It is the dream of almost every kid: look up in the sky, jump into your very own spaceship and race among the stars chasing adventures. I still remember when on April 12, 1981, with family and friends we gathered around in our living room to witness on TV the first launch of the Space Shuttle; I had dreams for days of being one of the astronauts on that rocket.
Ultimately, my career took a very different path but my fascination with stars, planets, and space technology never disappeared. To this day, every time I pick up my daughter in school and I ask her about her day in her second-grade class, one of my questions is if she did any astrophysics. Naturally, I get a weird look every time.
Some kids continue to pursue that passion about stars and the universe and become great scientists as they grow up. These are people to whom we are all indebted for their tenacity, their genius and passion.
Italy might not be the first name that comes to mind when discussing aerospace research and yet we have an incredibly vibrant community of researchers whose contribution to this body of knowledge is unmatched. A good contingent of such community is right here in Los Angeles carrying on amazing research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) part of the California Institute of Technology.
On September 13, we are especially proud to host a panel of these “Italian Rocketscientists.” Cinzia Zuffada, Sara Susca, Michele Vallisneri e Marco Velli will share with us pivotal moments of their “voyage” of research but also personal and inspirational moments of such journey.
For complete bios of our guest speakers, please click on the link
For more details on the event see the program's page here