60 Years Space Physics Research Laboratory

SPRL at 60

Universities and Space Exploration

What does the future hold?

SPRL at 60

Universities and Space Exploration

  • October 16 & 17, 2008
  • Thursday & Friday

An open discussion on the role of universities in space exploration and engineering.

University of Michigan

Shortly after WWII, William G. Dow secured participation in V-2 rocket projects, and the University of Michigan’s Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL) was launched into the Space Age. Since that time, SPRL has been a vital participant in space science and engineering.

During the following 60 years, the U.S. space program underwent an unprecedented revolution. Within 10 years of launching the first scientific satellite, astronauts landed on the Moon and within 20 years, the two Voyager spacecraft were launched to the giant planets and to probe the edges of our solar system.

Present

Today, space is an increasingly integral part of everyday life — from telecommunications to “Google Maps” to understanding climate change. SPRL and other university laboratories have been an indispensable and active participant in this exciting journey.

Future

The Space Program has matured and grown over the past decades. While the players used to be the United States and the Soviet Union, now the European Space Agency, China and private firms are launching their own missions. Interests, funding and structures have changed — how should institutions of higher education based in hard science research react and how do these changes affect the education of future scientists and engineers?

What does the future hold?

Join us for two days of lively discussions on the following topics:

  • National Programs and Missions
  • Spaceflight Technology Development
  • Education and Space Exploration
  • The Role of Universities in the Space Program