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GW calendar logoAfter several missed starts, the Deep Space Climate Observatory launched atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 on Wednesday. Although the company decided to forego recovery of the rocket due to inclement weather, SpaceX is continuing efforts to make rockets reusable and commercial space exploration economical.

As rockets take center stage in the media spotlight, it’s fitting that the National Association of Rocketry’s Convention is just a few weeks away in Seattle. Experts in the field like NASA Astronaut Dr. Jay Apt, National Association of Rocketry President Ted Cochran, Eagle Space Flight Founder Bryce Chanes, Chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation John Langford, and many more will be speaking.

Narcon2015NARCON will be held at the Museum of Flight Feb. 20 – 22.  It will include over 20 exhibitors and 25 lectures, panels and tours. Pre-register for $10 – $50 here.

That’s one of the selections from the GeekWire Calendar, our curated list of the Pacific Northwest’s top tech events. Keep reading and visit the full calendar for more.

techmentorsSeattle Tech Mentors — Tech Career Mentoring

The new Seattle Tech Mentors meetup group is a venue for people to give and receive tech career advice. Organized by veteran Seattle software developer Brenden West, the meetup alternates between Seattle Central College and North Seattle Community College every other week. The next meetup is Feb. 18 at Seattle Central. Join the meetup group and RSVP to attend.

When and where: Feb. 18, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Seattle Central College, Seattle.

large_wide_Poster_WatchMeNow_v02Watch Me Now: Notes on a Surveillance Society

The now-infamous NSA PRISM program that leaked in 2013 exposed how technology is making our lives more and more visible, but government spying doesn’t share all the responsibility for our increasingly surveyed world. It takes little more than a Google search to learn where we spend our time, who we spend it with, what we’re interested in, and where we work. Lawmakers and civilians alike struggle to define privacy in this age of endless information.

Experts across the information spectrum will discuss these issues and more in a series of short presentations (each speaker has 20 screens auto-advancing every 20 seconds) hosted by the Seattle Central Library. Hear from Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller, Microsoft Attorney Ryan Harkins, Co-Founder of Seattle Privacy Coalition Jan Bultmann, GeekWire’s Frank Catalano and more. More detail on the free event is here.

When and where: Feb. 26 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Seattle Central Library, Seattle.

GottaCon___Victoria_s_Gaming_ConventionGottaCon

Science fiction and fantasy fans should check out this annual gaming convention in Victoria, B.C. The three-day event celebrates the two gaming genres and related hobbies with tournaments in video games, miniatures, board games, cosplay, educational panels, workshops and card games. Major games represented include League of Legends, DOTA 2, Magic The Gathering, Titanfall, and more. Tickets are on sale here.

When and where: Feb. 27 – March 1. Victoria Conference Center, British Columbia.

Launch AvatarsLAUNCH Festival

GeekWire is excited to partner with LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco, a three day event aimed at helping startups take off, raise funding, and learn from experts. The festival will give new companies the opportunity to pitch on stage to a panel of investors for the first time. The LAUNCH 2.0 pitch session offers companies that have already launched the opportunity to pitch a new feature or product. As part of our partnership we’re giving away free passes here.

When and where: March 2, 8 a.m. – March 4, 5 p.m. Fort Mason Center, San Francisco.

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