private investors to do their own space exploration.

David Knight, described as a “filmmaker/investor/entrepreneur” will talk about that Wednesday at the “Las Vegas Science Crawl” that begins at 6 p.m. in the Construction Zone speaker trailer.

His presentation, “From the Space Shuttle to the Future!” will focus on people building the next generation of space vehicles, including people in the Las Vegas area such as hotel mogul Robert Bigelow, founder and president of Bigelow Aerospace.

Bigelow's company finalized a deal in January with NASA to send the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module to the International Space Station in 2015 and now is working with NASA officials to find ways for business executives to take part in human space missions.

Knight’s presentation also will include footage of the SpaceX Falcon rocket “becoming the first privately built spacecraft to go into orbit.”

Knight is known as the former vice president of the X Prize Foundation, a group dedicated to “bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.” Knight now lives in Las Vegas.

After Knight's presentation, the crawl moves to the SYN Shop, 114 N. Fourth St., to "make, hack and play." It then moves to Drink & Drag Lounge, on the second floor of Neonopolis, 450 Fremont St., for a session on the "physics of bowling." The next stop is Park on Fremont, 506 E. Fremont, for a presentation on the science of beer. The crawl ends at Commonwealth bar, 525 E. Fremont, with a steampunk science fair.

The crawl is part of the weeklong Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival, which goes through Saturday. For other events associated with the week, see www.lasvegassciencefestival.com.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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