An Evening of Discovery: Science, Radio, and the Hubble Space Telescope

Oct 25, 2018

The Cabrillo College Astronomy Dept and local engineer Don Taylor put together a great evening for our local STEM students, the community of ham radio operators, and the rest of our community. The headliner was Ron Sheffield - the Lockheed engineer who designed the modular interfaces for the science packages and subsystems on the Hubble Space Telescope, and trained the astronauts who accomplished the famous repair mission, and the upgrade Shuttle Missions later on in the very long 28 year mission of Hubble. Also featured were the leaders of the student team heading the CubeSat Project at UC Santa Cruz, designing satellite science packages for launch, and how STEM students can use ham radio to talk to do critical emergency communications, relay to the astronauts of the ISS, and other science.

Here are a few pictures I snapped. Another photographer with a better camera will also be posting some images later.

I brought out some flyers for our Astronomy courses, and talked to some high school students about them

Don Taylor and I kicked off the evening

I highlighted the course offerings of the Astronomy Department, and thanked Don Taylor, Ron Sheffield, and the other presenters for their great efforts

Sarah and Natalie were the student leaders of the CubeSat Project at UC Santa Cruz

Their team included a dozen or so other students...

...and also enlisted SCIPP (the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics) for a critical gamma ray science experiement on their satellite

The many contributions of ham radio operators to science, to communications worldwide, and the opportunities available to people, was the subject of the second talk

The Ron Sheffield gave us a fascinating retrospective of his beginnings in electronics design, and design work for the Hubble Space Telescope

Some of the astronauts he's trained for their missions to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope

On orbit; astronauts on the robotic arm working to repair/replace equipment

The HST was launched by the Space Shuttle, as were the astronauts doing the repair missions

Many questions, most were for Ron

We had a good crowd!

A good showing of my own students came out as well

Outside, was set up a full-on ham radio mobile shortwave radio station, with communication to the International Space Station astronauts at the close of the program.

It was a great evening! Thanks to all who came out to support this, and help our students get a flavor for what excitement a life in science can be.