As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, developments in space travel are evolving fast. But what does the future hold for human spaceflight? What are the risks? And will commercial space travel become a reality within our lifetime?
Join space journalist and broadcaster, Richard Hollingham, as he talks to Vinita Marwaha Madill (space engineering consultant and founder of Rocket Women), Sue Nelson (science journalist and broadcaster), Beth Healey (medical doctor and researcher for ESA) and Christopher Ogunlesi (researcher at University of Southampton, formerly at ESA) about the revolutionary 21st century space race.
Vinita is a space engineering consultant and an advocate for women in STEM, is the founder of Rocket Women, and formerly worked for TERMA B.V. at the European Space Agency (ESA) on future human spaceflight projects as a Space Operations Engineer. She has also been involved in spacesuit design for the ESA along with working as an Operations Engineer for the International Space Station at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Being based at Germany’s version of Mission Control, she guided astronauts through experiments on the ISS and was involved in astronaut training. She is passionate about human spaceflight and exploration, and her mission is to inspire women around the world and provide advice on working in the space and technology industries. Vinita set up the Rocket Women website to inspire women to work in STEM and into the space industry.
Sue Nelson is a multiple award-winning science journalist, broadcaster and author of the critically acclaimed Wally Funk’s Race for Space. This tells the personal tale of Mercury 13 member Wally Funk – one of the female pilots who qualified as astronauts in America between 1960-61 but were never allowed to get into space. As part of Boffin Media, Sue makes short films on European Space Agency missions and produces radio programmes on science and space for BBC radio. Many of her programmes highlight the hidden contributions of women throughout history to science and space. A former BBC science correspondent, Sue has reported on numerous space missions and co-presents the Space Boffins podcast with husband and partner in space crime, Richard Hollingham.
Beth is a UK trained medical doctor who overwintered in Antarctica as research MD for the European Space Agency at spaceflight analogue Concordia ‘White Mars’. As part of an overland traverse team she also drove a CAT tractor 1,300km across the Antarctic plateau. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, she has worked as part of logistical and medical support in Svalbard, Greenland, Siberia and at the North Pole. Currently she is working as an emergency medicine doctor in the French Alps.
Christopher is a researcher at University of Southampton working on a PhD on refractory metals.
He was previously at the European Space Agency looking at the effects of long-term storage on the corrosion behavior of spacecraft.
Richard Hollingham (chair)
Richard Hollingham is an award-winning science journalist, broadcaster and author of Space Dogs. He is a regular launch commentator for the European Space Agency, including when Tim Peake went into space as the first British ESA astronaut. Richard produces programmes on science and space for BBC radio – most recently 10, 9, 8, 7 about the missions leading up to Apollo 11, and Message from the Moon, which won a 2019 silver New York Festivals International Radio Award. Richard is also a former senior producer on the Today programme, author of the critically acclaimed Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery and co-presents the Space Boffins podcast with Sue Nelson.
Friday 25 October
Venue: The Forum, Auditorium
Tickets will go off sale at 7pm the night before the event. For events at The Forum and Sir Isaac Newton, any remaining tickets will be available for sale on the day of the event at our ticket desk in the Atrium. For events at other venues, remaining tickets will be available to purchase, cash only, on the door 30 mins before the start time.