Space research for science and art
The search for life and knowledge outside our planet
Space is often viewed with fascination and curiosity by many, but is sometimes viewed as less important than other types of research. This month we heard from Dr Joby Hollis, a planetary scientist working at NASA about why the search for life on other planets is important. “The question of why we should study space science is an important one to ask, especially now when we have so many other pressing matters that require our attention,” Joby said, “but I think we can’t loose sight of these big questions about where we came from and how did life evolve, and by understanding other planets we can gain insights into how the climate of Earth has changed over geological time.” You can watch the full interview here.
We also heard from people who have been closely involved with the other important space missions, including Planetary Sciences Division Early Career Scientist Representative Joshua Dreyer who talked about his experiences watching the final moments of the Cassini probe live as it crashed into Saturn – not knowing that later he would be working on that very data. We got a very different perspective in a discussion on the relationship between space science and art in a special webinar with Kelly Stanford, Ekaterina Smirnova and Mark McCaughrean who talked about the Rosetta mission to study comet 67P whilst it travelled through space. As Ekaterina says “I think artists inspire scientists as much as the other way around by questioning if it’s even possible to go to space and coming up with magical images that inspire space missions. These two spheres do really go together.” Watch the full panel here.