We live at a pivotal time in history when humanity is transitioning from a planet-bound to a space-traveling civilization. The 1960s generation watched as the first humans set foot on the moon. Our next generation could watch the construction of the first human settlements on the Moon, Mars, and perhaps some of the asteroids. Much of this exploration has been driven by scientific curiosity, politics, military considerations, and the human desire to explore new frontiers. And the growing interest in commercialization is raising new questions about the effects of a growing human presence in space.
Michael Summers, professor of physics and astronomy at George Mason University, discusses how the use of space resources could propel human colonization throughout the solar system in the coming decades and beyond.
Summers served on the advisory board for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and has been active in supporting space exploration for both education and research.
Following the talk, Peter Plavchan brings the skies into your living room with remote control of the GMU Observatory. Weather permitting, enjoy a remote tour of the observatory after the program.
NOTE: Another GMU Observatory program will be Seeking the Invisible: Detecting Supermassive Black Holes in Space on February 10.
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