About this event
The Apollo 11 mission landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, enabling the first man to walk on its surface the next day on the 21st of July.The mission returned to Earth a few days later, bringing back safely the astronauts and a precious load of lunar rocks.
On 23rd October, some of these lunar samples arrived in Bristol, to be analysed at the University of Bristol by the Organic Geochemistry Unit (OGU) led by Professor Geoff Eglinton. They would unravel unprecedented insights about the Moon.
To mark the 50th anniversary of when these Apollo 11 lunar samples arrived in Bristol, we invite you to an evening of celebrations and showcasing past and present research around space exploration.
Please book your FREE TICKET here.
The event will be chaired by Professor Richard Evershed (Professor of Biogeochemistry, Organic Geochemistry Unit, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol).
Introduction by Professor Judith Squires (Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost, University of Bristol)
With talks by:
– Professor James Maxwell (Emeritus Professor of Organic Geochemistry, Organic Geochemistry Unit, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol)
– Professor Lucy Berthoud (Professor of Space Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Bristol)
– Professor Mark Sephton (Professor of Organic Geochemistry, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London)
Closing comments by Professor Emma Raven (Head of School, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol).
The event will be followed by a reception.
James Maxwell FRS is an Emeritus Professor of Chemistry of the University of Bristol. He has been retired for more years than he can care to remember, after a career ranging from working on the carbon chemistry of samples from the early Apollo missions, all the way through to unravelling the structural and stereochemical fate of acyclic isoprenoid lipids, steroids and chlorophylls in the terrestrial geological environment.
James will speak about his small contribution to lunar science by way of personal recollections.
Lucy Berthoud is a Professor of Space Systems Engineering at the University of Bristol. She has worked in the Space Industry for thirty years on interplanetary spacecraft missions to Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon and comets. She teaches spacecraft design at the University of Bristol and also works for Thales Alenia Space UK in the Advanced Concepts department. Before that she worked for Airbus Defence and Space and was a visiting scientist at NASA Johnson Space Center and at the European Space Agency investigating space debris.
Lucy will speak about the future of Lunar Exploration including robotic missions, private Moon races and how humans can learn develop the technologies needed to live and work on another world.
Mark Sephton is a Professor of Organic Geochemistry in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London. He studies extra-terrestrial organic matter, its detection and its characterization. He leads the Imperial College Organic Geochemistry group. Professor Sephton’s achievements include a number of extraction and detection-related analytical advances for extra-terrestrial materials. In recognition of his pioneering work on analytically-challenging extra-terrestrial organic samples, asteroid 7552 ‘Sephton’ now orbits at 2.6 AU.
Mark will be talking about organic records in the solar system. Organic matter can be used as a record of abiotic and biotic processes in our solar system. Detecting and diagnosing organic signals are requirements for a number of space related activities. Challenges include making measurements either in situ on space missions (e.g. Mars) or for samples delivered or returned to Earth. The information obtained can be used to understand the development of habitable conditions, the origin of life and its distribution in our corner of the Cosmos.