Exploration reaps benefits for all involved - whether they go on the trip - or stay at home. Yet there are risks inherent in all forms of exploration that accompany these benefits. No one knows this better than June Scobee Rodgers.
June Scobee Rodgers is the Founding Chairman of the Challenger Center for Space Education. Her late husband, Dick Scobee was the commander of Space Shuttle Challenger as it left Earth on its last mission.
Along with the families of the crew of Challenger, June Scobee Rodgers has sought to bring the dreams that motivated Dick Scobee and his crew to a new generation of students. In the past 20 years hundreds of thousands of students have had a chance to see what it is like to work on space missions - and improve their math and science skills at the same time.
Two decades of hard work came full circle this past summer when Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan flew on a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station and completed the teaching mission begun by Christa McAuliffe 21 years ago.
Rodgers related her experiences at a symposium being held 28-30 October 2007 at Louisiana State University titled "Risk and Exploration: Earth As A Classroom". The Challenger Center for Space Science Education is one of the organizational sponsors of this event.
This event is be targeted toward space, oceanic and terrestrial explorers, as well as others who encounter risk in their daily lives, including entrepreneurs, firefighters, and police. The event provides a forum for the discussion of various risk-taking philosophies, with the hope that such groups will gain a greater appreciation for the similarities and differences of their respective activities.
"Risk and Exploration" is being held on the LSU campus with the generous financial sponsorship of the Northrop Grumman Corporation. A check for $100,000 was presented to LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe by Northrop Grumman at the opening session of this conference.
Among the featured speakers will be Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders, former NASA Administrator and LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe, noted mountaineer and author Kenneth Kammler, legendary explorer Jim Fowler, X Prize founder Peter Diamandis, and CNN anchor Miles O'Brien.
The event is also supported by financial contributions by Aerojet Corporation and by four organizations devoted to learning and exploration: The Explorers Club, the Association of Space Explorers, the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, and the Space Generation Advisory Council.
Co-chairs for the event are Astronaut Leroy Chiao, who is the Smiley and Bernice Romero Raborn Distinguished Chair and Max Faget Professor in Mechanical Engineering at LSU, and Keith Cowing, president of SpaceRef Interactive Inc. Both Cowing and Chiao are newly elected members of the board of directors of the Challenger Center for Space Education.
Information about the event and links for live webcasts can be found at http://www.riskexplore2007.com/
About The Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Challenger Center for Space Science Education is an international, not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) education organization that was founded by the families of the astronauts lost during the last flight of the Challenger Space Shuttle in 1986.
Through Challenger Center's programs and its international network of Challenger Learning Centers, the diversity, spirit, and commitment to education that exemplified the Challenger 51-L mission continues to make an impact on students, teachers, and families today. For more information on the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, visit: http://www.challenger.org/
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