SpaceBall 2017

Spaceball 2017

Saturday April 22, 2017

At the Hilton San Jose Convention Center
300 S. Almaden Blvd, San Jose

Gala Schedule

5:30 PM
Pre-Launch VIP & Sponsor Pre-Party

6:30 PM
Event Opens & Cocktails

7:00 PM
Lightning Space Talks

7:30 PM
Cocktail Buffett

8:30 PM
Gala Welcome & Live Auction

9:30 PM
Astronaut Foods Dessert & Dancing

Costumes Encouraged Or Anything Goes


$150 Individual SpaceBall Ticket
One ticket for the SpaceBall

(The $200, and $300 packages below are processed through Silicon Valley Comic Con. Please use the "Buy from Comic Con" buttons to purchase)

$200 SpaceBall/Comic Con Package
One ticket for SpaceBall, and one Saturday Adult Pass to Silicon Valley Comic Con
Buy from Comic Con
$300 VIP Package
One ticket to the Pre-Launch VIP Party, One ticket for SpaceBall, and one Saturday Adult Pass to Silicon Valley Comic Con
Buy from Comic Con
Make a donation - If you're unable to join us, you can still make a contribution


$500 Mars Rover Level
Two tickets to the SpaceBall Party
$1,000 Flight Crew Level
Two tickets to the SpaceBall Party and two tickets to the VIP Pre-Launch Party
$2,500 CAPCOM Level
Four tickets to the SpaceBall Party, two tickets to the VIP Pre-Launch Party
$5,000 Launch Director
Ten tickets to the SpaceBall Party, six tickets to the VIP Pre-Launch Party, a Reserved high-top table for 10 at the Gala, and three valet parking passes
$10,000 Flight Director
Ten tickets to the SpaceBall Party, ten tickets to the VIP Pre-Launch Party, a Reserved high-top table for 10 at the Gala with stools, five valet parking passes, and recognition during the welcome address

*Sponsors will be listed in online and printed event materials

Thank you to our Sponsors

Mars Rover Level ($500)
  • William Diamond
  • Jens Francis
  • Rex Gignon
  • Amaresh Kollipara
  • Mannan Latif
  • Lisa Liebig
Flight Crew Level ($1,000)
  • Jan Hoscan & Consuelo Cervantes
  • Gerard Finnerty
  • John Giannandrea
  • George & Vida John
  • Dan Lankford
  • David Liddle
  • Amy & James Ramsey
CAPCOM Level ($2,500)
  • Karen Breckan
Launch Director Level ($5,000)
  • Andrea Hawksley & Andrew Lutomirski
  • Dane Glasgow
  • Jerry and Michelle Kaplan
Flight Director Level ($10,000)
  • Jill & Jack Welch
  • Breakthrough Prize Foundation

Lightning Space Talks

Join us for a line-up of fast-paced and engaging Lightning Space Talks from world-class researchers and scientists:

  1. Jill Tarter - Speeding Up the SETI Process
  2. Pascal Lee - Finding Mars on Earth
  3. Mark Showalter - Pluto and Its Moons
  4. Franck Marchis Discovering Asteroids with Moons
  5. Margaret Race - Protecting our Planet
  6. Seth Shostak - Are We Looking for the Right Kind of Alien?
  7. Michael Busch - The Hazard of Asteroid Impacts
  8. Andrew Fraknoi - The August 21 “All-American” Eclipse of the Sun

Honorary Committee

Paula Apsell – Paula is the WGBH television executive producer of NOVA, the most popular science series on American television and online, and director of the WGBH Science Unit.

LeVar Burton - LeVar is an actor, producer, director and entrepreneur known for playing the beloved Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed ABC miniseries Roots. LeVar is also the Co-Founder and Curator-in-Chief of the RRKIDZ/Reading Rainbow children’s brand and has recently appeared on The Big Bang Theory and Community.

Catherine (Cady) Coleman -- Cady is a former NASA astronaut logging more than 4,330 hours in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station.

Edna DeVore – Edna is Director of Education at the SETI Institute.

Dr. Sylvia Earle - Sylvia is an oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer in Residence and the founder of Mission Blue.

Andrew Fraknoi – Andrew is the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College and the former Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He was California Professor of the Year in 2007 and appears regularly on local and national radio explaining astronomy.

