8th Roger That! Conference: Life in Space APPROVED INT 100/201!

Saturday, February 17, 2024
All day
Off Campus, Online, Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Community, Faculty, Students

Logo for Roger That! Conference with sketch of astronaut Roger B Chaffee on the left and a rocket on the right. The words A Celebration of Space Exploration in Honor of Roger B Chaffee appear below the logo with a website gvsu.edu/rogerthat.

The 8th Roger That! Conference – A Celebration of Space Exploration in Honor of Roger B Chaffee will be held on Friday, February 16th, and Saturday, February 17th at GVSU and GRPM. The theme of this year’s conference is Life in Space – what it means to sustain life in space for humans and what extraterrestrial lifeforms we may find. The conference is in hybrid format - register so we can send you the Zoom link. Events at GVSU are free and open to the public while those at GRPM are free with admission.

Our keynote speaker, Astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, whose extraordinary resume includes a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT and an MD from Harvard to his current day job as an orthopedic surgical oncologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center treating metastatic bone cancer! Dr. Satcher performed two spacewalks as Mission Specialist aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in 2009. He will be speaking in-person at 6:30 pm on Friday at the Seidman Forum and again at 11 am on Saturday at the museum. In keeping with our theme, his talk will focus on the future of space medicine to support long duration deep space missions.

Our lineup of speakers (virtual and in-person) on Friday, February 16th will include:

  • George Pantalos, Professor of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Louisville, will talk about research in low gravity to train for conducting experiments in space.
  • Debrati Chattopadhyay, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, will talk about the upcoming Europa Clipper mission to explore Jupiter’s icy moon and look for evidence of life.
  • Mihir Gondhalekar, mechanical engineer and co-founder of Starpath Robotics, will talk about the development of robots and lunar mining machines to process resources locally available on extraterrestrial bodies.

At 4:00 pm on Friday we will transition to in-person activities at the Seidman Forum with workshops about the upcoming total solar eclipse in April and building solar cybugs for kids and parents! There will be more family-friendly activities at the museum all day Friday and Saturday.

Location Information

The Roger That! Conference will be held in at the Seidman Center at Grand Valley's downtown Grand Rapids campus.

The L. William Seidman Center
50 Front St. SW
Grand Rapids, MI  49504

Parking for conference guests (Friday event ONLY) will be in GVSU's Fulton Parking Lot (G14 on this map). Please enter and tell the booth attendant you are attending the Roger That! event and you'll be given a parking pass. Faculty and staff who attend should park in their normally designated parking areas. For parking at the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Saturday, please click here

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Contact Information

Samhita Rhodes, [email protected]

Karen Gipson, [email protected]

Deana Weibel, [email protected]

Hosting Department, Organization, or Business

CLAS, PCEC, Grand Rapids Public Museum


engineering int100 int201 k12outreach medicine robots science space workshop

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This event was added to the calendar by Samhita Rhodes (rhodesam@gvsu.edu) on Friday, January 26, 2024 and was last updated on Monday, January 29, 2024 at 1:51 p.m.