Yuri’s Night Space Coast…Returns!
Saturday, April 13, Kennedy Space Center…it’s the 2019 return of Yuri’s Night Space Coast underneath Space Shuttle Atlantis
“Dance underneath the Space Shuttle Atlantis” maybe the best engineered wind-up ever for a Space Coast space party. This year, Yuri’s Night Space Coast returns to Kennedy Space Center, Saturday, April 13, 8pm-12:30am, bringing astronauts, scientists, artists, and space celebrities–in costumes!–to the hottest April party ticket in Florida: a Yuri’s Night party underneath the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Yuri’s Night is the annual global celebration of human space exploration. Yuri’s Night parties take place all over the world on or around April 12th, the date in 1961 cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history as the first human being to leave the planet to space, and the date twenty years later in 1981 the very first Space Shuttle mission, Space Shuttle Columbia, left Earth and made history. While there have been other Yuri’s Night celebrations in Titusville, last year things got ramped up when Yuri’s Night Space Coast made it’s Kennedy Space Center debut. And it was a smash hit success:
The fact is the party had a big successful sibling to take inspiration from: Yuri’s Night Space Coast is the sister party of Yuri’s Night LA, which has taken place beneath the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center every April since 2013.
Keynote & Hosts
This year’s Yuri’s Night Space Coast will welcome video game developer & private astronaut Richard Garriott to grandmaster the party and deliver the night’s opening Keynote.
Richard Garriott de Cayeux is a founding father of the videogame industry and the commercial spaceflight industry, a flown astronaut, and an accomplished explorer. Yuri’s Night Space Coast kicks off the 2019 party with Richard Garriot’s keynote about his experience in space as a private astronaut.
As the organizational lead of Yuri’s Night, Loretta Whiteside’s boundless enthusiasm for the power of space is legendary. Loretta Whitesides is a founder astronaut with Virgin Galactic, author of The New Right Stuff, and, of course, Yuri’s Night’s beloved co-founder.
Flying in from sister event Yuri’s Night LA (held annually beneath the Space Shuttle Endeavour), Yuri’s Night Space Coast is hosted by Loretta Whitesides.
Joining Loretta are Yuri’s Night Space Coast’s co-chief engineers, Ryan Robertson and Mike Mongo. Taking the lead on bringing Yuri’s Night Space Coast to life in 2018, the two friends have coordinated for the past year to bring together all the peers and space professionals for this 2nd annual event.
“The success of Yuri’s Night Space Coast last year blew Ryan and I away,” says Mongo. “When we were approached to the party–at the Banana Creek Viewing Area for the first launch of SpaceX’ Falcon Heavy–it seemed outrageous. ‘A party underneath the Space Shuttle Atlantis?’ Then with the amazing people of Cape Canaveral and Orlando, we put on the best party I had been to in years. Seeing all these actual space pros and astronauts having fun celebrating Space together with everyone. We immediately wanted to do it again. Getting welcomed back to Kennedy Space Center by [astronaut; KSC Director] Bob Cabanas was one of the highest honors of my life. We are thrilled to be doing it again.”
One of the hallmarks of Yuri’s Nights are Ambassadors. Ambassadors are representatives of the Space community who are the evening’s VIPs. 2018’s Ambassadors included Robin Seemangal, Hayley Lewis, Trip Harriss, Abby Garrett, Antonio Paris, Sian Proctor, Janet Karika, Kiko Dontchev, YouTuber Everyday Astronaut, and race car driver Leilani Münter.
Starting a Space Coast tradition, a number of 2018 Ambassadors return this year to keep the party going–as Ambassadors Emeritus. Including Sian Proctor, Robin Seemangal, Trip Harriss, Antonio Paris, Abby Garrett, Phil Metzger, and Emilee Speck.
Yuri’s Night Space Coast 2019 Ambassadors
The opportunity to meet both up-and-coming and legendary working Space professionals is what makes Yuri’s Night one of the planet’s most popular Space events. Yuri’s Night Space Coast has the home team advantage: Cape Canaveral and Florida are home to some of the most influential Space folk in the industry today.
This year, a very special Yuri’s Night Space Coast Ambassador is most certainly astronomy teacher Brandon Kyle Jeter of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Mr Jeter’s influence on the students who have since become internationally recognized as “the Parkland Teens”–students like Emma González and David Hogg–has conscientiously moved America’s hearts and souls towards a future made by actions of introspection and compassion. Pointing out the stars to see one’s self living in a Space future is what has earned Mr Jeter’s place in a place of high regard in some of our planet’s most important young leaders.
Speaking of students, Ambassador Naia Butler-Craig is a NASA Glenn Pathways intern, a graduating aerospace engineer of Embry-Riddle University, and soon to be PhD-writing yellow jacket at Geogia Tech who is passionate about Space outreach. Similarly, Ambassador Payton Barnwell is a Brooke Owens Fellow, a NASA Solar Ambassador, and a graduating mechanical engineering senior at Florida Polytechnic University. Butler-Craig and Barnwell are both successful Space professionals with dedication to encouraging others to pursue careers in astronautics and science.
Tom Cross is a rocket & launch photojournalist for Teslarati. Chris Gebhardt is assistant managing editor, journalist, and writer for @NASASpaceflight. Both Cross and Gebhardt join the party as 2019 Ambassadors.
Check out the Yuri’s Night Space Coast website for a complete list of 2019’s Ambassadors and guests, including:
Of course, what makes Yuri’s Night Space Coast the party it is is the biggest star and fun of the night: dancing underneath the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
What to Expect
First of all, costumes are not mandatory. That said,…
From the Yuri’s Night Space Coast website: “Yuri’s Night is basically a space theme-nightclub that encourages costumes, play/cosplay and self expression! You can wear black pants or galaxy leggings, your favorite Sci-fi costume, or what you would wear to a nightclub on a Saturday night. Just make sure there are no masks covering your face (KSC Visitor Center rules).”
Craft beer for the evening is provide by Brevard County’s own highly-regarded Playalinda Brewing Co. VIP guests will also get to indulge in the delightful pours of Luc Belaire Champagne. Cash bar for other options.
Light hors d’oeuvre will be served. Guests will also enjoy the fantastic chocolate creations of Sappho Chocolates, Florida-famous for allergen free–no nuts, no eggs, no wheat, no gluten, and no peanuts–and Celiac safe, handmade custom chocolates.
General Admittance tickets for Yuri’s Night Space Coast are $40. VIP Tickets are $85. (VIP includes two drink tickets, food, and Luc Belaire champagne–plus access to Tranquility Base Lounge with Private Bar to party underneath the Space Shuttle Atlantis with the evening’s Keynotes, Ambassadors, DJs, Artists, Interactives and fellow space enthusiasts.) Tickets are available at la.yurisnight.net/spacecoast.