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Once Explorers, Always Explorers

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Ulster Museum
, Belfast , BT9 5AB
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About the Event

The European Space Agency's science and exploration missions have been much in the headlines over the last couple of years, with the first results from its Gaia Milky Way surveyor and its LISA Pathfinder gravitational wave detection technology testbed, the arrival of its ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander at the Red Planet, and the amazing saga of the Rosetta comet-chasing spacecraft. I'll give you an insight into each of these missions, their challenges, and their successes (as well as the almost-successes), and tell you what's coming next, including new missions to study the Sun, Mercury, Mars, and the wider Universe.

Prof Mark McCaughrean is the Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration at the European Space Agency. He is also responsible for communicating results from ESA’s astronomy, heliophysics, planetary, exploration, 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.

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