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August 21, 2012 at 2:48 PM

What NASA’s “Mohawk Guy” has to do with Pacific Northwest Ballet

Here’s something different for my fellow sci-fi — and ballet — fans:

Mohawk Guy.JPGNASA flight director Bobek Ferdowsi, who gained Internet meme status as NASA’s “Mohawk Guy” during the landing of the Curiosity Mars rover earlier this month, is one of several guests at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s science- and sci-fi-themed kickoff celebration to its 40th anniversary season.

“Mohawk Guy” will be joined by NASA astronauts William Anders and Cady Coleman and Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura, in the Sept. 16 event at McCaw Hall. The guests are expected to take part in some way in the evening’s entertainment, which will feature performances by the PNB Orchestra of sci-fi-themed music, accompanied by video projections and PNB dancers. (PNB is awaiting confirmation on other panel guests as well.)

The guests will also take part in a panel discussion afterward on “From Hollywood to Mars: A look at how 1960’s Science Fiction invented the future of Space Exploration.”

It’s all meant to celebrate both PNB’s 40th anniversary (Microsoft is a season sponsor) and the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair. The panel discussion will center on the world’s fair and its focus on science, technology, innovation, and the arts, and how the imaginings of popular culture helped drive the space race and future scientific endeavors.

Tickets for the event, scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, start at $25. They can be purchased here.

(Photo of Ferdowsi working inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory from Getty Images.)

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