Space Exploration

Space Exploration

October 2023

Photo Credit: SPACEX

Humans are curious creatures and we’ve always pushed the boundaries of exploration and technology. That’s why we’ve always looked to the heavens, to expand our knowledge of the unknown and figure out what our place is in the universe. It’s an exciting time to be exploring space right now as new technologies let us peer deeper into the universe than ever before, to discover strange world’s orbiting distant stars and to try and find dark energy and matter. Space is more accessible than ever with the arrival of space tourism and companies like SpaceX and Virgin pushing the limits of commercial exploration. It’s not just about what’s up there, many of our indispensable technologies have come from our quest to explore beyond our planet. Things like GPS, monitoring our climate, artificial limbs, scratch resistant lenses, baby formula and more.

Join us this month as we connect with some of the astronauts, scientists and engineers who take us further into the unknown every year!

Photo Credit: NASA and the Crew of STS-132

All Event Times Listed in Eastern

Nicole Stott | Astronaut and Artist

October 3rd @ 9:00am eastern

Nicole has explored from the heights of outer space to the depths of our oceans. A veteran NASA Astronaut, her experience includes two spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). She performed one spacewalk, was the first person to fly the robotic arm to capture the free flying HTV cargo vehicle, she was the last crew member to fly to and from their ISS mission on a Space Shuttle, and she was a member of the crew of the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133.  

A personal highlight of Nicole’s spaceflight was painting the first watercolor in space. Nicole is also a NASA Aquanaut, who in preparation for spaceflight and along with her NEEMO9 crew, lived and worked during an 18-day and longest saturation mission to date on the Aquarius undersea habitat. As an Artist, and now retired from NASA, Nicole combines her artwork and spaceflight experience to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges, to raise awareness of the surprising interplay between science and art, and to promote the amazing work being done every day in space to improve life right here on Earth. She is the founder of the Space for Art Foundation.

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The James Webb Space Telescope Discoveries with Nathalie Ouellette

October 3rd @ 10:00am eastern

Nathalie is an astrophysicist and an avid science communicator. She is currently the Coordinator of the Institute for Research of Exoplanets at the University of Montreal and the Canadian Science Communicator for the James Webb Space Telescope. In this talk, learn about the successful launch and early discoveries of the new most powerful tool we have to explore the universe!

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Les découvertes du télescope spatial James Webb avec Nathalie Ouellette

October 4th @ 10:00am eastern

Nathalie est une astrophysicienne et une passionnée de communication scientifique. Elle est coordonnatrice de l’Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes de l’Université de Montréal et communicatrice scientifique canadienne pour le télescope spatial James Webb. Dans cette conférence, découvrez le lancement réussi et les premières découvertes du nouvel outil le plus puissant dont nous disposons pour explorer l’univers !

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Exploring the Red Planet with Ashwin Vasavada

October 6th @ 1:00pm eastern

Meet Ashwin, he’s a Project Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. What does a project scientist do? They conceive, design, build, test, and fly robotic spacecraft that explore the Earth, the solar system and beyond. Ashwin is the Curiosity Rover’s Project Scientist. The rover has been ascending the foothills of Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) mountain that was once laced with lakes and streams that would have provided a rich environment for microbial life. What’s Curiosity up to? How are we exploring the red planet? Was there life on Mars? 

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Ravi Prakash | Systems Engineer NASA JPL

October 10th @ 11:30am eastern

Ravi joined JPL in 2005 and was part of the team that landed the Curiosity rover on Mars. After 8 years at JPL, Ravi took a break to design products to help lift people out of poverty. Ravi has since returned to JPL where he led operations of the InSight lander on Mars, helped integrate the science instruments for the Psyche mission to visit an asteroid, and now manages the group that designs the hardware to land spacecraft on different planets.

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Debarati Das | Planetary Scientist 

October 10th @ 2:00pm eastern

Debarati is a post doctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a member of the NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory team. Her current research deals with analysis of data from the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument on the Curiosity Martian rover and study of Martian analogue sites (sites on Earth similar to Mars environments) to better understand past water activity in Gale crater on Mars.

