In 1969, half a century ago, mankind watched as humans stepped foot onto a celestial body other than the Earth for the first time. The tumultuous Space Race of the preceding decade challenged imaginations, rapidly advanced technologies, and captivated the world's attention. In the decades that followed the Apollo missions we have seen rovers sent to Mars and satellites sent to Jupiter, Saturn, their many moons, and far beyond. John Indergaard from University of North Georgia will give a brief historical context leading up to the Apollo 11 mission, discuss the technological advances that made it possible, describe some of the most fascinating findings of other unmanned exploratory missions, as well as consider the possibilities of human space travel to Mars and beyond.
John Indergaard is an alumnus of the Georgia Tech School of Physics, receiving his Master's Degree in 2015 while researching the electromagnetic properties of nanometer-scale metallic atom clusters. He is now the Lab Coordinator in the Physics Department at UNG Dahlonega, implementing curriculum changes to improve the teaching of experimental methods to introductory physics students. John's interest in science outreach has led him to leading public events at the Atlanta and Dahlonega Science Festivals.