Reporting Live from the 2012 Campus Party in Berlin

22 August 2012 by Michael Khan, posted in Uncategorized

This year's Campus Party, the world's largest electronic entertainment event is taking place in the terminal of the now-defunct Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. Ten thousand mostly young visitors from all over the world directly interact with numerous presenters, some famous and illustrious, like the writer Paolo Coelho, some distinctly less so, such as Yours Truly.

The event takes place on one main stage and nine thematic stages. The topics presented on the Galileo stage are astronomy, robotics, hardware, hack and modding, whatever that is. (Sometimes I feel really old...). Serious geek stuff, in short.

This morning, Bas Lansdorp from the Mars One commercial venture presented a plan to send humans (forty of them , for starters) on a one-way trip to Mars eleven years from now. The whole thing is to be financed by sponsors and sales of transmission rights to the media. Hm, well ... good luck to them. Seems to me they may not be taking th technical issues seriously enough,. But that is my private opinion, and I may be all wrong.

Today, Wednesday, August 22,  at 15:30 CEDT, it will be my turn. The topic of my talk is: "Asteroids - The leftovers of the Solar System". I will outline why asteroids are scientifically interesting, how they can be studied up close with unmanned robotic probed and then, later, also with manned space ships, why they can pose a serious danger to humanity and what we can do about them.

All presentations can be followed online via livestream here. The live stream to the Galileo stage is here, and this is where you can follow my talk today at 15:30.

Here is an edited video of the presentation I have. The editing is very professional - those Campus party people know their jobs. Unfortunately the video does not contain the Q&A session that followed. The questions were of a very high quality.

And here is an edited version of an interview I gave to a campus party TV crew.

2 Responses to “Reporting Live from the 2012 Campus Party in Berlin”

  1. Daniel Fischer Reply | Permalink

    "I will outline why asteroids are scientifically interesting, how they can be studied up close with unmanned robotic probed and then, later, also with manned space ships" - the latter being the official, err, vision since Obama's KSC speech in 2010 that called for such a mission to be done before 2025. However now it seems there is just no suitable NEA around in this timeframe, even if the SLS and Orion were ready in time. Is this an "elephant in the room" of U.S. HSF planning - or has our asteroid expert overlooked something?

  2. Michael Khan Reply | Permalink

    There are very few asteroids that can be reached with a manned mission that uses the infrastructure in place for manned lunar missions, with no additions, i.e., with no habitat that would allow mission durations (launch to Earth return) of up to 9 or 12 months. Not considering longer duration missions and constraining the overall duration to 3 months or below narrows down the field such that the launch opportunities become few and far between and the remaining targets, though reachable, may not be of scientific interest. This is a fact that is well-known and has been reiterated by mission planners and planetologists for the past years. Technically feasible and scientifically worthwhile NEO missions are not consistent with a mission duration of (significantly) below 6 months.

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