Commercial Spaceflight: Humanity's Next Steps

With a growing population, it has become challenging to environmentally sustain our way of living as our unhealthy consumption of resources has begun to concern our future habitability on this planet. As a possible solution, humanity’s curiosity has sparked the recent relevance of the commercial spaceflight industry — and its significant, billion-dollar entities that have been at the forefront of astronomy-related current affairs, such as Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and, of course, NASA. In preparation for Tomorrow, it is important we educate ourselves on the cosmos and this lucrative industry to appease our climate crisis, explore the unknown, find our rightful place in the universe, and discover the possibilities of space colonization utilizing commercial spaceflight and technological innovation. This raises the question: Is it worth abandoning societies we have spent generations building and restoring for the exploration and the colonization of outer space? As our planet suffers, is it feasible to potentially resort to space to ensure a brighter future? What is the true value in commercially exploring our solar system?

Speakers


Dr. Louis Friedman

Dr. Louis Friedman

Dr. Louis Friedman is an emeritus executive director and Co-Founder of the Planetary Society, a non-profit organization driven to promote research and discoveries in a variety of fields relating to astronomy, planetary science, and space exploration. As a vital contributor to the space science community for over 30 years, Dr. Friedman has had a wealth of experience as he continues to guide humanity’s journey into the solar system. He earned his M.S in Engineering Mechanics at Cornell University (1963) and a Ph.D. attending the Aeronautics and Astronauts Department at M.I.T. (1971) where he developed a thesis on Extracting Scientific Information from Spacecraft Tracking Data. Additionally, he has worked extensively at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 10 years (1970-80), the AVCO Space Systems Division for 5 years (1963-68), and has had an accomplished history as a AIAA Congressional Fellow where he continues to testify American congress to advance issues concerning space and technological exploration. As an author of multiple books on Solar Sails; Interplanetary Flight; and Spaceflight to Mars, Dr. Friedman continues to make strong contributions to the space science community as the co-leader of the Asteroid Redirect Mission program.

Julie Payette

Julie Payette

Bio coming soon...

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