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September’s Meeting features “Making the Moon Accessible to the World” by John Thornton

September 14th’s business meeting at the Carnegie Science Center will feature guest speaker John Thornton, the CEO of Astrobotics. Mr. Thornton’s talk “Making the Moon Accessible to the World” will describe the company’s payload services to the Moon’s surface for the federal government, foreign governments, companies and universities.

Featured Speaker Bio: John Thornton has grown Astrobotic’s business of delivering affordable space robotics technology and planetary missions by attracting technology contracts, equity investment, and payload customers. Thornton is coordinating the team and alliance for Peregrine’s development and the first mission. At Carnegie Mellon, Thornton led the build of Scarab, a NASA concept robot for lunar drilling, and the first robot to carry a prototype of NASA’s RESOLVE payload. He founded Carnegie Mellon’s Advanced Composites Lab, a research, training, design, and manufacturing lab specializing in high performance, lightweight composites for robotics.”

Our usual meeting room, the Bayer Science Stage, is already booked that night, so our friends at the CSC have invited us to hold our meeting in the Buhl Planetarium. When you arrive, go to the ramp in the main lobby that takes you up to the second level. Tell the nearest CSC staffer that you’re attending the Amateur Astronomers’ meeting in the planetarium. The meeting starts promptly at 7:30 pm. After that the planetarium doors are locked from the outside and you will not be able to enter until the meeting break.

Notes: Time permitting, it’s possible the Buhl staff will put on a few demonstrations of the planetarium’s projection systems and graphics after the meeting. Also, check out the massive remodeling done in the CSC’s main lobby…impressive. The meeting starts promptly at 7:30pm!

New Horizons: Pluto and Beyond, by NASA Mission Specialist Mark Kochte, 7:30 PM, May 11, 2018, Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh May Meeting and Speaker Presentation

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will hold the May Meeting and Speaker Presentation at 7:30 PM, May 11, 2018 at the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.  The meeting lecture is free and open to the public. AAAP is excited to welcome back the most popular Mark Kochte, NASA Mission Specialist with the New Horizons Mission out of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  This is one you do not want to miss. Mark will update us on the New Horizons Mission to Pluto and the upcoming invitation to spend New Year’s Day, January 1, 2019 with the NASA’s New Horizons visit to distant  Kuiper Belt Object 2014 Mu69, 44.2 a.u. from the Sun. Mark shares the behind the scene information that along with his excellent presentation skills make  his talks stand out. Be there on Friday to participate in the question and answer and to talk with Mark before and after his presentation. The presentation will be at the top of the evening followed by a break before the business meeting. The annual election of officers is held at this meeting. Members be sure to cast your vote. Afterwards, as always, those interested gather at Max’s on the North Side. Updates here and on AAAP’s Facebook Page. (Note: $5 per vehicle charge for use of parking lot.)