L706 Summer 2018 The International Space Station: Boon or Boondoggle?
Thursday, 9:40–11:05, June 28
Instructor: Raoul Drapeau
The International Space Station (ISS) is a crewed space vehicle in low earth orbit. At a cost of $150 billion, it is the most expensive single object ever constructed. It has been staffed since the year 2000 and its astronauts perform a variety of experiments in medicine, biology, physics, and astronomy. NASA prides itself on the experiments performed, but critics claim that the same experimental results could have been accomplished in an unmanned vehicle for far less cost. In this presentation, you will learn some relevant orbital mechanics, find out what it is like to live in the ISS, consider how the ISS keeps being funded regardless of its performance, and see the role that it might play in an expedition to Mars.
Raoul Drapeau is a retired high-tech entrepreneur, lecturer on the history of technology, author, commercial arbitrator, and inventor of consumer and commercial products. He holds electrical engineering degrees from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.