Space Fiesta logo with the A replaced by a rocket ship

A Galactic Celebration of Earthly Innovators

Startups, Art, Education, Music, Food, Drink

June 6, 2024

4-8 PM MT

ABQ Railyards

Free to Attend

Presented By:

Space is BIG for New Mexico and it is time to celebrate! Join us at the inaugural Space Fiesta, a galactic celebration of earthly innovators in space, tech, and art.

Set against the backdrop of New Mexico’s storied history and burgeoning future in space, Space Fiesta embodies the theme that space is for everyone. Dive into this immersive experience that highlights the crucial role New Mexico plays in pioneering our journey to the stars, with presentations, interactive tech exhibits, a startup showcase, and art installations inspired by the cosmos.

Indulge in a selection of food and drink that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of New Mexico, all while networking and learning what is happening in space. Don’t miss this chance to be part of a community that’s making New Mexico a pivotal place for space.


How to showcase:  Small businesses or non-profits in space or tech with less than 100 employees can register for a FREE showcase table (2ft diameter round high-top with black tablecloth) thanks to sponsorship from the City of Albuquerque. Larger businesses or non-profits with more than 100 employees can receive a table or booth by becoming a sponsor. For the minimum Copper Earth ($500) sponsorship, register here. For higher sponsorships, download our Space Fiesta Sponsorship and email [email protected].


Speaker 1: The Vision for "Space Valley"

Randy Trask - Q Station & Space Valley Coalition

The New Mexico Space Valley Coalition meets a national imperative to grow the commercial space industry, with an unmatched, holistic approach to space accessibility, commercialization, and exploration. This cross-sector Coalition will level up the impact of current and new initiatives-rapidly accelerating local growth while driving competitive advantage for the nation. Learn more about Space Valley Coalition.

Speaker 2: Space is No Longer Just for Rocket Scientists and Engineers

Gabe Mounce - AFRL Outreach & Tech Engagement in New Mexico & Strategic Advisor, SPACEWERX

Silicon Valley has revolutionized the Space industry making it cheaper and easier than ever to create new ventures in, and through the use of, the Space domain. As society enters the “2nd Golden Age of Space”, future economic prosperity depends on creators, developers, communicators, artists, crafts-people, entrepreneurs, and (yes) technologists, joining this growing industry to add value, drive equity, and ensure the safety of all the world’s citizens. New Mexico’s future is closely tied to the New Space Economy and that future needs you! Gabe is the Deputy Director of SpaceWERX, focused on adopting and adapting technology from the commercial sector toward US Space Force missions. He oversees the Spark and Ventures elements of the SpaceWERX portfolio to include the Hyperspace Challenge in Albuquerque and the Catalyst Space Accelerator in Colorado Springs which are connecting the commercial start-up industry to the US Space Force enterprise. He also leads the SpaceWERX Orbital Prime initiative aimed at accelerating the commercial market for reducing, reusing, and recycling debris in space. Gabe is the Technology Commercialization Lead for the New Mexico office of the Air Force Research Lab where he oversees technology transfer, commercialization, community engagement, outreach, marketing and publicity. Gabe is also a Colonel in the US Air Force Reserve where he serves on the command staff of the Space Operations Command-West which is responsible for integrating and employing space capabilities from across the DoD.

Speaker 3: Space 101

Dr. Wellesley Pereira - a senior research physical scientist with the Air Force Research Lab's (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

Presentation Details to Come

Speaker 4: NM Hatch Chiles Grown in Space!

Jacob Torres - Founder of The Space Chile Challenge, PhD Student at UNM, Former Engineering Plant Scientist at NASA

New Mexico hatch chiles broke two records:  feeding the most astronauts from a crop grown in space AND the longest growth time for a plant on the International Space Station.

Jacob was an intern at NASA on this groundbreaking experiment when NASA astronauts cultivated New Mexico hatch chile peppers aboard the International Space Station, enhancing the variety and nutritional value of food in space. This initiative, known as the Plant Habitat-04 experiment, involved growing and monitoring hatch chile pepper seeds in microgravity aboard the station’s most sophisticated plant growth facility, the Advanced Plant Habitat.  The peppers, chosen for their rich vitamin content and suitability for growth in space, represent a significant step towards sustainable food production for long-duration missions, potentially benefiting future expeditions to the moon and Mars. The initiative not only aims to supply fresh, flavorful food that could boost astronauts’ morale and health but also contributes to NASA’s ongoing research into regenerative life support systems​.

Doug Campbell

Speaker 5: How to Bootstrap a Space Company

Doug Campbell - Seasoned entrepreneur / startup veteran. Founded Solid Power (NASDAQ: SLDP) and established it as the industry leader in all solid-state rechargeable batteries for the EV market.

Presentation Details to Come

Speaker 6: Empowering Champion Innovators

Dr. Shelly Gruenig - Founder of R4 Creating and Be Greater Than Average

What does it take to build the next generation of space innovators? Countdown the fuel that professionals need to inspire innovation and groundbreaking advancements. Connect with others to discover how you can collaborate to foster innovation and  empower leadership within the rapidly evolving landscape of space exploration and technology.