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Abigail Fraeman | NASA Research Scientist

October 17th @ 1:00pm eastern

Dr. Abigail Fraeman is the deputy project scientist for the Curiosity Mars rover and research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Her research focuses on understanding the origin and evolution rocky bodies across our solar system. In addition to Curiosity, Abigail has worked on the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rover and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions, and she is also involved in developing new instruments and mission concepts for to explore our solar system in the future.

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Powering Spacecraft Through the Solar System With Dr. Caitlin Crawford

October 19th @ 1:30pm eastern

Dr. Caitlin Crawford is a Flight-System Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Her current role is helping the NISAR Earth observation satellite get ready for launch in 2024. Previously, she’s worked as a material scientist researching how to make future Martian rovers, like Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, more powerful. Come talk about spacecraft and how they power themselves through the vastness of our solar system!

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Col. Terry Virts | Astronaut

October 23rd @ 12:00pm eastern 

Celebrated NASA astronaut, pilot of the space shuttle Endeavour, and crew member on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, Terry Virts also spent 200 consecutive days in space as commander of the International Space Station—one of the longest continuous space missions of any NASA astronaut. Step back, more than 220 miles from Earth, and experience our planet from a new perspective. Terry helped to install the outpost’s 360-degree observation module, which not only helped him to take more photos than any astronaut before him, but gives those who see the images a deeper understanding of our planet’s beauty, climate, and place in the universe.​

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Kevin J DeBruin | Space Science Communicator

October 23rd @ 1:00pm eastern 

Kevin is an actual Former NASA Rocket Scientist. He’s a mix of Bill Nye the Science Guy and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. He educates about science in a fun & easy to understand way, while also showcasing an active & healthy lifestyle, grit & determination, and serves as a role model for others. He breaks the traditional stereotypes of dumb-jock and socially awkward nerd. Kevin is a Space Systems Engineer at The Aerospace Corporation and has worked as a Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, CA in Project Formulation from 2015-2018. Kevin has worked on the Europa Lander Mission Concept as a Flight Systems Engineer and also in the Advanced Design Engineering group working on advanced mission concept studies as a part of TeamX and A-Team. Kevin is also a 2x American Ninja Warrior, Certified Personal Trainer, and an Eagle Scout!

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Haroon Syed | Going Back to the Moon

October 24th @ 9:00am eastern

Haroon is currently a Flight Director at ispace, and recently worked on our mission to the Moon. He was born and raised in Detroit, and went to the University of Michigan to get his bachelors in Aerospace Engineering. Haroon worked at NASA JPL the summer after he finished undergrad, and then went back to get his Master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering at Michigan. He then moved to Washington DC to work at OneWeb as a Mission Operations engineer. He worked there for 3 years before deciding to move to Tokyo and ispace in 2020. 

His presentation will tackle questions like: What is mission operations? What will a trip to the moon look like? What will we be worrying about? Why should we go?

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The Scale of the Solar System with Wylie Overstreet

October 24th @ 12:30pm eastern 

Join filmmaker and space enthusiast Wylie Overstreet who created a full scale model of the solar system in the Mojave Desert in 2014 to the acclaim of 13m views and global media and science recognition. Watch the incredible short film and ask your questions about our neighbours in space and the filmmaking process to tell great science stories!

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Chasing Solar Eclipses with David Makepeace

October 26th @ 12:00pm eastern 

David is Canada’s busiest eclipse chaser, he has witnessed 25+ eclipses in 15 countries on 7 continents and he’s continuously planning exotic adventures to strange and wonderful places on the Earth to stand in the shadow of the Moon! Since 1991, he has chased eclipses of all kinds to every corner of the globe – from India to Brazil, Antarctica to Libya, Mexico to China. David is also a producer, director and editor, cutting over 1,500 demo reels for large companies and various celebrities.

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All events will be recorded for later viewing


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