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Wide Range of Events Planned for OU-Hosted Space Program

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NASA astronaut and astronomer Jeff Hoffman will visit Ohio University on June 11 for a lecture about his experience as a space telescope “repair man” for the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s the first of many public events held as part of International Space University’s (ISU) 2015 Space Studies Program (SSP15), hosted by OU this summer.

During the lecture (to be held in the Baker University Center Theater at 8:30 p.m.), Hoffman, currently a professor of aerospace engineering at MIT, will recall his shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and how those repairs have led to the telescope becoming one of the greatest science instruments ever built.

“It’s the 25th anniversary of the launch of Hubble, so it’s a good time for a retrospective,” Hoffman said. “Why did we build the Hubble Space Telescope in the first place? What was the cause of the optical problems that prevented Hubble from being able to focus properly? How did we fix the problem? What are some of the highlights from HST since the repair?”

Hoffman will answer these questions and more through his talk, which he’ll also illustrate with images and videos from the 1993 Hubble rescue mission, as well as other materials. Hoffman has worked as a professor at ISU since 1994.

Many ISU-related events, which span from space industry expert panels to classical music concerts are open to the public. Media may be invited to additional events. For the most current listing and more details, visit

Events are subject to change:

Under the Elms Concert Series: “Sounds of Space,” Wednesday, June 10, 7 p.m., Wilhelm Amphitheater on the Ohio University College Green

Celebrating the launch of International Space University’s 28th Space Studies Program, this concert will pay tribute to space exploration, real and imagined. Music inspired by space, space exploration, and science fiction will be performed, including Gustav Holst’s “Mars” from The Planets, Ola Gjeillo’s “The Spheres,” Nolan Schmitt’s “Encomium for the Courageous” (a tribute to the seven astronauts who lost their lives aboard the space shuttle Columbia), John Horner’s “Music from the motion picture Apollo 13,” “Suite from 2001: A Space Odyssey” (Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” and Johann Strauss, Jr.’s “Blue Danube Waltz”) and John Williams’ The Empire Strikes Back.

Southern Ohio Copperheads “ISU Welcome Night” Baseball Game: Xenia Scouts at Southern Ohio Copperheads, Friday, June 12, 7:30 p.m., Bob Wren Stadium

The Copperheads will host a special welcome night for ISU participants. The first pitch will be thrown by ISU SSP15 director John Connolly, former NASA chief exploration scientist. Game activities will include space trivia. For more info., visit

Book Signing: Apollo 17’s Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, Wednesday, June 17, 10:15-11:30 a.m., Little Professor Bookstore

Apollo 17 Lunar Module Pilot and former U.S. Senator Harrison “Jack” Schmitt will be available for a casual meet-and-greet book signing.

Under the Elms Concert Series: “Mozart on the Green and Summer Music Camp,” Wednesday, June 17, 7 p.m., Wilhelm Amphitheater on the Ohio University College Green

Ohio University Summer Music Camp participants, as well as guest faculty performers including new trombone professor Dr. Lucas Rego Borges, will join for Mozart on the Green’s June debut to celebrate ISU’s public panel talk this week that will feature four international astronauts. Musicians will reprise a medley from James Horner’s score for the film Apollo 13.

International Astronaut Panel: Wednesday, June 17, 8:30-10 p.m., Baker Center Ballroom

Four astronauts ∙ the United States’ Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, Russia’s Sergei Krikalev, Italy’s Paolo Nespoli, and Canada’s Robert Thirsk will share their more than 40 years of spaceflight experience on nearly every vehicle that has taken humans into space. Reception to follow.

The New Economics of Space Access Panel: Thursday, June 18, 8-10 p.m., Baker Center Theater

How can commercial opportunities in space can open the door for increased access for scientists, engineers, and researchers looking to send their experiments into orbit? Six speakers will discuss proposed and current science missions and technology demonstrations at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and a more lean and agile process being used at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Reception to follow.

Entrepreneurial Space Panel: Tuesday, June 23, 8:30-10 p.m., Baker Center Theater

Jump into an open discussion with four proven space entrepreneurs who are leading advances in the global space markets with innovative services, products, and technologies.

