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Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM PST
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10:00 am - 10:50 am Check-in, Networking
10:50 am - 11:00 am Introduction
11:00 am - 12:30 pm Presentation and Q & A
12:30 pm -   1:00 pm Aerospace Career Session
  1:00 pm -   2:00 pm Pizza Time and Networking
  2:30 pm                     Adjorn


Playa Vista Library, Meeting Room 
6400 Playa Vista Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90094

(Library Parking)

(West of 405 Hwy & Loyola Marymount University (LMU), North of LAX and Pacific High Way 1, South of Hwy 10 and Route 90, East of Marina del Rey)

Driving Directions 


Events/Programs Chair, LA 
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Los Angeles - Las Vegas Section 

Ticket Information

Free Admission


Not provided

Dress Code

No Open-toe shoes


Free pizza (limited), soda, coffee and bottled water will be provided for all attendees.

AIAA LA-LV 12/7 Saturday Event (Public Event)
Saturday, December 7, 2019

First Rock from the Sun:
50 Years of Mercury Exploration by Spacecraft
Prof. Sean C. Solomon
Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Columbia University

Register Now! (***Please enable/allow JavaScript on your web browser so the payment options could show up.***)

(No Refund Within 7 Days of the Event Date or Afterwards)

(You do not need to be a member of AIAA to attend the event. Volunteers are needed for all AIAA activities)

(A free public event but RSVP is required/preferred for hall arrangement)

(Free pizza (limited), coffee, bottled water will be provided for all attendees)
(No Lunch will be provided)

Plus a pre-talk Professionals Networking session, followed by a post-presentation 30-min aerospace career advice session for various disciplines like engineering, science, medical, art, etc., by professionals from Aeroject-Rocketdyne, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Aerospace Corporation, NASA JPL etc.

The Topic

 First Rock from the Sun:
50 Years of Mercury Exploration by Spacecraft
The planet Mercury is sufficiently close to the Sun to pose a major challenge to spacecraft exploration. The Mariner 10 spacecraft flew by Mercury three times in 1974–75 but viewed less than half the surface. With the three flybys of Mercury by the MESSENGER spacecraft in 2008–2009 and the insertion of that probe into orbit about Mercury in 2011, our understanding of the innermost planet substantially improved. In its four years of orbital operations, MESSENGER revealed a world more geologically complex and compositionally distinctive, with a more dynamic magnetosphere and more diverse exosphere–surface interactions, than expected. With the launch of the BepiColombo dual-orbiter mission in 2018, the scientific understanding of the innermost planet has moved another major step forward.

The Speaker: 

Prof. Sean C. Solomon
Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Columbia University


Sean C. Solomon is Director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the William B. Ransford Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at Columbia University. He came to Lamont in 2012 after serving for nearly two decades as Director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington, D.C. Among other roles there, Solomon served as principal investigator for NASA’s MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the most comprehensive investigation to date of the planet closest to the Sun, as well as principal investigator for Carnegie’s part of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, which seeks to understand the origin of life on Earth and its potential to exist elsewhere. He completed his Ph.D. in geophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1971, and he joined the faculty there one year later to teach and conduct research for two decades. He is a 1966 graduate of the California Institute of Technology.
Solomon received the National Medal of Science from President Obama in 2014 and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous other awards, including the National Academy of Sciences’ Arthur L. Day Prize, the Geological Society of America’s G. K. Gilbert Award, and the American Geophysical Union’s Harry H. Hess Medal. When he stepped down as a director at Carnegie in 2011, his colleagues arranged to have a previously discovered asteroid named after him. Asteroid 25137 Seansolomon, about a mile and half wide, is currently orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.