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Information for Staff


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13:15 - 13:55 8 February 2011

LUNCH HOUR LECTURE: Landing on a planet at 600 miles per hour


Darwin Lecture Theatre - accessed via Malet Place | Darwin Building (link Map)
access via Malet Place | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free and open to anyone on a first-come first-served basis. Lectures are also streamed live online or can be downloaded after the event.
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Professor Alan Smith, UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Unmanned robotic missions are essential for understanding the planets within our solar system. Current missions comprise of gentle landings combined with rovers to explore the local region. Due to the expense of such missions, and their sometimes unsuitability as scientific outposts, UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory is developing Planetary Penetrators, which aim to land on planets at very high speed, penetrating the planet and implanting equipment just below the surface.

This lecture will discuss the engineering difficulties of ensuring delicate instrumentation remains intact and operable after such high impact; and will highlight the biggest hurdle of all - convincing the space agencies to adopt the equipment in the first place! With a whole solar system waiting to be explored, in 40 minutes this talk will describe the UK Penetrator Programme - where we've been, what we've achieved and the opportunities for the future.


Dan Martin
+44 (0)20 3108 3840 | dan.martin@ucl.ac.uk


Click here to watch this lecture streamed live online at 1.15pm on Tuesday 8 February