Discover the Science of 'Star Wars' and 'Black Panther' at Future Con

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fans of geeky science and science fiction alike will find plenty to stoke their imaginations at Future Con, part of the Awesome Con pop culture event taking place in Washington, D.C., this weekend, beginning on Friday (March 31).

Over three days, Future Con, a celebration of all the marvelous ways in which science drives the made-up worlds and technologies of speculative fiction, brings science-centric programs, special guests and exhibits to Awesome Con, also known as "Washington DC's Comic Con," according to the Awesome Con website.

And Live Science will be on hand to share a glimpse of Future Con highlights, from the droids of "Star Wars" — especially fan-favorite newcomer, BB-8 — to the sophisticated, vibranium-infused technology of Wakanda, featured in the blockbuster film "Black Panther." [Nanotech's Big Ideas: From Tumor Zappers to Space Elevators]

But there will be plenty of real-world science and scientists on hand as well. NASA experts will explain how researchers explore some of the most extreme environments on Earth, to learn more about our dynamic planet and to prepare for visits to distant worlds.

Meanwhile, engineers and innovators will offer a tantalizing peek into the techniques that shape the most innovative new technologies. And former astronauts will share tales of their journeys into space, and discuss where federal space agencies and the commercial space industry might lead us next.

Other panels will touch on missions to Mars and Jupiter; the logistics of colonizing other worlds; the astrophysics of "Star Trek"; and the biomechanics of impossible "monsters" that show up in movies to wreak havoc in major cities.

And in a special adults-only session on Friday evening, marine biologists will share the mysterious and complex reproductive practices of ocean creatures (audience members are encouraged to bring any questions that may have occurred to them after viewing the human and fish-person coupling in "The Shape of Water").

Awesome Con/Future Con runs from March 31 to April 1. View the full program on Awesome Con's website, and check back with Live Science all weekend for Future Con updates!

Original article on Live Science.

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Mindy Weisberger
Mindy Weisberger is a senior writer for Live Science covering general science topics, especially those relating to brains, bodies, and behaviors in humans and other animals — living and extinct. Mindy studied filmmaking at Columbia University; her videos about dinosaurs, biodiversity, human origins, evolution, and astrophysics appear in the American Museum of Natural History, on YouTube, and in museums and science centers worldwide. Follow Mindy on Twitter.