In this talk, Professor Anu Ojha OBE, Director of the UK National Space Centre and Member of University Court, will explore the discoveries made through applications of space science and engineering and how they have changed humanity's perspectives of our position in the universe, and ask what difference space, science and technology have made to our everyday lives. Has it really been worth all of the money spent when we are facing so many challenges here on Earth? What science was British astronaut Tim Peake doing on the International Space Station (ISS) during his six-month mission there from 2015 to 2016? And will Mars ever be a home for the human race? A Q&A will follow.
Professor Ojha was Principal Investigator for the Astro Academy Principia experiments conducted by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake aboard the ISS and was involved in the final landing site selection for ESA's Rosalind Franklin Mars rover scheduled for launch in 2022.
He is also a member of the STFC Council – the senior strategic body of the UK's leading Research Council for astronomy, space science, high energy physics and nuclear research – and a member of the ESA's Human Spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee (HESAC).
His current work for ESA is as part of the team developing the high-level science strategy underpinning ESA's ambitions for human and robotic exploration of the Moon and Mars over the next two decades.
Professor Ojha is an Honorary Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester. In 2014 he was appointed OBE for services to science education.