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Space Frontiers Lecture Series


Rice University has a long and accomplished history of conducting scientific research of direct benefit and interest to our nation. Its high academic standing and its location in Houston, global energy capital and home of NASA and the largest medical center in the world, makes it a natural leader in a number of areas of scientific importance.

One of our goals is to create a multidisciplinary program of education and research in space-related science, technology and policy at Rice. This will be done in partnership and collaboration with local institutions and businesses, with an emphasis on providing an enhanced educational experience for our students that will propel them to the forefront of their respective fields.

We are starting this program with a public lecture series, The Houston Spaceport Frontier Lectures, designed to introduce our students and the general public to the wide array of issues involved in the pursuit of an advanced presence in space: international policy, technology innovation, commercialization, biological impacts, space science, etc.

This website provides the direct point of contact for information regarding this lecture series. We welcome your participation in the Houston Spaceport Frontier Lecture Series and will happily entertain suggestions on topics for future lectures.



Making Big Miracles Happen

Thursday October 26, 2017 7:00pm
Keck Hall 100
Reception at 6:30pm – Valhalla Beer Garden

Thomas Zurbuchen – Associate Administrator for Science, NASA


NASA’s Science program develops innovative missions that discover the secrets of the Universe, search for life elsewhere, and safeguard and improve life on Earth. During this talk, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Science Dr. Zurbuchen will explore the key tenets of innovation through the lens of five such NASA Science missions. This will be a story about imagining the future, overcoming challenges, having patience, innovating solutions, and building great teams. These principles have applications for building space missions, undertaking research, and also building entrepreneurial ventures of various types.

Questions? Contact Andrea Zorbas at zorbas@rice.edu.

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Our next scheduled lecture: Thursday November 16, Paul Schenk, Lunar and Planetary Institute, “40 Years of Voyager”