During the great space race, Switzerland was the only foreign country to provide Apollo missions with a scientific experiment. Since then, this small watchmaking country has become a discreet but key player in space research and industry, providing know-how in materials and precision mechanics for rockets, satellites, and planetary rovers. In 1995, Switzerland pioneered the field of exoplanetology with the discovery of 51 Pegasi B by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, thanks to the unprecedented accuracy of their observations.
swissnex Boston and Swiss Touch invite you for an exploration of outer space, where careful measurements can uncover entire worlds orbiting light-years away. Our evening reception will feature a first keynote from 2019 Nobel prize winner Didier Queloz (University of Geneva) about the impact of his discovery followed by Willy Benz (University of Bern) who will present the Swiss-led ESA satellite CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite), that aims to precisely measure the diameter of extrasolar planets.
Didier Queloz and Willy Benz will be joined on stage by a panel of local experts of space exploration and alternative cosmologies, including:
- Kim Arcand, Visualization Lead, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory at CfA
- George Ricker, Senior Research Scientist, TESS PI, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
- Prathima Muniyappa, MIT Media Lab, Space Enabled, Alternative and Indigenous Cosmologies
- Moderator: Kate Greene, essayist, poet, former laser physicist and crew writer + second-in-command on a simulated Mars mission for the NASA-funded HI-SEAS project
The evening will come to a close with a networking reception.