The intriguing past and out-of-this-world future of the
telescope will be explored in a pair of free lectures
sponsored by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The
first lecture will also be broadcast over the Internet.
Both lectures are open to the public and will start at 7
p.m. The first will be held at JPL on Thursday, June 21, and
the other at Pasadena City College on Friday, June 22.
"From Galileo to Gossamer: 400 Years of Telescope
Technology," will examine the trials, tribulations and
successes of telescope builders who worked on improving the
brilliant idea of a Dutch spectacle-maker, Hans Lippershey,
credited as the first to separate two lenses in a tube. News
of the invention rocked the scientific minds of the time,
including that of Galileo Galilei, who effectively studied how
to improve the device. More importantly, he was the first to
point the new invention toward the sky, something humans have
been doing ever since.
The speakers are Artur B. Chmielewski, manager of the
Large Telescope Concept Office, and Mark Dragovan, a JPL
senior scientist and inventor of many novel telescope designs.
They will explain how scientists are working to improve the
400-year old technology by avoiding the mistakes of the past
and by exploiting new ideas that promise fast improvements.
Using inflatable material and thin, film-like lenses, so-
called gossamer technology, they are working on concepts for
space-based construction and launching of telescopes as big as
a tennis court.
Lecture seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The lecture at JPL will be held in the von Karman Auditorium,
4800 Oak Grove Dr., in Pasadena, off the Oak Grove Drive exit
of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. For directions to JPL, see
Information on the webcast is at
On Friday, the lecture will be held in Pasadena City
College's Forum at 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. For more
information, call (818) 354-0112.
Find information on the von Karman lecture series at
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/lectures.html or call JPL's
Public Services Office at (818) 354-0112.
JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena.