NASA News Director Examines Space and Anime movies

Ray Villard: News Director for the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Image courtesy of Otakon

Ray Villard: News Director for the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) at NASA. Image courtesy of Otakon

ART NEWS: NASA News Director examines the intersection  of Space and Anime movies


BALTIMORE, MD – Ray Villard, News Director for the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) will be one of the special guests at this year’s Otakon in Baltimore. STScI operates the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope, whose discoveries are artfully communicated by Villard to media and the public. Villard’s appearance augments the overall theme of “space” that underlines this year’s Otakon to be held from August 8 to 10 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland.

Threading the relationship between Anime and outer space, Jim Vowles, Director of Guests & Industry Relations said:

As much as cherry blossoms, Tokyo, or Mount Fuji, outer space has been the scenic backdrop for iconic anime. All those beautiful backgrounds are rooted in the images that come from the space program. Whether it’s Yamato silhouetted against the starry sky or the aspirations of the Space Brothers, the imagery can be truly inspiring.

Villard is an effective communicator and has received several NASA service awards for his contribution to publicizing the institution’s programs and discoveries. He specialized in communicating astronomy in 1974, and was previously associate editor for the popular magazine Astronomy.

Villard has written a variety of freelance articles for magazines, encyclopedias and Internet blogs, and scripts for several syndicated science programs on public radio. His presence at this year’s Otakon is an opportunity for fans to explore and understand the mystery of the outer space.

In 2004, Villard published an illustrated astronomy book on the discovery of extrasolar planets entitled Infinite Worlds. Villard co-wrote a video adaption of the book for the National Geographic Channel. That program, Alien Earth’s, was nominated for the 2010 Prime Time Emmy Awards.