Almost from the beginning, the United States of America has dominated the realm of space exploration. Drury's own space expert, Dr. Greg Ojakangas, explores the past and future of America's space programs.
Since the start of the space program in the late 1950s, American spacecraft have visited all of the planets in our solar system except Pluto, and have transformed our images of these planets and their moons from indistinct points of light into fascinating worlds of breathtaking beauty and intriguing geology. From probes plunged into the gaseous inferno of Jupiter's atmosphere to spacecraft landed on the surface of an asteroid, America's achievements have re-written the textbooks. But will our record continue? Ojakangas, a NASA astronaut finalist and space researcher, surveys the discoveries from half a century of space exploration and tries to answer this question.
Dr. Greg Ojakangas has a Ph.D. in planetary science and a master of science in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology. Prior to coming to Drury, Dr. Ojakangas was an assistant professor of physics and geology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He was a visiting scientist at the Lunar and Planetry Institute in Houston, consultant for Lockheed Engineering at the NASA Johnson Space Center, post-doctoral research scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona and is a finalist in NASA's astronaut selection program, maintaining a current application with NASA.