BCC launches Space and Astronomy Lecture Series
Sept. 4 - Oct. 9, featuring Kennedy Space Center, International Space Station directors, BCC Planetarium and Observatorywww.brevardcc.edu/AstroLectures
BREVARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE, (COCOA), FLA. – Robert Cabana, director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and a former space shuttle pilot, will address the topic “Moon, Mars, and the Stars: The Constellation Program and the Future of Space Exploration” on Friday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m
. in the Brevard Community College Planetarium and Observatory, Cocoa Campus, 1519 Clearlake Road.
The free panel discussion, the first session in the BCC Space and Astronomy Lecture Series, also will feature Russell Romanella, director of the International Space Station and Spacecraft Processing Directorate, and Jon Cowart, orbiter engineering manager for the NASA Kennedy Space Center Constellation Program.
As the United States space program focuses on returning to the moon in the next decade, the interest in Mars will soon follow, said Fiorella Terenzi, program coordinator and a BCC physics instructor. Attendees will hear the latest information on the next human space flight to the moon and Mars.
The lecture series will be held the second Friday of each month during the 2009-2010 academic year. The event will feature leading speakers followed by a public viewing session at the BCC Observatory atop the planetarium building. Cabana has flown four space shuttle missions serving as pilot and commander during these flights. In addition to his duties as an astronaut, Cabana's NASA experience includes assignments as deputy chief, Aircraft Operations Division; chief, NASA Astronaut Office; manager, International Operations, International Space Station Program; director, NASA Human Space Flight Program in Russia; deputy, International Space Station Program; and director, Flight Crew Operations.
Romanella is responsible for launch site ground processing of the International Space Station and Shuttle Payloads. While serving in this position, critical elements of the International Space Station have been successfully assembled at KSC, tested, and launched into orbit. These critical space station elements, including the U.S. Laboratory and international partner elements such as the Columbus European laboratory, the Japanese Logistics Module, and the Canadian robotic system. These elements are now operating in orbit and support the largest, most complex space station in human history. Romanella also is responsible for preparing the Kennedy Space Center for final assembly of the future human space launch vehicle: the Orion crew exploration vehicle.
Cowart has served as senior project manager responsible for all modifications to the launch pad, vehicle assembly building, and the mobile launch platform for the Ares I-X flight test, which is currently scheduled for launch in July 2009. Ares I is the launch vehicle which will carry astronauts into orbit after the Space Shuttle Program ends in 2010. Last year, Cowart was promoted to deputy mission manager for Ares I-X. The mission office is responsible for the entire Ares I-X flight test mission.
“Our free lecture series will be of service for our community and will offers those with an interest in space, aerospace and astronomy the chance to explore the latest research and innovations in the field as we probe further into the universe,” Terenzi said. “Our target audience is anybody interested in science, space and astronomy from family to high school students to universities and industries.
“The purpose of the lecture series is to inspire potential future students and their families to pursue carriers in math, science and engineering, to connect with our local community, to create a feed, an open line with our space coast industry and to increase awareness and appreciation for space, aerospace and astronomy and education as whole.”
For more information call the planetarium at (321) 433-7373 or visit the lecture series website at www.brevardcc.edu/AstroLectures
. Jim Ross, Vice President for Advancement and Public Affairs, said, “We are honored to have the directors of Kennedy Space Center and the International Space Station to share their expertise on the future of space exploration. This is a wonderful educational opportunity for students and area communities to learn how aerospace industry is a great benefit.”
During the event, Terenzi and Mark Howard, director of the BCC Planetarium and Observatory, will speak on the subject “What’s New in the Night Sky,” a focus on what viewers can see in the sky with the naked eye. The lecture event will revive an interest in astronomy and showcase the planetarium’s programs, Terenzi said.
The college’s space and astronomy lecture series will continue on Friday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. in the planetarium with “What Lurks in the Hearts of Galaxies?” featuring Dr. Eric Perlman, associate professor of physics and space sciences at Florida Institute of Technology. In his talk, Dr. Perlman will discuss the central regions of galaxies, and what we find in them
On Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in the planetarium, the series will feature the seminar “Small Bodies and Big Impacts: Asteroids, Comets and the Origin of Earth’s Water,” featuring Dr. Humberto Campins, a professor of physics at the University of Central Florida. The lecture will focus on the role of asteroids and comet impacts on the origin of Earth's water and how organic molecules are reviewed.