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Speaking Space: A Record of Past Talks and Presentations

By Jim Plaxco, January 2007

I believe that it was 1989 when I gave my first space related presentation as a speaker representing the local chapter of the National Space Society. Since that time I have made presentations on behalf of a number of non-profit organizations. While continuing to give lectures as a member of the Chicago Society for Space Studies Speakers Bureau, I also give presentations as a JPL Solar System Ambassador.

To provide an overview of the types of presentations I make and the audiences to whom they are delivered, I am providing the following table of presentations that I have given dating back to November 2001. Please note that this table does not include panel discussions in which I have participated.

Listing of Previous Presentations: Nov. 2001 to Present

Program TitleLocationDateDescription
Mars Science As Art Using Subjective Image Processing Pixel Camera Club, Schaumburg Library, Schaumburg Dec 19, 2006 A presentation about the image processing associated with the creation of pictures using PDS data files from various Mars missions.
The Universe According to Monty Python Windycon Science Fiction Convention Nov 12, 2006 An in depth Systematic Analysis of the Planetary, Astronomical, and Cosmological Findings of Monty Python as Published in the 'Galaxy Song'
Defining the Drake Equation Windycon Science Fiction Convention Nov 12, 2006 A panel discussion that explained and explored the nature of the Drake Equation. See my article Drake Equation Tutorial.
Designing a Spaceship Windycon Science Fiction Convention Nov 12, 2006 A panel discussing exploring how artists go about designing a realistic looking spaceship with the issue being addressed from both an artistic and engineering perspective.
Powering Earth: Space and the Future of Energy Adler Planetarium, Chicago June 28, 2006 Presentation explores the feasibility of space-based solutions to Earth's energy shortage, including solar power collecting satellites built from materials mined on the Moon.
Solar Power from Space for Earth Duckon Science Fiction Convention June 11, 2006 A presentation detailing the idea of using a system of space-based Solar Power Satellites to meet the large increases in energy demand resulting from increasing world population and per capita energy consumption. Also discussed is the feasibility of mining the Moon for the necessary construction materials. A variety of architecture scenarios are explored. The presentation focuses on the ideas of Dr. Peter Glaser (the SPS concept), Dr. Gerard O'Neil (space manufacturing), and Dr. David Criswell (Lunar Solar Power).
Imaging Mars Duckon Science Fiction Convention June 10, 2006 An introduction to the image processing associated with Mars mission data and an exploration of Martian geology using imagery from the Viking and Mars Global Surveyor missions to Mars.
Martian Retrospective Duckon Science Fiction Convention June 10, 2006 Presentation reviewed the history of the exploration of Mars, both telescopic and robotic, and discussed what we have both learned and unlearned, as well as taking a look at the unanswered questions.
50 Ways to Leave Your Planet To Be CONtinued 5 Science Fiction Convention May 14, 2006 A discussion of alternative launch vehicle technologies.
Mars Science As Art Using Subjective Image Processing International Space Development Conference, Los Angeles, CA May 5, 2006 The advent of the Internet, graphics applications running on home computers, and the availability of robotic mission data makes it possible for people to process mission data on their own. This presentation provides an overview of how to do it.
The Solar System in 3D Campanelli School Schaumburg IL April 26, 2006 An overview of our solar system using anaglyph 3D images.
Imaging Martian Marvels and Mysteries Adler Planetarium, Chicago Feb 9, 2006 A two hour tour of Mars that includes the Red Planet's most majestic mountains, deepest valleys, and barren deserts using images the instructor created from raw data frames from robotic missions. Along the way, gain insight into the history of telescopic and robotic exploration of Mars, and delve into unsolved mysteries of Martian weather, seasonal changes, landscape features, and so-called Martian anomalies. The course also covers the digital image processing techniques that the instructor uses to create impressive images of planetary surfaces from exploration mission.
By the Light of the Soviet Moon Windycon Science Fiction Convention Nov 11, 2005 A panel discussion on the consequences of the USSR winning the race to the Moon
