RAS Public Lecture: ESA's Space Science and Exploration Missions

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ESA's Space Science and Exploration MissionsProfessor Mark McCaughrean (Venue: Royal Astronomical Society Lecture Theatre, booking required - free tickets via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/esas-space-science-and-exploration-missions-tickets-32286851843 ) The European Space Agency operates and is partner in a fleet of spacecraft studying the Sun, probing the Earth's magnetic field, orbiting various solar system bodies, and collecting photons across the electromagnetic spectrum, from corners of the Universe near and far. In this talk, Prof. Mark McCaughrean will present some key recent results from ongoing missions, including the Milky Way surveyor Gaia, the gravitational wave technology testbed LISA Pathfinder, and present results from two major solar system missions, namely the Rosetta comet chaser, which ended its mission at Comet 67P in September 2016, and the ExoMars 2016 mission, which arrived at Mars in October 2016. He will conclude with a look forward to the exciting new mission currently being built for launch in coming years. Prof. Mark McCaughrean is Senior Science Advisor in the Directorate of Science at the European Space Agency. He is also responsible for communicating results from ESA's astronomy, heliophysics, planetary, and fundamental physics missions to the scientific community and wider general public. Following a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, he worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, followed by astronomical institutes in Tucson, Heidelberg, Bonn, and Potsdam, and taught as a professor of astrophysics at the University of Exeter before joining ESA in 2009. His personal scientific research involves observational studies of the formation of stars and their planetary systems, and he is also an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.