Under the Elms Concert Series: “Be Our Guest” Wednesday, June 24, 7 p.m., Wilhelm Amphitheater on the Ohio University College Green

Dr. David Turrill, who is Muskingum University director of bands, an Ohio University alumnus, a former Communiversity Band member, and a former Athens High School band director, will be guest conductor for this evening where area music educators will share conducting duties to highlight their work educating school musicians. Music will complement ISU’s Arthur C. Clarke panel “Where Space and Pop Culture Meet.”

Arthur C. Clarke Panel: Where Space Meets Popular Culture, Wednesday, June 24, 8:30-10 p.m., Baker Center Ballroom

Hollywood and science will collide at this inaugural talk featuring award-winning science fiction author Mike Resnick, Emmy Award-winning producer John Beck-Hofmann, whose 7 Minutes of Terror has been viewed more than 20 million times, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Joe Pelton, who is also founder and vice chairman of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, director and production designer Daniel St. Pierre, who partnered with Christopher Reeve on the animated feature Everyone’s Hero. Co-chairs are Michael Potter, director of the award-winning documentary Orphans of Apollo and Harry Kloor, writer, director and producer of Quantum Quest. Book signing and reception to follow.

Distinguished Lecture and Book Signing: John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and the American Space Program, Thursday, June 25, 8:30-10:30 p.m., Baker Center Theater

Learn the history of JFK’s decision to send America to the Moon, and Nixon’s deliberations to end the Apollo program, from author John Logsdon, whose books detail space history’s most dramatic period to date. Book signing to follow.

Robotics Competition: Friday, June 26, 2:30-5:30 p.m., Academic & Research Center

Thanks to LEGO kits and robotics experts, ISU participants will test the robots they designed to simulate planetary exploration. Guests of all ages are welcome.

Panel Discussion: “The Future of Human Spaceflight,” Monday, June 29, 8:30-10 p.m., Baker Center Theater

Hear from a panel of five professionals from the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, including U.S. and Canadian space agency experts, as they look into the future of spaceflight, which is set to take humans to the Moon, Mars and near-Earth asteroids.

The Human Side of the Columbia Disaster, Tuesday, June 30, 8:30-10 p.m., Baker Center Theater

Two ISU faculty members who were among Columbia’s early responders, ISU SSP15 Director John Connolly, and Doug Hamilton, will share the human story behind the 2003 Space Shuttle disaster.

Under the Elms Concert Series: “Celebrate America!” Wednesday, July 1, 7 p.m., Wilhelm Amphitheater on the Ohio University College Green

This annual Independence Day concert, featuring Dr. Nipat Kanchanahud of Kasetsart University in Thailand, will honor our heroes and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who will give a public ISU talk this week. Music specific to the career of Bolden, who piloted four Space Shuttle missions and served in the United States Marine Corps and Vietnam, will be featured, along with favorites such as “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “America, the Beautiful,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The Armed Forces Medley.”

Distinguished Lecture: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Wednesday, July 1, 8:30-10 p.m., Baker Center Ballroom

Discover the leader of NASA’s vision for the future of the agency as General Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, discusses the progress that has been made toward NASA’s new exploration systems: Orion and the Space Launch System.

Gerald Soffen Memorial Lecture: Mikhail Marov: “Meteorite Chelyabinsk: Observations and the Study,” Thursday, July 2, 8:30-10 p.m., Baker Center Ballroom

Explore the fascinating observations of Mikhail Marov, eminent scholar of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as he shares his research into the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which exploded over the Ural mountains in February 2013. Reception to follow.

Southern Ohio Copperheads “Star Wars Night” Baseball Game: Xenia Scouts at Southern Ohio Copperheads, Thursday, July 9, 7:30 p.m., Bob Wren Stadium

May the force be with you at this special Copperheads theme night in celebration of ISU! Attendees are encouraged to wear Star Wars-themed costumes. Activities to include a best costume contest and more. For more info., visit

Rocket Launch: Saturday, July 18, 1-5:30 p.m., Gordon K. Bush Ohio University Airport

ISU participants launch their high-tech model rockets into the sky. Will they fly straight and stable? Will the fragile payloads safely return to Earth? Find out at this exciting event for all ages.

Team Project Presentations: Thursday, August 6, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Baker Center Theater

See the results of the ISU participants’ three weeks of intensive team-project collaborative work as teams Planetary Defense, Vision 2040 and Tracking Fracking present their final projects.