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Von Kármán Lecture Series Comes to Caltech

Series highlights space missions and technology

The Theodore von Kármán Lecture Series, named after JPL's founder and presented by JPL's Office of Communication and Education, is coming to Ramo Auditorium on the Caltech campus starting in July.

Each lecture in this free monthly series—which highlights new developments in space research, exploration, and technologies—is presented twice, with the first night's lecture being held at JPL's Theodore von Kármán Auditorium and the second night's lecture being held in Ramo Auditorium on the Caltech campus. The second-night lectures were previously held at Pasadena City College. 

July's lecture, "Walking on Mars," will be delivered in the Theodore von Kármán Auditorium on Thursday, July 12, at 7 p.m.; it will be followed by the inaugural Theodore von Kármán Lecture in Ramo Auditorium on Friday, July 13, at 7 p.m. 

"Our signature Von Kármán Lecture Series has served as a great venue for sharing our story of exploration with audiences over the years," says JPL director and Caltech vice president Michael Watkins. "Bringing these lectures to campus is a natural opportunity to highlight how many scientific and technological advancements have flourished from JPL's earliest days through our partnership with Caltech. I would like to thank Pasadena City College for its wonderful collaboration over the past two decades of hosting the lecture series."

This summer's lectures will be: 

  • "Walking on Mars," on July 12 and 13: Victor Luo, operations laboratory lead at JPL, along with a panel of JPL researchers, will focus on how virtual and augmented reality technologies are transforming space exploration.  
  • "Spitzer Beyond: The Incredible Continuing Adventures of the Spitzer Space Telescope," on August 9 and 10: Sean Carey, manager of the Spitzer Science Center, will discuss the novel engineering feats that have made the extended operation of Spitzer possible and will look at some of the technical challenges that remain.
  • "NASA@60: The Role of the Robots," on September 6 and 7: this panel discussion will look back over decades of advances in robotic exploration and look ahead at what is coming next.

The Theodore von Kármán Lectures are free and open to the public. For more about this series, visit the lecture series site on JPL's website.