3u3a 4

Exploring the Solar System


A Study Group for up to 20 students, using the internet to explore our sun’s realm N.B. not astronomy proper, which concerns stars and galaxies in the universe beyond. We will begin with some current and planned robotic missions, and how to track their progress. Next year, students will be expected to present their explorations to colleagues.
Potential students must be familiar with aerospace technology and scientific methods, be computer literate and have broadband internet access, e.g. to visit the following sites:

The Group will meet fortnightly, for 2 hours (i.e. 18 times per year in 3 terms of 12 wks), every second Friday, 11.00-13.00 hrs in the Harham Memorial Hall, starting on 31 Oct and finishing for 2008 on 12 Dec. At each meeting, the Study Leader will first give a talk on a planetary science or space technology topic. After coffee/tea, we will discuss your recent explorations, using downloaded illustrations (e.g. on a flash drive).

Study Leader: Chris Cochrane was responsible for getting the UK’s first SATCOM network operational in 1970; then procurement and operation of the second generation SKYNET satellites. From 1982 at Marconi Space Systems, he rose to become General Manager for Earth Observation and Space Science. His PhD topic concerned the surface topography of Venus; he is now an honorary researcher at Imperial College and a member of the Steering Committee for Europe’s next mission to Venus, called EVE.


6 Feb

20 Feb

20 Mar

3 April

17 April

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