A Celebration of Space Exploration in Honor of Roger B. Chaffee

"There's enough space for everyone!"

Roger That! logo featuring a cartoon image of Roger B. Chaffee

Planning for Roger That! 2023 is underway!

It will take place on Friday, February 10th and Saturday, February 11th, 2023.

Information on our February 2022 Event:

Women and Space (A Hybrid Event)

From Venus, the Roman goddess (and both morning and evening star) to Fritz Lang's Frau im Mond (The Woman in the Moon), Valentina Tereshkova, and Sally Ride, women have always been connected to our images and explorations of outer space. Join us in 2022 for our own celebration of the role women have played in increasing humanity's understanding of and exploration of our solar system and beyond. Roger That VI will start on Friday, February 18th with a variety of online speakers then transition to in-person events (if state and local guidelines permit) later in the day. There will be events at the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Saturday, February 19th. 

Confirmed speakers include:

Computational chemist Michelle Francl

Space historian Catherine Newell

Bioastronautics Researcher & Space Suit Technician Yvette Gonzalez

Space historian and Eileen Collins' biographer Jonathan Ward

Planetary scientist Louise Prockter

Space educator Czarina Salido

Space media archivist Megan Prelinger

Electrical engineer Heidi Jiao


Colonel Eileen Collins







Roger That! is delighted to announce our 2022 keynote speaker, Colonel Eileen Collins. Col. Collins became the first female to pilot a U.S. spacecraft with the Discovery shuttle flight in 1995, and the first female commander on the 1999 Columbia shuttle flight. She'll be speaking in the Loosemore Auditorium at GVSU's Pew Campus at 6:30pm on Friday, February 18, 2022 and at the Grand Rapids Public Museum at 11am on Saturday, February 19, 2022. More information will be forthcoming!

Special Movie Screening - Woman in Motion

GVSU and GRPM are pleased to present a special screening of the movie Woman in Motion about actor Nichelle Nichols (best-known for playing Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on Star Trek) and her incredible work helping NASA recruit from a more diverse population in the 1970s. This inspiring film, directed by Todd Thompson, is the winner of the Human Spirit Award at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival and the Superlative Award at the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival, and regular Roger That! attendees will recognize multiple prior speakers who appear throughout. The filmmakers will "beam in" for an exclusive Q&A at the end of the screening.

Woman in Motion Poster

Roger That!

Roger That!



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Fun Facts:

Roger That! 2022 is our sixth event, and the first time we've taken a hybrid approach. 

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 16 and Apollo 17. 

2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the first flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavor and the first three-person spacewalk. 

2022 will see the 80th birthday of retired astronaut Guion Bluford (who spoke at Roger That! in 2018) and the 60th birthday of retired astronaut Nicole Stott (who spoke at Roger That! in 2019). Happy birthday!

Roger That! Conference

Roger B. Chaffee was born February 15, 1935 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and went on to become one of the city’s favorite sons. An engineer, pilot and astronaut, Chaffee lost his life in the Apollo 1 accident on January 27, 1967. This event, scholarly in nature and open to the general public, is co-organized by Grand Valley State University, the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Roger B. Chaffee Scholarship Fund. Roger That! seeks to honor Chaffee and highlight local research in a two-day celebration of space exploration.

Roger That! 2022 is a series of Zoom and in-person presentations (exact format TBA) taking place on both Friday, February 18th and Saturday, February 19th. Speakers from a number of different fields will present, in science- and society-based talks and panels.

Museum Celebration

Date: Saturday, February 19th, 2022
Location: Grand Rapids Public Museum

The GRPM will continue the celebration of space exploration and the life of Roger B. Chaffee through exciting and educational exhibitions and activities taking place throughout the day. Learn more here. 

Presented by Grand Valley State University in association with the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium.

The Roger That! conference is funded in part by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

Page last modified May 4, 2022