John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences

News and information from the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Dr. Whalen to Present at GF Public Library on April 28th

Science Café is a learning environment for adults involving the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.  STEM professionals will share their career, research, and expertise in a 30 – 45 minute presentation followed by questions and discussion. 

The Grand Forks Public Library hosts Science Café on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the meeting room.  

April 28, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.   

Presenter: Dr. David Whalen retired after 30 years as an astronautical engineer. He now is a historian/policy analyst in the Space Studies Department, UND. He has written 2 books: The Rise and Fall of COMSAT (2014), and The Origins of Satellite Communications, 1945-1965 (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight Series. 2002).

Presentation: The Rise of Communication Satellites 

Brief Description of Talk: Satellite communications is a major industry. COMSAT started all of this in 1963 when it was organized in compliance with the Communications Satellite Act of 1962. COMSAT was responsible for choosing geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), forming the INTELSAT company, and promoting technological change in the field of satellites. After pioneering satellite technology COMSAT fell prey to changes in government policy and to its own lack of entrepreneurial talent. Dr. Whalen explores the factors which contributed to this rise and fall of COMSAT.