WILL - Focus - March 29, 2013

First Magnitude, a Book of the Bright Sky

Long have we been fascinated by the wonder and mystery of the night sky. This hour on Focus, we talked with Jim Kaler about his new book “First Magnitude, a Book of the Bright Sky.”


(Duration: 55:01)

the night sky

This hour on focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Jim Kaler about his new book “First Magnitude, a Book of the Bright Sky,” a beginner’s guide astronomy. We’ll talk with Kaler about what to watch for in the sky this spring and how to appreciate the stars in an area with lots of light pollution.

Kaler joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1964 and has held Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships. He has been recognized for his work by the University of Liège in Belgium, the University of Mexico, the University of Illinois, the Great Lakes Planetarium Association, the American Astronomical Society and the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society. He is former president for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s board of directors.

Categories: Space Exploration

WILL - Focus - February 01, 2013

The Future of Space Travel

Ten years ago, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry over Texas, killing seven astronauts; in the years that followed, state-funded space flight dwindled. Today on Focus, we'll talk the future of space exploration with a former astronaut, an aerospace engineer and a businessman who wants to make human settlements in space a reality. Join our conversation at 10 or on Facebook and Twitter


(Duration: 50:39)

A satellite in space

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 .

WILL - Focus - May 24, 2012

Interview with Homer Hickam, Writer and Former NASA Aerospace Engineer


(Duration: 50:55)

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.

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