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Infrared Astronomy at NASA Ames Research Centre in the late 1980s, KAO to SOFIA

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California’s Silicon Valley was a ferment of technology and pure research in this period, and the epicentre of this development was the Ames Research Center, NASA ’s premier base facility. Under the direction of people like Gerard Kuiper and Carlton Gillespie, and despite political resistance, NASA developed and managed a small fleet of airborne astronomical instruments capable of laying the groundwork for much of modern astronomy. The budgetary, political, and technological challenges of the two major platform programs, the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy will be discussed, emphasizing the major discoveries of the KAO team and the subsequent development of the 747-based SOFIA . The talk will be followed by refreshments outside the lecture theatre. The talk will be at 7:30pm at the usual location of Wolfson lecture theatre in the Department of Chemistry. The entrance is the opposite side of the building to Bristol-Myers-Squibb Lecture theatre and is opposite the car park- shown by the red arrow on the map. https://map.cam.ac.uk/Department+of+Chemistry#52.197964,0.125242,18 Tickets are £2 (free for members) and annual membership (£7) and life membership (£12) can also be purchased at the event – please bring cash.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society (CUAS) series.

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