ONLINE: In this lecture-based course, we explore the idea of becoming spacefarers and colonizing our solar system. Topics presented will include: Why should we? We will investigate the economic, existential threat and manifest destiny reasons. How should we? We will consider the history, science, technology, biology and challenges of human spaceflight. Where should we? We will discuss the possible solar system destinations for humanity. What then? We will examine the challenges and rewards of solar system colonization and terraforming. What should be the future of humanity in the cosmos? How do we get there? There are equations in this course, but they are few. Unfortunately, our universe is mathematical, but we will use it gently and infrequently. "Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever." — Konstantin Tsiolkovsky "In order for us to have a future that's exciting and inspiring, it has to be one where we're a spacefaring civilization." — Elon Musk | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 200.
Class sessions are recorded.
Brand Fortner is a teaching professor at NC State University where he teaches astronomy, astrophysics and physics, and is adjunct professor of physics at UNC. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in high energy astrophysics. Brand founded two scientific software companies, and previously held positions at NASA and Johns Hopkins University. Brand has written books on color vision and technical data, and is in high demand for his public lectures on all things astronomical.