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David Shortt

David Shortt

David Shortt

David Shortt is a physicist who has been a member of the Planetary Society since the early 1980s. A graduate of MIT and Stanford, he directs research at KLA-Tencor, a semiconductor equipment firm in Silicon Valley. He is passionate about science education and teaches occasional courses for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Santa Clara University.

Latest Blog Posts

Learn the rocket equation, part 2

May 05, 2017

In the second and final chapter of our series, we’ll explore what the rocket equation has to say about travel through the solar system, using the example of launching a rocket to Pluto.

Learn the rocket equation, part 1

April 28, 2017

Have you ever wanted to learn the fundamental physics behind one of the most basic concepts of rocket science? In part one of our two-part series, we explore the foundations of the famous rocket equation.

Gravity assist

September 27, 2013

With the recent announcement by NASA that the 36 year-old spacecraft Voyager 1 has officially entered interstellar space at a distance from the sun about four times further than Neptune's orbit, and with Voyager 2 not far behind, it seems worthwhile to explore how humans managed to fling objects so far into space.

astronaut on Phobos
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LightSail 2 will launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon Heavy. Be part of this epic point in space exploration history!

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