Emily Lakdawalla, M.Sc. – Helen Sawyer Hogg Public Lecture – The Golden Age of Solar System Exploration
Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist
Emily Lakdawalla is an internationally admired science communicator and educator, passionate about advancing public understanding of space and sharing the wonder of scientific discovery.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology from Amherst College and a Master of Science degree in planetary geology from Brown University. She came to The Planetary Society in 2001. She has been writing and editing the Planetary Society Blog since 2005, reporting on space news, explaining planetary science, and sharing beautiful space photos. Emily has been an active supporter of the international community of space image processing enthusiasts as Administrator of the forum UnmannedSpaceflight.com since 2005. She is also a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope magazine.
Her first book, titled The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job, is due out from Springer-Praxis in March, 2018. The book explains the development, design, and function of Curiosity with the same level of technical detail that she delivers in the Planetary Society Blog. A second book, Curiosity and Its Science Mission: A Mars Rover Goes to Work will follow in 2019.
Many people think of the glory days of space exploration as being in the past, culminating in Apollo, but we’re living in the golden age of planetary exploration right now. Twenty-odd robots are exploring worlds big and small throughout the solar system, sending back science and glorious pictures. I’ll show highlights of current and recent space exploration activities, including Akatsuki at Venus, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the Moon, Curiosity at Mars, and Cassini at Saturn. I’ll preview three upcoming exciting encounters: Hayabusa2 at Ryugu, OSIRIS-REx at Bennu, and New Horizons’ December 31 flyby of a distant Kuiper belt object. Finally, I’ll explain how you can follow along with these missions every day.