History of Space Exploration

Facilitator:      Jim McCauley, 472-1104, jem.mccauley@gmail.com                                       Dates:            Mondays, January 8— February 26, 2018 Time:               9:30 AM - 11:30 AM                         Text:              None                                  Presentations:  Presentations are not required but some class members will be discussion leaders


Humankind has been operating in space for six decades. Let's explore the rich history of this great adventure -- the men and women, the missions and machines, and the astonishing places we have been and seen so far from home. You will choose from a list of presentation projects, or you may create one of your own preference. Be assured of active discussion of mankind's past, present and future on the final frontier.

Here are some examples:                                               A Prehistory of Space Exploration

Galileo: How an Italian astronomer first understood planetary systems -- and what he paid for his discovery.

Planet finders: How our sun's outer planets were discovered, and how planets around other stars are being discovered today.                                                       

Men and Women

Love, Rocks and Dirty Snowballs: Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker explored exoplanetary geology, asteroids and comets without ever leaving the Earth.

A Strange Shape near Io: How JPL technician Linda Morabito -- not a scientist -- discoverd the first active volcano on another world.

Bingo Fuel: How Apollo 11 nearly crashed into a field of giant boulders but was saved by excellent teamwork between Armstrong and Aldrin.

Moons and Other Places 

Homes for Life?: Europa, Enceladus and the prospect for life beyond Earth.  

Missions and Machines

Far Gone: How Pioneer, Voyager and Cassini (pick one!) explored deep space.