No, not a NASA launch pad. Well, kindof a NASA launch pad.
Launch Pad in this case is a workshop for established writers, giving them an immersed environment where they can learn the science of astronomy. As the website says:
Launch Pad is a free, NASA-funded workshop for established writers held in beautiful high-altitude Laramie, Wyoming. Launch Pad aims to provide a “crash course” for twelve attendees in modern astronomy science through workshops, guest lectures, and observation through the University of Wyoming’s two large telescopes.
It’s run by science fiction author and professional astronomer Mike Brotherton, and it’ll be held this year from July 14 - 21. The special lecturer is Joe Haldeman. Yes, that Joe Haldeman. I’ll be there too, probably later in the week (I have to be in Vegas for TAM 7 the week before). But I’ll be doing some Death from the Skies! talks, probably about asteroid impacts and black holes.
Unfortunately the deadline for applications to attend is tomorrow, March 15, so hurry! If you’re a professional writer, then you want this. Since it’s funded by NASA, the costs to attendees are minimal, too!