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Next Stop: Mars

presented by Paul Stengel

7:00 PM Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Rogers Memorial Library
91 Coopers Farm Road, Southampton, NY 11968


Hardly a day goes by without Mars making news. But NASA's directive to explore space has largely fallen to robotic spacecraft while manned missions beyond Low Earth Orbit have languished, as evidenced by the fact that it has been nearly 50 years since US boots walked on the Moon. Surprisingly, the U.S. was less prepared to go to the Moon in 1961 than it is to get to Mars today. So, after all this time, what would be the catalyst to propel us to Mars? China? Climate Change? Overpopulation? The threat of impact by an extinction-level asteroid? Or perhaps the kind of boundless curiosity that leads to discovery. NASA, Space X, Blue Origin and legacy aerospace giants, like Boeing and Lockheed, are determined to design and build the ships that will get us there, while competing mission architectures offered by Mars Direct, Mars One and NASA will tell us how to do it and survive three years away from home. This time the goal is not just to get there, but to stay. But many questions remain: Why do we want to go to Mars? Do we have the technology to get there? Who will get to Mars first: NASA, Space X; someone else? What are the dangers of space travel and what does long duration space flight do to the human body? What do we do when we get to Mars and how do we get home? Whatever the motive or whatever the means, make no mistake: the first Martians are in our classrooms today! Paul Stengel will discuss these issues and more.

Paul Stengel is retired, award-winning science teacher (NYS “Science Teacher of the Year”; Science Teachers Association of NYS “Excellence in Science Teaching Award,” and a NYS Finalist in NASA’s Teacher in Space Project). Throughout his career, Paul presented science programs with physics and aerospace themes to students, teachers, professional organizations and civic groups. Since retirement, he has maintained his commitment to science education as Curriculum Consultant for NOVA’s “Einstein’s Big Idea”; Challenger Center Faculty Member; Chandra X-Ray Satellite Teacher Resource Agent; and as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA/JPL. He is an active member (and often president) of the Southampton Town Kiwanis Club, a resident of Southampton, and an independent, licensed electrical contractor. In addition to volunteering his time to present this lecture, Paul has generously donated his services as an electrician to help complete the Montauk Observatory.

Montauk Observatory is grateful to Rogers Memorial Library for its kindness in hosting this event, to the South Fork Natural History Museum for co-sponsoring, and to Paul Stengel for generously donating his time and expertise both as an educator and as an electrician.


TO REGISTER: Call the library at 631-283-0774.

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