Actions and Detail Panel
Wellington Engineering and Science Festival 2016 Lecture Series
Tue 19 April 2016, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM NZST
The Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch
Wellington Astronomical Society
Institution of Engineering and Technology, Wellington Network
Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, Wellington Branch
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Central Section Network
Where to next? Human spaceflight at the crossroads.
NASA’s long-term vision is for a human mission to Mars, but its strategy for getting there
is flawed, as it does not include the most logical intermediate step: a return to the Moon.
Instead, NASA’s proposed intermediate step is to retrieve a large boulder from an
asteroid and send an astronaut crew out to investigate it – a plan that is not getting
much support from either Congress or the scientific community. A return to the Moon
would be a better way to prepare for a journey to Mars, as much of the technology
needed for a Mars mission, such as habitats, life-support systems, rovers, tools and
instruments, could be first proven under real off-world conditions on the Moon. In
addition, recent robotic missions have shown the Moon to be a worthwhile scientific
target in its own right.
David Maclennan has been lecturing and writing about space exploration for over four
decades. A founder and former President of the NZ Spaceflight Association, he also
edited the Association’s journal Liftoff for many years.
The Wellington Engineering and Science Festival is a series of lectures throughout 2016 which showcase Engineering and Science in the Wellington Region and beyond.