Space Center Lecture Series, January 9th, 2009. Former astronaut Dr. Tom Jones gives a lecture based on his new book titled Planetology: Unlocking the Secrets of the Solar System. A single-planet species will not survive the long-term forces that shape the surfaces of Earth and its neighboring planets. We must understand our own place in the solar system and explore neighboring worlds to prosper intellectually and economically. A new look at our world and its celestial companions is the focus of Dr. Tom Jones new book, written with noted planetary geologist Ellen Stofan. In PLANETOLOGY: UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, we join forces and use the latest space technology to convey exciting new insights into the stories of Earth and its celestial siblings. Dr. Tom Jones will present compelling new images of Earth—many captured by space shuttle and space station crewmembers—and remarkable scenes of alien surfaces beamed home by our far-ranging robotic probes. From space, we see remarkable visual evidence of the natural processes that have shaped the varied planetary landscapes in our solar system: searing lava plains, windswept deserts, active volcanoes, up-thrust mountains, creeping glaciers and stark impact craters. From the international fleet of spacecraft on and around Mars, to the Cassini Saturn mission, to the once-hidden surface of Mercury, these striking images help us understand the powerful forces that have shaped our own planet, and inform humanitys age-old quest for other worlds like our own. Personal experiences from Dr. Tom Jones four spaceflights, including two dedicated to exploring Earth, have convinced him that humans have a vital role in exploring Earth, the Moon, the nearby asteroids, and the beckoning surface of Mars. New spacecraft like the Orion crew exploration vehicle will enable us to reach the Moon and Near Earth Objects, turning a potential catastrophic hazard into an opportunity for establishing humanity across the solar system. Hosted by Dr. Ben Longmier and Gary Kitmacher. Filmed by Craig Benjamin, pictures by Carina Olsen.
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