Speaker 7: Project S.O.S Safeguard Our Satellites

A New Mexico state-wide art competition check presentations

As the backbone of our interconnected world, we rely on satellites for many things we do in our daily lives. They allow us to stream shows and videos, play online games, message friends, predict the weather, navigate to new places, withdraw money from the ATM, and monitor climate change. But these celestial heroes are increasingly at risk. Even the smallest debris – much of which is metal – can, like a bullet traveling at 15,700 miles per hour, cause debilitating damage or destruction to orbiting space systems. Experts estimate there are approximately 37,000 pieces of space junk larger than a softball currently orbiting the earth at that rate of speed, and another half a million objects in orbit that are at least the size of a pencil eraser. Collisions between space junk and operational satellites are only a matter of time, especially as more and more satellites are launched. Until we can clean up the debris that’s already in orbit (we’re working on that too), we have to find ways to help satellites navigate this moving minefield. Project S.O.S. is designed to raise awareness of this issue and gain the attention of industries that may already have technologies that can help make satellites stronger and more resilient, such as mining sensors or materials manufacturing. We think art could be an extremely useful way to communicate the problem and get the attention of those who may have some solutions.

Presentations will be in the Flue Shop at the Railyards. See Agenda below for times.


FUSE Makerspace

Screenprint a Space Themed Tote Bag

FUSE Makerspace Booth

Build your ideas at FUSE Makerspace! Featuring 13,000 square feet, equipment, workshops, and Makers Market. Low-cost memberships get you access to:  3D printing, vinyl printing, screen printing, laser engraving & cutting, metal shop, wood shop, finishing shop, and more.

NM Hatch Chiles Grown in Space!

The Space Chile Challenge

Get some chile seeds and learn how NM Hatch Chiles were grown in space!

R4 Creating

Tech and STEM Interactive Exhibit

Join New Mexico nonprofit, R4Creating, who is championing growth of the STEM Workforce by offering engaging and interactive opportunities in emerging technology to students and educators!

This event is your opportunity to participate in their work – drive robots and compete against top student scientists, talk 3D printing and design as well as experience engaging technology that will excite you and the next generation of innovators! R4Creating partners with a wide variety of organizations including STEM Entrepreneurship camp, Girls Into Tech programs, as well as competitive drones & robotics. Join them to get your hands on inspiring technology and meet the next generation of innovators!

Space Messengers [AR]

STEMarts Lab prepares youth for bright futures and connects them to a universe of possibilities through international sci-art experiences and mentorship programs in art, science, and technology.

Space Messengers is an Immersive Mixed Reality installation and international youth exchange exploring the universe through art, science and technology. This participatory installation visualizes thought-provoking reflections on the universe, encouraging participants to contemplate their role within it. Space Messengers evolved from an interdisciplinary collaboration among artists, scientists, interdisciplinary experts and youth ambassadors. Together we explore how the arts, humanities, philosophy, astrophysics, particle physics and space technologies can deepen our understanding of the universe and expand our identities as planetary citizens. Space Messengers serves as a powerful tool to ignite scientific curiosity and wonder, while giving voice to our youth leaders in rural and tribal communities in New Mexico and around the world.

Cosmic Creations Space Age Design interactive

Exploring Space Age Design in Mid Century America

Explore the captivating influence of the space industry on American design from the 1950s to the 1970s in our immersive exhibit. Delve into the impact of space exploration on the homes of everyday Americans through a carefully curated selection of 30 original design pieces, each showcasing the era’s dynamic fusion of form and function. From plastic to wood, leather to stoneware, and steel, these artifacts represent a diverse array of materials that defined an era of innovation and imagination. Join us on a journey through time as we celebrate the ingenuity and creativity that defined an era marked by space fever, inviting you to explore the intersection of design, technology, and culture in mid-century America.

Activities will be in the Blacksmith Shop.


Location: Albuquerque Railyards, 777 1st St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

TimeBlacksmith ShopFlue Shop
4:00 PMDoors Open
4:30 PMWelcome Video
5:00 PMStartup Showcase, Art & STEM Exhibits, Food & DrinksPresentations
5:45 PMPresentations
6:30 PMQuiet Space for Continued Conversations
7:15 PMQuiet Space for Continued Conversations
8:00 PMEvent CloseEvent Close


The Albuquerque Railyards, built in the 1800s-1900s, once employed 25% of Albuquerque’s workforce. Today, it is being revitalized for various uses such as Railyards Markets visited by over 150,000 people per year and the future home of the New Mexico Media Academy and Central New Mexico Community College’s film & media programs. Space Fiesta will be in the 25,000 sqft Blacksmith Shop with presentations in the neighboring 9,000 sqft Flue Shop. What an amazing historic venue to reflect on our progress to the stars!

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