Friday 5th October. “To Mars via Kazakhstan Beagle 2, lost on Mars but found 11 years later.” Terry Ransome

The final highlight in Terry Ransome’s working life was to work at the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan from where Yuri Gagarin embarked on the first human spaceflight.  It is still busy today launching astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station and lots more.

He took with him the UK’s Mars Lander Beagle2, the probe that was ‘lost’ on Mars on Christmas 2003, but ‘found’ 11 years later.

In this talk he tells of his Beagle2 and Kazakhstan experiences and how Beagle2 was eventually found and identified on the Red Planet. A
postscript tells of the latest (2016) European attempt at a Mars landing and looks ahead to the future.

Friday 7th September 2018. Luke Lucas, “The Herschel Space Observatory – an Engineer’s Story”

Luke Lucas will talk about her career in conversation with Charles Draper of the William Herschel Society.  Inspired by Caroline Herschel’s discoveries of comets and nebulae, Luke Lucas’ career has been involved with the Herschel Space Observatory prior to launch, through launch, commissioning, and then finally routine operations. Herschel, the largest infrared telescope ever launched, was investigating previously unseen cold regions of Space, where stars are born.  Her responsibilities included mission planning and the SPIRE instrument.  The conversation will continue about her present work with the Mars Express, which has been orbiting Mars since 2003.  She is responsible for mission planning, defining batteries and the thermal subsystem.