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A space fan's guide to New York Comic Con 2021

A cosplayer dressed as Spock arrives at New York Comic Con 2019, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
A cosplayer dressed as Spock arrives at New York Comic Con 2019, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. (Image credit: Craig Barritt/Getty)

This year's New York Comic Con is a little different. Unlike last year, when the event was completely virtual, this year's event is a tentative step towards restoring normality. There are still some virtual events — that's probably going to be a permanent addition to conventions — but this year the annual sci-fi convention in-person panels — and that's awesome. 

That said, there will be strict procedures in place. To gain entry, proof of vaccination is mandatory for anyone over the age of 12 and anyone under that age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. There will probably be plastic guards in place at the photo booths too, so be prepared. And it goes without saying that a mask must be worn at all times. You can read more about the health and safety policies here

To ensure you don't miss a thing, we've scanned the schedule, analyzed the sensor readings and pulled out the can't-miss panels that you should make your top priority. Events will also be shown live on the NYCC YouTube channel.

Related: Amazing space cosplay photos from New York Comic Con 2019

Thursday, Oct. 7

Journey Into The World of Star Trek
Behind the scenes of the upcoming, new official "Star Trek" magazine plus a guest appearance from Una McCormack to talk about her new book "The Autobiography of Mr Spock". 
Time: 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT)
Place: virtual only programming

William Shatner Spotlight
The actor may or may not talk about his proposed trip to space with Blue Origin, but he's almost certainly going to talk about his new album.
Time: 11 a.m. EDT (1600 GMT)
Place: Main Stage 1D, Javits Center

Among The Stars
Enjoy a look at the six-part Disney+ original series following NASA astronaut Captain Chris Cassidy for one last mission to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer that aims to reveal the origins of the universe. 
Time: 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT)
Place: Room 411 for virtual screening, Javits Center

Battlestar Galactica Retrospective 
Join Edward James Olmos (Commander William Adama) and Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin) live on stage as they recount their journey aboard the Battlestar Galactica and answer questions from fans.
Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT)
Place: Main Stage 1D, Javits Center

The Future of Blade Runner: Black Lotus
The producers and directors of "Blade Runner: Black Lotus" explore the intricate approach to writing within a dystopian theme along with futurist, Maurice Conti, who shares his take on whether or not we're destined for that particular outcome.
Time: 6:45 p.m. EDT (2245 GMT)
Place: Room 411 for virtual screening, Javits Center
Related: Watch the first 'Blade Runner: Black Lotus' trailer 

It will be wonderful to see everyone's cosplay once again, something that just couldn't be substituted last year. (Image credit: Scott Snowden/Space.com)

Friday, Oct. 8

An Hour With Adam Savage
The host of "Mythbusters" and builder extraordinaire does love an audience, so give him a big home crowd reception and enjoy the many entertaining tales he will no doubt share.
Time: 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT)
Place: Empire Stage, Javits Center

Dee Bradley Baker Spotlight
You might not know the face, but you've almost certainly heard the voice. Well-known characters include Daffy Duck in "Space Jam," Klaus and others in "American Dad," "Family Guy," "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" and he's soon to be heard as Murf in "Star Trek: Prodigy."
Time: 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT)
Place: Room 405, Javits Center

The Expanse
The cast and creators come together to give fans a first look at the highly anticipated sixth and final season of "The Expanse" on Amazon Prime Video. 
Time: 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT)
Place: Room 411 for virtual screening, Javits Center

NASA Space Technology for Humans
"
Panelists will talk about developing technologies that will support future human and robotic missions and soon to will allow the first woman and person of color to set foot on the Moon.
Time: 2:15 p.m. EDT (1815 GMT)
Place: Room 406.1, Javits Center

George Takei Spotlight
A thoroughly entertaining 60 minutes with the former star of "Star Trek" and legendary social media celebrity.
Time: 4:15 p.m. EDT (2015 GMT)
Place: Main Stage 1D Hall, Javits Center

The Boys – A Retrospective Panel
Join Karen Fukuhara (Kimiko), Erin Moriarty (Annie), Jack Quaid (Hughie) and Antony Starr (Homelander) as they look back on their favorite moments from the first two seasons of "The Boys."
Time: 4:45 p.m. EDT (2045 GMT)
Place: Empire Stage, Javits Center

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman will be joined by some of the cast of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" for an in-depth conversation, plus new footage from the film.
Time: 6:30 p.m. EDT (2230 GMT)
Place: Empire Stage, Javits Center

Despite there being a reduced number of tickets sold this year, the atmosphere will no doubt once again be electric. (Image credit: ReedPop)

Saturday, Oct. 9

Star Trek: Discovery
Cast and executive producers will assemble live on stage to talk about the forthcoming fourth season of "Star Trek: Discovery" and we'll probably get to see a new trailer.
Time: 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT)
Place: Empire Stage, Javits Center

Related: 'Star Trek: Discovery' teaser for Season 4 sounds like every other season

The Expanse – with Wes Chatham and Steven Strait
Join stars Wes Chatham (Amos Burton) and Steven Strait (Jim Holden) live on stage as they reflect on the series — both so far and what's to come – and answer fan questions.
Time: 2:30 p.m. EDT (1815 GMT)
Place: Main Stage 1D Hall, Javits Center

The Science of Sci-Fi
Astrophysicist Charles Liu (as seen on "StarTalk" with Neil deGrasse Tyson) will be joined by science and pop culture experts as they break down the top movies of 2021.
Time: 4:15 p.m. EDT (2015 GMT)
Place: Room 406.1, Javits Center

Y: The Last Man
Join Executive Producer Eliza Clark and cast for an advanced screening of Episode 7 and a moderated discussion. Based on the best-selling comics from Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, this series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a cataclysmic event kills every mammal with a Y chromosome except for one man and his pet monkey. 
Time: 6 p.m. EDT (2245 GMT)
Place: Empire Stage, Javits Center

Sunday, Oct. 10

Crunchyroll Industry panel
Hear about all the latest and greatest anime and manga coming out of Crunchyroll – one of the studios responsible for giving us "Blade Runner: Black Lotus" – straight from the source.
Time: 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT)
Place: Room 405, Javits Center

Star Trek: Prodigy – Premiere Screening & Panel
Following the screening of the premiere episode, cast and producers will take the stage for a live, in-person moderated panel discussion.
Time: 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT)
Place: Empire Stage, Javits Center

Tips and tactics 

Despite only half the usual number being allowed into the Javits Center this year, New York Comic Con will still prove exhausting. However, there are no events planned at any other venue other than the conference center, so thankfully that means no frantic rushing from Madison Square Garden to the Hammerstein Ballroom and back to Javits again. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your Comic Con experience: 

● Hand sanitizer: These days, this is essential, especially if you're using New York City's public transportation. 

● Sharpies, black and silver: It is possible that you might run into celebrities and industry icons, so be prepared before the chance to get their autograph slips away. 

● Extra battery for your smartphone: You'll be relying on your smartphone for a lot — camera, calls, maps, social media — and it will get drained. You might even want to bring two extra batteries. 

● The power of Twitter: News of a celebrity sighting, or really cool cosplay, travels like wildfire at Comic Con. By keeping a close eye on the #NYCC Twitter hashtag, you can increase your chances of finding celebrities as well as cool parties and awesome giveaways. 

● Finally, wear comfortable shoes and bring both sunscreen and an umbrella, plus sunglasses and a poster tube to safely store any artwork you score.

Follow Scott Snowden on Twitter. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.  

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Scott Snowden
When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset ... as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space. You can follow Scott on Twitter @LorumIpsum.