Events Calendar
Dec 8
18:00 - 19:00
Kent: 50 years in Space
Rutherford Grass Roots Lecture

Presented by Professor Tony McDonnell, with guest speakers Professors John Zarnecki and Simon Green (All former staff and University of Kent space group members).


Kent's space group, established in 1967, employed satellite impact detection techniques developed  by Tony McDonnell at Jodrell Bank and NASA to explore the Earth's space impact environment; he was soon to be appointed Principal Investigator in the US Apollo and USSR Luna missions, bringing Moon Rock to Canterbury and steering Kent to leadership in the field of satellite impact detection.

Research identified Comets as a dominant source of the space impactors, thus driving the development of space missions to go to comets, the progenitors of planetary life forms.  A host of space missions followed; from the first non-US space experiment on the Space Shuttle to the Giotto Comet Halley mission and the joint NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens mission. Kent detectors were to fly to Saturn, one to land on its moon Titan and another to tour other moons, ending with a kamikaze finale only as recently as September 2017.  Earlier, hosting the first "kick off" meeting at Kent in 1986, mission studies commenced leading to the Rosetta comet rendezvous Mission; extending to September 2016, it carried the Kent-proposed dust experiment Giada. 

Professor Tony McDonnell received his Ph D at Jodrell Bank (1964) followed by a NASA Fellowship at Goddard Spaceflight Center, Maryland (1965) and appointment as Lecturer at Kent (1967).  At the Open University he now holds emeritus status.


Booking not necessary


Rutherford College,
Lecture Theatre One
United Kingdom
Canterbury map


Open to all,


Contact: Sue Casement
T: 01227 823175
Rutherford Master's Office


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012