October 20, 2018 at 7pm

Why do we explore space? How do we explore space? Where should we explore? What are the tools for space exploration? These questions will be addressed in this talk focused on the future of human and robotic exploration of the solar system and beyond. Since the end of the Apollo program, the justification for the human space program has proven elusive. We will borrow a page from the computer and new commercial space companies to argue for an inspirational approach to the next phase of exploration beyond Earth orbit. The “how” is addressed with NASA’s new Orion and Space Launch Systems along with new launch systems being developed by private companies such as SpaceX. We will argue that both the Moon and Mars can be explored through a combination of governmental programs, international partnerships, and public-private partnerships. The tools for exploration include telerobotics where astronauts aboard the Deep Space Gateway in lunar orbit will operate rovers and deploy telescopes on the lunar surface in a new synergy between robots and humans.

Join us after the talk to observe the Moon at Sommers-Bausch Observatory from 8-10pm.

This is one of our regular talks. Regular ticket prices apply. Groupons can be used too!