Today’s race to space is decidedly different from the U.S. competition with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. With billionaires such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson earning the badge of astronaut, space development in the current age includes commercial opportunities and space tourism, funded by private companies sometimes working with government agencies.
What will the next decade bring in space exploration? Ten Years Hence, an annual lecture series sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, will present a fascinating look at the dangers, opportunities and mysteries of outer space. “Life Beyond Earth” features seven distinguished experts on space, interplanetary exploration, near-earth objects, governmental competition and commercialization in space.
The talks take place from 10:40 a.m. to noon on select Fridays in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium. The lectures are open to the public and the Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s College-Holy Cross community for in-person attendance with masking and COVID-19 safety guidelines in effect.
Guests also can watch the lectures online by registering for Ten Years Hence via ThinkND, the online learning community sponsored by the Notre Dame Alumni Association.
The full schedule listing the speakers, their titles and names of the ThinkND talks is as follows:
- Jan. 21: Christian Davenport, a Washington Post reporter covering NASA and the space industry, “The Space Barons and the Commercialization of Space.”
- Feb. 4: Eileen Collins, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, NASA astronaut and U.S. Air Force test pilot, “Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars.”
- Feb. 11: William J. Liquori, lieutenant general and the deputy chief of staff for the United States Space Force’s Space Operations, Strategy, Plans, Programs, Requirements and Analysis, “Space Threats and National Security.”
- March 18: Eric Thomas, mission manager for Blue Origin’s New Shepard, “Paving a Way for the Space Revolution.”
- April 1: Robert Jedicke, University of Hawaii professor of astronomy, “Asteroid Mining: A Trillion Dollar Industry for the 21st Century.”
- April 8: Marina Brozovic, radar scientist and an orbital dynamicist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, “Humans vs. Asteroids: Mitigating Risk and Expanding Opportunities.”
- April 22: Benjamin Bahney, senior fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “Inter-Governmental Competition in Space.”
Now in its 20th year, the Ten Years Hence speaker series explores issues, ideas and trends likely to affect business and society over the next decade. Students, faculty and the community use guest speaker comments as a springboard for structured speculation about emerging issues. Ten Years Hence is sponsored by the O’Brien-Smith Leadership Program made possible by a generous endowment from William H. O’Brien (class of ’40) and his wife, Dee.