Entering Space on the 60th Anniversary of Sputnik: Prospects for the 21st century
Sixty years ago, Sputnik 1 became the first artificial Earth satellite and marked the start of the Space Age. Soon afterwards Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the Earth followed just over a decade later by the Moon landings of the late 60s and early 70s.
Since November 2000 there has been a permanent human occupation of space in the International Space Station. In 2016 Stephen Hawking launched Project Starshot to send micro spacecraft on 20 year missions to the nearest stars.
The 2017 July Lectures will highlight some of the many prospects for 21st century space exploration, with experts from the School of Physics discussing our ability to reach the stars, space-based antimatter research, the University's SkyHopper space telescope project and the impacts of humans in space.
Friday July 7 - Professor David Jamieson
Methods for reaching extremely high speeds: what are the prospects for fast trips to the stars?
The stars are very far away and most rockets are very slow by comparison. Yet particle accelerators on Earth, including one of the earliest machines built in Melbourne, can routinely accelerate particles to exceptionally high speeds. This lecture looks at the technology of high speed travel, the energy budget and the effects of relativity.
Friday July 14 - Dr Katie Mack - Lecture capacity reached
Humans in space: what are the human impacts of space travel and living on other planets?
Once an applicant for the astronaut program in the United States, astrophysicist Dr Mack has family connections to the space program. This lecture looks at the potential for a permanent base to be established on Mars and in the more distant future visits to the outer planets and beyond.
Friday July 21 - Dr Michele Trenti
The promise of nanosatellites: getting the University of Melbourne’s fast response telescope into space
21st century technology allows a lot of sophisticated instrumentation to be packed into a small satellite that makes space accessible on a modest budget. The SkyHopper project aims at launching Australia’s first space telescope to explore the distant and variable universe by looking at the infrared light that accompanies Gamma Ray Bursts, and hunt for potentially habitable exoplanets orbiting low mass stars.
Friday July 28 - Associate Professor Martin Sevior
Antimatter in space: the Alpha spectrometer on the international space station and the cosmological implications
A giant magnet attached to the International Space Station is being used to look for antimatter particles in the cosmic rays that come from outside our galaxy. Some theories suggest that these could come from antimatter galaxies or exotic cosmological process. This lecture looks what these signals from space have told us about fundamental symmetries in physics.
Each lecture starts at 6.30pm