John Gertz – John is president and CEO of Zorro Productions, Inc., and an advisory board member of the Breakthrough Listen Prize.

John Giannandrea - John is Vice President of Engineering at Google with responsibility for the Computer Science R​esearch ​and Machine Intelligence groups.

Rex Grignon – Rex is an animation and computer graphics pioneer having animated on some of the top films of all time including Antz, Toy Story, Shrek and the Madagascar films.

David Liddle - David is the board chair of the B612 Foundation which is dedicated to planetary defense against asteroids and other near-Earth object impacts.

Andrew Lutomirski & Andrea Hawksley – Andy is the co-founder of AMA Capital and holds a Ph.D in radio astronomy and quantum computing from MIT. Andrea is a virtual reality researcher and a software developer for eleVR, a mathematical artist, co-founder of the Octahedral Group, an organization of mathematical artists in the Bay Area.

Gordy & Khristine Holterman – Gordy headed up Wells Fargo’s Financial Products Trading in the company's Securities Investment Group before becoming CEO of Overland Advisors. Khristine is the founder and CEO of

George & Vida John – George is an operating partner at Khosla Ventures and an instructor at Stanford University. Vida homeschools her two daughters and is a competition math coach.

Saad Khan – Saad is the co-founder of Uprising and an early investor or advisor to companies like Lending Club, Lyft, Upworthy, AltSchool, Watsi, The Long Now Foundation, Zaarly, Jobvite, and Evolution Robotics (now iRobot).

Jonathan Knowles – Jonathan serves as Autodesk's Explorer in Residence, the Head of Faculty at Singularity University and is a core member of the NASA Frontier Development Lab Research Accelerator.

Kevin McAuliffe -- Kevin is a partner in Frank, Rimerman + Co’s tax Practice.

Peter Michelson – Professor Michelson is the Chair of the Physics Department at Stanford University and the Principal Investigator for the Large Area Telescope, or LAT, on NASA’s Fermi spacecraft.

Sunil Nagaraj – Sunil is a vice president at Bessemer Venture Partners where he focuses on investments in space, developer tools, internet of things and security companies.

Mary Roach – Mary is an NYT bestselling popular science writer and author of Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void in addition to Grunt, Bonk and Stiff.

Rod Roddenberry – Rod is the CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment, the executive producer of “Star Trek: Discovery” and was the executive producer of the television documentary Trek Nation.

Pierre Schwob – Pierre helped establish the Computing and Information Center at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and has an asteroid, (32890) Schwob, named after him. He is the CEO and founder of Classical Archives, an online digital music store.

Seth Shostak – Seth is the Senior Astronomer for the SETI Institute, where he directs the search for extraterrestrials, and the Host and Producer of the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show and podcast, “Big Picture Science.”

Lauren Smith -- Lauren is a Program Manager in Advanced Design at Northrop Grumman where she leads a team chartered to develop innovative space concepts and she is the United States National Point of Contact for the Space Generation Advisory Council.

Kevin Stube – Kevin is a member of the Advisory Board of The Planetary Society and Chairperson of the International Astronautical Federation's Workforce Development and Young Professional Program.

Jill Tarter – Jill is a world renowned astronomer and pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial life and was named as one of Time Magazine’s 2004 100 Most Influential People in the World. Jill’s astronomical work is illustrated in Carl Sagan’s novel Contact and was portrayed by Jodie Foster in the movie Contact.

Dylan Taylor – Dylan is the President and COO for Colliers International. And is widely regarded as the most active angel investor in Space in the industry as a founding partner of Space Angels Network.

Leonard Tramiel - Leonard joined Atari 1984 where he served as vice president of software, managing an internal group of a dozen programmers while interacting worldwide with software developers and contract programmers and is a public advocate for science education.

Andy Weir – Andy is an American novelist whose debut novel, The Martian, was later adapted into a film of the same name directed by Ridley Scott in 2015.

Pete Worden – Pete is the Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and the former Director of the NASA Ames Research Center.

Thank you to our kind donors

Astronaut food Discovery dome Omniglobe
Lottie Martian Ranch and Vinyard

Gala Co-Chairs

Michelle Kaplan & Bronwyn Syiek

The fair market value of each individual SpaceBall ticket is $100 and each VIP Pre-Party ticket is $50,
the remainder of all ticket packages and sponsorships is a tax-deductible donation to the SETI Institute, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.