From Vulcan to Zena Windycon Science Fiction Convention Nov 12, 2005 Moderated a panel discussion on the current state of knowledge regarding the Solar System.
Cinematic Space Program Windycon Science Fiction Convention Nov 13, 2005 Participated in a panel discussion on the way in which space has been portrayed in the movies.
Behold Mars Friendship Village Mens Club, Schaumburg IL Oct 21, 2005 Moderated a panel discussion on the current state of knowledge regarding the Solar System.
Mars As Art Duckon Science Fiction Convention June 11, 2005 A one hour presentation about image processing, the Mars Global Surveyor mission, and converting its imagery into art.
Mars As Art ToBeContinued Convention May 6, 2005 A presentation about using image processing to create works of geologic art using images of Mars returned by the Viking orbiters and the Mars Global Surveyor mission.
The Future of Human Space Exploration ToBeContinued Convention May 6, 2005 A one hour presentation on "The New Vision for Space Exploration" summarizing President Bush's new space exploration initiative.
The Solar System in 3D Campanelli School Schaumburg, IL April 29, 2005 An overview of the solar system using 3D anaglyph images. Discussed are the Sun, planets, comets, and asteroids.
The Future of Human Space Exploration Astronomy Day at Harper College, Palatine April 16, 2005 A one hour presentation on "The New Vision for Space Exploration" summarizing President Bush's new space exploration initiative.
Mars As Art Astronomy Day at Harper College, Palatine IL April 16, 2005 A presentation about image processing Mars Global Surveyor and Viking mission images, presented as art and used to teach geology.
Mars As Art Northwest Suburban Astronomers March 20, 2005 A presentation about image processing Mars Global Surveyor and Viking mission image data, presenting the images as art and using those images to teach planetary geology.
Mars As Art Skokie Valley Astronomers March 11, 2005 A one hour presentation about image processing, the Mars Global Surveyor mission, and converting its imagery into art.
Solar Power From Space for Earth Capricon Science Fiction Convention Feb. 11, 2005 A 90 minute presentation detailing the various Space Solar Power options and their benefits to mankind.
Future of Human Space Exploration Capricon Science Fiction Convention Feb. 11, 2005 A one hour presentation detailing President Bush's "New Vision for Space Exploration". The human space exploration component of the plan is emphasized.
Mars as Art Windycon Science Fiction Convention November 14, 2004 A one hour presentation about image processing, the Mars Global Surveyor mission, and converting its imagery into art.
Current News in Planetary Science and Astronomy Windycon Science Fiction Convention November 13, 2004 Participated in a panel discussion on breaking news in the areas of cosmology, planetary science, astronomy and space exploration.
The Future of Human Space Exploration Planetary Studies Foundation Henize Science Center,
Crystal Lake IL
October 27, 2004 A one hour presentation on "The New Vision for Space Exploration" summarizing President Bush's new space initiative.
The Future of Human Space Exploration Schaumburg Library,
Schaumburg IL
September 27, 2004 A one hour presentation on "The New Vision for Space Exploration" summarizing President Bush's new space initiative.
The Future of Human Space Exploration Men's Club of Friendship Village,
Schaumburg IL
August 27, 2004 A one hour presentation on "The New Vision for Space Exploration" summarizing President Bush's new space initiative.
The Future of Human Space Exploration Wauconda Public Library,
Wauconda IL
July 21, 2004 A one hour presentation on "The New Vision for Space Exploration" summarizing President Bush's new space initiative.
The Future of Human Space Exploration ED/CAS/SSC Societies of IEEE,
Motorola,
Schaumburg, IL
June 17, 2004 A one hour presentation on "The New Vision for Space Exploration" summarizing President Bush's new space initiative.
The Future Mars: Red, Green, or Blue Planet? Duckon Science Fiction Convention,
Lincolnwood IL
June 5, 2004 Participated in the panel "The Future Mars: Red, Green, or Blue Planet?".
The Bush Space Initiative ToBeContinued Science Fiction Convention,
Rosemont IL
April 10, 2004 Participated in a panel discussion on the "Bush Space Initiative".
Mars Exploration Rovers Men's Club of Friendship Village,
Schaumburg IL
February 20, 2004 A one hour presentation about the Mars exploration Rovers.
Mars Exploration Rovers Boys Scout Troop 67
Northbrook Village Presbyterian Church
