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Note: The above video was created from the audio of the live event with pictures taken by Liam Kennedy. Due to technical issues, actual video of the event was not captured.
Kip Thorne Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, Caltech
Dr. Thorne is a pioneer of theoretical physics, pursuing research in gravitational waves, black holes, and worm holes. He was a longtime friend of Carl, contributing the concept of wormholes used as transportation in Contact.
Louis Friedman co-Founder and Emeritus Executive Director, The Planetary Society
Dr. Friedman, along with Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan, founded the Planetary Society and served as its Executive Director for over 25 years. Previously, he spent over 10 years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and five at AVCO Space Systems Division.
Lynda Obst Executive Producer, Contact
Lynda Obst is one of the most prolific female producers in the film industry. Her hit films including Flashdance, The Fisher King, Sleepless In Seattle, One Fine Day, Contact, and Hope Floats, among others.
Chas Beichman Executive Director of the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech
For the past 10 years Dr. Beichman has been closely associated with and helped to formulate NASA’s program to search for planets around other stars and has been deeply involved in the search for evidence of planetary systems beyond our own. He is currently the executive director of the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, which awards the Carl Sagan Research Fellowship.
Melissa Rice NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, Caltech; MSL Science Team Collaborator
Dr. Rice earned a PhD at Cornell University's Department of Astronomy, the longtime academic home of Carl Sagan. Sagan was a strong influence on her decision to pursue science as a career, particularly the novel, Contact. She currently works on the MSL Curiosity mission and the MER Opportunity missions.
Wladimir Lyra Carl Sagan Fellow, JPL
Dr. Lyra grew up in Rio de Janiero and received his PhD from Uppsala University in Sweden. After working at the Natural History Museum in New York City, he was granted a Carl Sagan Fellowship to study the evolution of proto-planetary disks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Sarah Milkovich MRO HiRISE investigation scientist and science operations systems engineer for MSL, JPL
Dr. Milkovich is a planetary geologist by training, and has worked on the science operations teams for many spacecraft, including Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Science Laboratory, Cassini, and Mars Phoenix. She grew up just a few miles away from Carl Sagan's house.
Mat Kaplan Host
He was just 17 when he got his first job in broadcasting, yet it wasn't until Planetary Radio, the Society's weekly broadcast and podcast series, that he was able to combine his love of space exploration with the fun and excitement of being on the air. A Planetary Society staff member for twelve years, Mat is also who we look to when an event calls for audiovisual support or a live webcast. The longtime Long Beach, California resident has two adult daughters raised to be citizens of the solar system.
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