Meet Mark

We are honored to have Mark Pestana as one of our donors. It’s a privilege to be supported by this outstanding human, and we think you’ll agree.

How would someone describe you?

People have described me as multi-dimensional… using both sides of my brain. I love science and engineering, and the technical aspects of aerospace subjects, having been a pilot and space operations engineer. But I also love being an artist. I have been inspired throughout my life to depict my interpretations of the beauty of the natural world, our planet’s place in the universe, and humanity’s reach for the stars.

What are your favorite activities?

My favorite activities are flying, creating art, hiking and backpacking in the wilderness, and being with my family.

My wife and daughter are scientists, and I wish all girls and women are afforded any opportunities to develop and contribute their intellectual talents in the aerospace field.

Of what contribution or achievement are you most proud?

I’m proud of two different aspects of my aerospace career. First, as a US Air Force pilot, I logged over 200 combat reconnaissance missions, collecting vial intelligence which contributed to the fall of communism and the Soviet Union. In contrast, as a NASA space operations engineer, I’m also proud to have served in the development of the International Space Station, working in Russia with our partners in this bold, multi-national experiment.

Who has influenced you?

My influences and inspiration come from caring and supportive parents, teachers, mentors, as well as the great explorers of land, sea, air and space, some of whom I’ve had the honor of meeting and knowing. Knowing Neil Armstrong, among many astronauts and test pilots, is among the greatest influences.

What’s something surprising about you?

When I was 9 years old I was illuminated by the light of a nuclear explosion in space, a test over the Pacific Ocean while on a family vacation in Hawaii. I have flown NASA research aircraft directly through the eye-wall of hurricanes. I climbed the highest mountain in the continental US after artificial hip replacement surgery. Some of my paintings hang in the Pentagon and in the Russian Mission Control Center, Moscow…and my art orbits the Earth, in the form of Space Shuttle mission patches I designed and are displayed on the walls of the International Space Station.

Why are you supporting Girls Taking Up Space?

For too many millennia, women have been marginalized and stereotyped regarding their potential in the STEM subjects. My wife and daughter are scientists, and I wish all girls and women are afforded any opportunities to develop and contribute their intellectual talents in the aerospace field. Attending Space Camp is one of those activities that serves to inspire, motivate, and promote the confidence it takes for girls to pursue these interests.

Donations and Prize Drawing

We have a month to raise $6,500! That’s a lot of money and we thought we’d give you a little incentive. (Yes, more of an incentive than knowing you’re helping a young deserving human being!) If you donate between June 22, 2019 – August 1, 2019, you’ll be in the drawing to win one of these awesome items:

Donations Under $50

Win a Pewter Shuttle pin with a genuine mini Sikhote-Alin meteorite and Remove Before Flight key chain.

$50 and over

Women of NASA

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“Explore the professions of some of the groundbreaking women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with the LEGO® Ideas Women of NASA set. It features minifigures of 4 pioneering women of NASA— astronomer and educator Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist and entrepreneur Margaret Hamilton, astronaut, physicist and entrepreneur Sally Ride and astronaut, physician and engineer Mae Jemison—and 3 builds illustrating their areas of expertise. Role-play space exploration from planning to moon landing, beginning with the iconic scene from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 of Hamilton with software that she and her team programmed. Build the poseable Hubble Space Telescope and launch a LEGO version of the Space Shuttle Challenger with 3 removable rocket stages. The set also includes a booklet about the 4 featured women of NASA, and the fan creator and LEGO designers of this fun and educational set.”

OR

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Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration

  • Have fun learning about rockets and space missions, real science
  • Good Housekeeping Award winner, from team that won Mensa select winner 2018
  • Designed by professor leading NASA OSIRIS-REx space mission to an asteroid
  • Great for 2-4 players, ages 7 +, includes workbook about space missions

$100 and over

Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson Grumman F-14A Signed Aircraft PrintLimited Edition Aircraft Profile 11”h x 17”w print exclusively for the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio. Autographed by Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson. The Print is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity and measures, 11”h x 17”w.

$500 or Over

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Signed by Apollo Astronaut, Al Worden, Fly Me to the Moon DVD, plus a signed copy of the first Native American in Space, John Herrington’s children’s book Mission to Space.

Click here to enter and donate →
https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1530675
Or here https://www.gofundme.com/taking-up-space

Prizes shipped to continental US addresses only

Visiting Spacefest IX

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Our second annual team bonding swim down the lazy river

Our appreciation to the Poor family for giving us the opportunity to attend Spacefest IX. It’s wonderful to see so much artistic talent and to learn about the history and future of space exploration. Thank you to the Spacefest organizers for a wonderful event!

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Sole was honored to be invited to give a speech at the Spacefest IX banquet dinner. She was prepared and ready.

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A little bit nervous…

 

As the saying goes, “It takes team work to make dreams work.” We are grateful to the Space Hipster community for helping us reach our goals. Our gratitude to the Pascua Yaqui community.  Thank you all for your support!

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Space Hipsters at Spacefest IX, Tucson, AZ. 2018

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Space Hipsters: Sole, Czarina, Lois, Saydee, Emily and Yaya

(Photo Credits: Mark Usciak)

Please click on the link if you would like to help: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1530675

 

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