AoTL#2 took place on March 27, 2019, at the EPFL Satellite bar again. The event was fully booked in about 1 hour !!
Florian Gallien, Dr. in material science, explained in 5 lessons how to survive a collision with one of the many space debris orbiting earth.
During Lesson 1: Know your opponents, he told us about the great variety of space debris, which range in size from a speck of dust to a car.
In Lesson 2: Keep in mind the risks, Florian showed us how small debris could cause great damage when moving at 27'000 km/h.
He tested the audience in Lesson 3: Choose the right move, when he asked the public if it was better to avoid space debris (Team Matrix) or protect the space stations from them(Team Captain America).
Lesson 4:Master the solution and Lesson 5: Practice focused on the research and tests that the engineers in material science do in order to protect the man-made object orbiting around Earth in the best possible way.
Camille Pirat, PostDoc at the Swiss Space Center, gave us a relatively technical but quiet humourous conference about Space rendezvous and docking. He explained how precise the engineers have to be to dock a capsule to the ISS, with a 10cm margin!
Claude Nicollier brought us to the Moon and even further to Mars on Wednesday night. He talked about the moonwalkers and Apollo pilots he had the opportunity to meet during his career, emphasizing the human part of space exploration. Anecdotes were shared to unveil the mysteries of the race to the Moon. He then travelled even further to Mars. He presented the diverse challenges that mankind has to overcome to become an interplanetary species !