From dreams to reality -- in less than a century human space explorers have stepped out of the pages of science fiction and into the reality of Apollo, Mir and future missions to Mars. The Planetary Society will examine the dual worlds of science fact and science fiction in a special public event in Pasadena, California on October 23, 2000, "Human Space Exploration: Fact, Fiction, the Future." The event is co-sponsored by the Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society.
Larry Mantle, host of AirTalk on KPCC Radio, will moderate a panel that includes Andre Bormanis, Science Consultant for Star Trek Voyager; Gregory Benford, science fiction author and physicist; Louis D. Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society; and Christopher McKay NASA Ames Research Center and member of The Planetary Society's Board of Directors.
Although our Space Age is less than 50 years old, for centuries humanity has dreamed and told stories of exploring distant worlds. While astronauts have visited the Moon, lived and worked in Earth orbit, and begun construction of an International Space Station, their fictitious counterparts have spanned the galaxy in far flung adventures in science fiction literature and films. Indeed, the more familiar we become with space in our own neighborhood, the further afield move these imaginary explorers.
In a century that brought us both the first humans on the Moon and the fictitious universe of Star Trek, what effect, if any, do the worlds of fact and fiction have on one another in the realm of human space exploration? What influence does science fiction have on the public perception of the current space program and future plans to send human explorers to Mars? These questions and more will be discussed at "Human Space Exploration: Fact, Fiction, the Future" by a panel who represents the worlds of reality, imagination, and somewhere in between.
"Human Space Exploration: Fact, Fiction, the Future" will be held at the Pasadena Hilton, 150 S. Los Robles Avenue, in Pasadena at 7:30 PM on Monday, October 23. Tickets are $7.00 and are available at the door.