SAN DIEGO — It has been 18 years since man took his first step on the moon and more than a year since the Challenger explosion. But people are more interested in space now than ever before, said Lynne Kennedy, education director for the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater.
In celebration of National Space Week, the theater, in conjunction with General Dynamics' Space Systems Division, is holding a free space symposium. "Charting our Future in Space," which began Wednesday and will run through Sunday, is the Fleet Space Theater's fifth annual Space Week celebration.
"We try to offer something different every time," Kennedy said. "Attendance keeps going up every year. I think last year we had 1,600 people attend the program."
In the lobby, one can construct a space station on Space Max, a computer with a new space software package. "Space Station," a new 15-minute video, will screen daily at 10:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m.
Scheduled lectures include:
Joe Carroll, a consultant in energy and aerospace technologies, will speak at 12:30 p.m. today on "Tethers: A Radical New Option in Space Transportation." At 7:30 p.m. today, Marcia Smith, a specialist in aerospace policy for the Congressional Research Service, will speak on Soviet space activities.
At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Bruce Cordell will speak about why Mars is best suited for human expeditions and colonization. Cordell recently returned from "The Case for Mars III" conference, where experts discussed settling Mars by the 21st Century.
"Functions like this one keep the general public up to date on space science," Kennedy said. "They're also a reminder that space is where our future lies."