Opinion Former Article

IET: Engineering the future of human life in space

To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first journey into space when he "slipped the surly bonds of earth", the UK's largest professional body of engineers is hosting a presentation on the future of travel, communications and infrastructure in space.

We have seen astronauts explore the moon and build the International Space Station, but now there are plans that go much further. International space expert Jerry Stone looks forward into the next 50 years in space.

According to Jerry Stone, the next 50 years will be even more exciting the last when it comes to mankind's relationship with space. NASA is currently debating what their next major space project will be, and space tourism is only just around the corner.

Jerry Stone said, "Space provides many services that affect our everyday lives; global communications, weather forecasting, crop monitoring, satellite TV and navigation are just a few. The exploration of space is also a tremendously exciting topic, which I use to inspire school pupils to take an interest in subjects such as science and engineering. It is the young people of today that will be involved in the projects of tomorrow."

Jerry Stone's lecture at the IET's Savoy Place on 25 February, will be a personal, expert view of what the future holds for space, focusing on three large-scale engineering projects which could help solve many of our global challenges here on Earth.

The lecture at the IET will be a chance to compare the realities of our interaction with space in the past and the challenges and opportunities it could bring us in the future. Space expert Jerry Stone's lecture is the first event being held by the IET in 2011, to mark the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight.


Notes to editors:

- Interviews are available with Jerry Stone FBIS FRAS via the IET press office.
- IET Members are welcome to attend but registration is essential as places are limited - Please contact Mike Ward at m.r.ward@btinternet.com
- The lecture takes place from 1400hrs and will conclude by 1530 hours with time for discussion
- Expert spokespeople are available from the IET on space and a range of engineering subjects
- The IET is Europe's largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries
- The IET dates back to 1871 and has offices in Europe, Asia and the US.
- For more information, visit www.theiet.org

Jerry Stone

Jerry Stone is a freelance presenter on astronomy and space exploration. He gave his first talk on space over 40 years ago whilst he was still at school; now he presents all over the UK and abroad. He has spoken at a variety of venues, including the Edinburgh Festival, the Farnborough Air Show, the Palace of Westminster, the Royal Institution and the Royal Observatory.

He presents space workshops for schools across the UK, using a set of inflatable planets, a rocket launcher and much more, using space to inspire pupils to study the STEM subjects.

He is the author of a book commemorating the first men on the moon. Called "One Small Step", it is presented as a young space enthusiast's scrap-book. Sir Patrick Moore has said it is "marvelous". He also writes the Space Exploration pages for the magazine of the Society for Popular Astronomy.

For details about Jerry Stone's activities, visit www.spaceflight-uk.com

Media enquiries to:

Jonny Holdcroft, Press Officer
T: +44 (0)1438 765608
M: +44 (0)7515 814884
E: jholdcroft@theiet.org

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