February 10, 2004 A one hour presentation about the Mars Exploration Rovers" to a scout audience of approximately 100. In addition, a short presentation of 3D images of Mars was well received and handouts were distributed to all in attendance.
Mars Exploration Rovers Schaumburg Public Library
Schaumburg IL
February 3, 2004 A one hour presentation about the Mars exploration Rovers.
Mars Exploration Rovers Niles Public Library
Niles IL
January 18, 2004 A one hour presentation about the Mars exploration Rovers. This was followed by a panel discussion "New Vision for Space Exploration" featuring Jim Plaxco, Jeff Liss, and Larry Boyle.
Mars Odyssey - Mars Oddities Adler Planetarium,
Chicago, IL
Thursday
May 1, 2003
A two hour class focusing on the results of the Mars Global Surveyor mission followed by a brief overview of the Mars Odyssey mission. Adler class registration required.
Why We Explore Mars Adler Planetarium,
Chicago, IL
Saturday
March 29, 2003
A 30 minute presentation explaining the benefits to humanity of the exploration of Mars.
Solar Power From Space for Earth Illinois North Shore National Space Society Chapter at Niles Public Library
Niles IL
Sunday
March 23, 2003
A presentation outlining the concept of Space Solar Power and Solar Power Satellites. Click here for details.
Solar Power From Space for Earth Fox Valley IEEE Meeting at IIT Rice Campus
Wheaton IL
Wednesday
March 19, 2003
A presentation outlining the concept of Space Solar Power and Solar Power Satellites.
Hubble Space Telescope Views the Universe Northwest Suburban Astronomy Club at Blackhawk Rec. Center
Hoffman Estates IL
Friday
January 17, 2003
A presentation of Hubble images of nebulas, supernovas, galaxies, black holes, etc.
Life on Mars Kennedy High School
Chicago IL
Thursday
December 12, 2002
Two presentations to the 9th and 12th grades dealing with the issues of life on Mars.
Hubble Space Telescope Views the Universe Windycon Science Fiction Convention, Woodfield Hyatt
Schaumburg IL
Sunday November 10, 2002
A presentation of Hubble images of nebulas, supernovas, galaxies, black holes, etc.
Mars Oddities Adler Planetarium
Chicago IL
Saturday August 17th, 2002
This program, free with paid admission to the Adler Planetarium, examines some of the strange and unusual features seen on Mars by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft.
Hubble Space Telescope Views the Universe Friendship Village Men's Club
Schaumburg IL
Friday August 16, 2002
A presentation of Hubble images of nebulas, supernovas, galaxies, black holes, etc.
Missions to Mars Harper College
Palatine IL
Saturday April 20, 2002 (presented twice)
A presentation about various missions to Mars, both real, planned, and imagined. This presentation was a part of the Northwest Suburban Astronomy Club's Astronomy Day activities.
Missions to Mars Cernan Earth and Space Center, Triton College
River Grove IL
Saturday, April 20, 2002 (presented twice)
A presentation about various missions to Mars, both real, planned, and imagined. This presentation was a part of local NSS chapters Astronomy Day activities.
Mars Odyssey - Mars Oddities Blackhawk Recreation Center,
Hoffman Estates IL
Friday, March 29, 2002
A presentation about Mars Odyssey and the Mars Global Surveyor imagery of Mars for the Northwest Suburban Astronomy Club.
A Brief Introduction to Manned Missions to Mars Prarie Ridge High School, Crystal Lake February 27, 2002 A presentation to the senior honor science classes explaining the components of human missions to Mars.
Our Solar System Campanelli School, Schaumburg February 12, 2002 A 35mm presentation summarizing the planets and moons of our solar system.
Mars Oddities - Mars Odyssey Capricon Science Fiction Convention February , 2002 A presentation about Mars for the attendees of the Windycon Science Fiction convention.
Exploring Mars Schaumburg Public Library December 4, 2001 A review of the Mars Global Surveyor mission, an overview of the Mars Odyssey mission, and coverage of the issues of life on Mars and future human missions to the red planet.
Space Exploration Roundtable: The Future of Robotic Exploration Hyatt Regency Woodfield,
Schaumburg IL
November 10, 2001
Click here for details.
Space Exploration Roundtable: Commercial Space and Space Tourism Hyatt Regency Woodfield,
Schaumburg IL
November 10, 2001
Click here for details.
Space Exploration Roundtable: A Human Future in Space Hyatt Regency Woodfield,
Schaumburg IL
November 10, 2001
Click here for details.
Mars Oddities - Mars Odyssey Windycon Science Fiction Convention November 11, 2001 A presentation about Mars for the attendees of the Windycon Science Fiction convention.

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