Ten years ago, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry over Texas, killing seven astronauts. While the shuttle program continued for some years thereafter, state-funded space flight dwindled in the decade that followed. Now, space is becoming more of a private industry. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the future of space travel. Michael Lopez-Alegria, a former astronaut and President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation will be here to talk about his experiences in space and what needs to happen for commercial space tourism and research to become a reality. We’ll also talk with Philippe Geubelle, a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the UIUC and the Director of the Illinois Space Grant Consortium about funding for aerospace education for next generation and Jonathan Card, Executive Director of the Space Frontier Foundation.
Did you ever dream of being an astronaut? If you could plan a vacation to space, would you? Join our conversation on Facebook or on Twitter .
Our guest is author and former NASA engineer Homer Hickam. Many people will know him for his autobiographical novel "Rocket Boys," the basis for the film “October Sky.” He has just published a novel for young adult readers. The book, "Crater," is the first in a projected trilogy that depicts the life of 22nd century miners living on the moon. It has been praised as a coming of age story, and for its vision of what life in a permanent moon settlement might be like.