The Hellenic Society Prometheas invites you to a lecture by Dr. Stamatios M. Krimigis, State Department Head Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and Principal Investigator on several NASA spacecraft; also, member of the Academy of Athens. The topic of Dr. Krimigis' lecture will be "Messenger" to Orbit Mercury: the Technological Challenge.
Friday, January 4, 2011 at 8:00pm
St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Founders Hall
7701 Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda MD 20817
Planetary exploration with robotic spacecraft began in 1962 with Mariner 2 and continues to this day, with missions such as Voyager and Cassini-Huygens. Exploring Mercury, however, has been a challenge until now because the solar intensity there is 11 times as much as at Earth. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft was launched in August 2004 with the aim of orbiting the closest planet to the Sun, and will be inserted into orbit on March 18, 2011. Designing and operating a spacecraft for such an environment has proved a major technological challenge, and is illustrative of robotic space exploration. The mission implementation took place in the Space Department of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The science objectives and the technology development for their implementation will be described, and the findings from the three flybys of Mercury during the past two years will be presented and discussed.
The lecture will be followed by a light reception.
For more information, visit the website of the Hellenic Society Prometheas at www.prometheas.org.