Mars: delirium, delight and disasters

Thursday 11th January 2018 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00

Professor David Southwood, Chair of UK Space Agency, Senior Research Investigator Department of Physics, past Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency

A personal view of the exploration of Mars having worked on Russian/Soviet, US as well as European Mars programmes. With some insights into Cassini's triumphant descent to Saturn as observed by Professor Southwood at NASA.

Professor David Southwood - Chair of the UK Space Agency, former Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency - is the current Senior Research Investigator in the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, focusing on solar-terrestrial physics and planetary science.
Professor Southwood was part of the management team for the Cassini-Huygens mission, among many other accomplishments. The spacecraft embarked on a seven-year voyage across the solar system, eventually reaching Saturn in July 2004. Several months later, the Cassini orbiter released the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe, descending onto Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, in January 2005. Professor Southwood had been responsible for the first landing of a human-made object in the outer solar system!

Recently he was at NASA’s mission control to watch Cassini’s ‘grand finale’, when the spacecraft was deliberately plunged into Saturn. This was to ensure that, with Cassini having expended almost every bit of the rocket propellant it carried to Saturn, the planet’s moons will remain pristine for future exploration.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).
After the lecture a Friends' Table has been reserved at a local restaurant to entertain the speaker and for any of the audience who would like to join us to continue the evening's discussion. A two-course fixed price supper is served including wine, coffee and service charge.

Venue: SAF Building, Imperial College London

Campus Map reference 33
on the Imperial College London Map