Life on Mars: NASA astronaut to give public lecture at University of Leicester

Posted by ap507 at Nov 06, 2014 04:44 PM |
Free public lecture on Tuesday 11 November, Bennett Lecture Theatre 1, 6.30pm, University of Leicester

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 6 November

A video interview with Jeff from a visit to the University of Leicester in 2009 is available to view and embed at:

NASA Astronaut Jeff Hoffman, a member of the team on the first rescue mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope - a vital tool in uncovering some of the secrets of the universe -will present a public talk at the University of Leicester on Tuesday 11 November.

What went wrong with Hubble, and how did we fix it? is the subject of the talk being given by University of Leicester Honorary graduate and Visiting Professor at the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Also included will be a short presentation giving an introduction into the “MOXIE" experiment (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) This will be launched to the surface of Mars in 2020 (on NASA’s Mars2020 mission) and will produce oxygen from in-situ Martian resources for the first time. This is a preparatory test for an eventual human-scale system that will support human exploration of Mars.

Dr Darren Wright, Reader in the Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group at the University of Leicester, said: “NASA astronaut Jeff Hoffman is a visiting Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a very engaging speaker. He returns this year to present a new talk on his involvement in repairing the Hubble Space Telescope which occurred 20 years ago now. He will also discuss new technology being developed to generate oxygen on Mars from the materials found there. This could be a prelude to terraforming the planet! Come along and meet an astronaut and enjoy what promises to be a very entertaining evening!”

The talk is sponsored by the Institute of Physics via the Leicester Physics Centre and is open to everyone.

The lecture takes place on Tuesday 11 November, Bennett Lecture Theatre 1 at 6.30pm.  It is a free event but people need to sign up for it in advance via the web site:

Professor Jeff Hoffman has taken part in five missions to space on Shuttles Discovery, Columbia (twice), Atlantis and Endeavour. On the latter, the Hubble Space Telescope was captured, serviced and restored to its originally planned capabilities during a record five space walks by four astronauts.

He has spent more than fifty days in orbit, logging over 1,200 hours and 21.5 million miles in space.

He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2007. Since 2008, Professor Hoffman has also been a Visiting Professor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester.

Follow the links below to read more:

Early Life at Leicester:

Life at Leicester today:

The life of an astronaut:

Developments in space travel:



For interviews contact:

Dr Darren Wright


Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group

Department of Physics & Astronomy

University of Leicester



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