Rice Space Institute to host astronaut, Cassini scientist

Don Pettit

Don Pettit

Astronaut Don Pettit will offer “Techno Stories from Space” in the first of this year’s Space Lecture Series events offered by the Rice Space Institute.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will take place Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium.

Pettit has spent 370 days in space over three flights to the International Space Station, two for extended stays and one for an ISS expansion mission aboard the space shuttle Endeavor.

Linda Spilker, project scientist on the Cassini mission to study Saturn, will deliver RSI’s 26th annual William F. Marlar Lecture Sept. 25 at 7 p.m., also at McMurtry Auditorium.

Linda Spilker

Linda Spilker

The international effort by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, has made fundamental discoveries about Saturn, its icy rings, its magnetosphere and its moons since Cassini was launched in 1997. The spacecraft observed Jupiter en route to Saturn and dropped a lander at Saturn’s moon, Titan, in 2005.

Spilker is based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, which manages the mission.

Both lectures will be preceded by a reception in Duncan Hall at 6:30. For more information, visit the institute at http://rsi.rice.edu.





About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.