Conventions & EventsScience

SETIcon Auctions Out of This World Stuff

“SETIcon is like Comic-Con with a Ph.D.”

So says Edna Devore, Deputy CEO of the SETI Institute. And it seems a lot of attention is being shown to SETI and the upcoming SETIcon II, mainly  due to the amount of space news in the news of late:

On June 23rd, SETI will hold an auction to raise money in support of SETI’s education programs. This includes science research and STEM education.

Below is the text of the press release:


SETIcon Auction to Benefit Science Research and STEM Education

SETIcon II, the public convention where science and imagination meet, features a fund-raising auction on Saturday, June 23, atthe week-end public event. The catalog for the live and silent auction is online at The auction features science adventure travel, vacation stays, wine tasting tours, fine art, signed science and science fiction books, and space collectibles. SETIcon II is being hosted by the SETI Institute at the Hyatt Santa Clara, 5010 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA, June 22-24.

“The Apollo Missions to the Moon inspired a generation to dream of space exploration, and I was one of those dreamers,” says Edna DeVore, Acting CEO at the SETI Institute. “I’m truly excited that the SETIcon auction will feature the  great Apollo Mission adventure with a signed print of “Earthrise,” by William Anders, who along with Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, was one of the first three persons to have left Earth orbit and traveled to the Moon in December 1968. Anders took the famous photograph, “Earthrise,” and has donated a print he will inscribe to auction winner.

“There’s some great space and astronomy adventures being offered at the auction, including a night at Lick Observatory with SETI Institute scientist, Franck Marchis, an astrophotography trip with Seth Shostak to the Allen Telescope Array, and attendance at a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch with David Knight, producer of Shuttle3D which is being sneak-previewed at SETIcon,” says Andrew Fraknoi, SETI Institute Board Member. “And, you can bid on a tour of SLAC/Kavli Institute with Pierre Schwob, also a Board Member, or take a tour of the Allen Telescope Array with Jill Tarter herself!”

For the truly adventuresome, Pascal Lee, a SETI Institute planetary scientist, isoffering to host two visionary humans on an expedition to Devon Island in thehigh Arctic, where they will be a part of the new “The Mission to Mars onEarth” project: a new participatory exploration program to Haughton Crater, inmany ways the most Mars-like place on Earth. Together with researchers, they willtest new robots, spacesuits, tools and participate in real Arctic exploration.

Marchis, Shostak, Knight, Tarter, Schwob, and Lee will all be at SETIcon II to discuss these adventures with bidders.

Closer to home, there are great opportunities for flight-seeing being offered. Airship Ventures has donated tickets for flights onboard the airship Eureka,the largest and only commercial passenger airship in the world. Winners will fly with a SETI Institute scientist on board to enhance the experience. Eureka flies in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as Los Angeles and San Diego. In addition, for aviation lovers, both a helicopter and a vintage warbird flight around the Bay Area are available to bid upon.

Looking for a place to get away? How about a week in a Jill Tarter’s lake-side cabin at Donner Lake, or a similar stay in Bend, Oregon. There’s a day trip to the wine county for six, featuring visits to several wineries and lunch, with all transportation provided.

Fine art—including space art—will be on display and for purchase through the auction. Three signed and framed Marc Chagall lithographs (Floral Bouquet, Les Lupins Blue, and Red Bouquet with Lovers, each with certifications) will be featured. Other pieces included are original space-inspired art by Lynette Cook, Danielle Futselaar, Charles Lindsay, Carol Berry and Pascal Lee. Want to know more about the artwork? Visit

For the armchair space buff, a wide variety of autographed books are on auction, including first edition Mars series by Kim Stanley Robinson, and Exterrestial Intelligence: The First Encounter signed the original Star Trek cast and others, including Frank Drake.  Lucky attendees will also find autographed books from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jill Tarter, Kevin Grazier, Rosaly Lopez, Andrew Fraknoi, Richard Rhodes, Lynette Cook, and others.

Bidders can pick up fine wine, dinners with scientists, and space-related collectibles. Winners can own a Mars meteorite donated by David Morrison or a Pioneer Mission replica plaque signed by Frank Drake, who collaborated with his close friend, Carl Sagan, in its design. Signed posters—including autographed Spider-Man poster—and simply fun items round out the auction.

The SETIcon auction is a fund-raiser for the SETI Institute, a 501(c)3, non-profit scientific and educational research organization. Auction proceeds will help to support science research and education.

To attend only the auction, arrive by 4:30 PM Saturday, June 23, and register for a bidder paddle at Auction/Exhibit rooms at the Hyatt Santa Clara, 5101 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA. Free parking behind the hotel; hotel is at the Great America Station of the light rail.

For much more information about the entire weekend event, go to: Tickets will be available at the door, starting at 4 PM, Friday, June 22.

[Featured image: SpaceX]

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
29 × 24 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.