Thought Leader Series

Ignite your curiosity and grow your passion for space and science at our monthly Thought Leader Series. The best and brightest minds examine the significance of historic missions, share the latest news in space exploration and look ahead to the future of space travel. This immersive series takes guests beyond our walls to provide inspiring, engaging and educational learning experiences.

Upcoming Thought Leader Series presentation

Challenges of Building the Space Station
Feb. 6 | 7 p.m.

Learn about the challenges of building the International Space Station (ISS) from retired NASA astronauts Scott Parazynski and Mike Foreman 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in the next installment of our ongoing Thought Leader Series, presented by UTMB. Space Center Houston scientist in residence Dr. John Charles will moderate the presentation.

This evening event is free to the public, however a ticket is required because space is limited.

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In 1998, the first segment of a truly international space station was launched into low-Earth orbit.

In 2000, the Expedition 1 crew became the first to live and work aboard the International Space Station (ISS), but it would take over a decade to finish building the massive floating laboratory.

The space station is a feat of engineering. The large modules and other pieces of the station were delivered on 42 assembly flights, 37 on the U.S. space shuttles and five on Russian Proton/Soyuz rockets.

An acre of solar panels powers the station. The solar array wingspan (240 feet) is about the same length as the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380. The space station is 357 feet end-to-end, one yard shy of the full length of an American football field including the end zones. Eight miles of wire connects the electrical power system aboard the space station.

The International Space Station (ISS) has been continuously inhabited by multinational crews since November 2000, surpassing the previous record of nearly 10 years by the Russian Mir space station.

The Feb. 6 Thought Leaders Series will continue Space Center Houston’s ongoing recognition of twenty years of continuous human occupancy aboard the ISS. Our 2020 panel of experts will include both the planners and the doers and will provide an evening of fascination and information as they tell how the ISS took shape hundreds of miles above the earth.

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Space Station component in the Space Station Processing Facility
June 27, 2000 - The U.S. Laboratory Destiny, a component of the International Space Station, glides above two Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLMs), Raffaello (far left) and Leonardo, in the Space Station Processing Facility in Florida. Photo Courtesy: NASA
Space Station component in the Space Station Processing Facility
March 13, 2002 - The newly arrived S5 truss segment for the International Space Station passes near the Vehicle Assembly Building on its trek to the Space Station Processing Facility. Photo Courtesy: NASA

Past Thought Leader Series presentations

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - How the Space Station shapes research, exploration and international cooperation

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – How the Space Station shapes research, exploration and international cooperation

Explore the International Space Station with industry experts Kirk Shireman, Mark Mulqueen, TJ Creamer, and Tamara Cougar in the this ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Lessons from Apollo 12

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Lessons from Apollo 12

The Apollo 11 mission made history. But it didn’t mark the end of NASA’s work. Less than five months after ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Astronauts from Around the World

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Astronauts from Around the World

Space is a truly international endeavor. In this Oct. 16 installment of our ongoing Thought Leader Series, presented by the ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - The Future of Spaceflight

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – The Future of Spaceflight

The future of spaceflight will be here sooner than you think. NASA’s plans currently have humans traveling back to the ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Inside Mission Control with Current Flight Controllers

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Inside Mission Control with Current Flight Controllers

What is it like to sit at the helm of human spaceflight and work with a variety of highly-trained teams ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Cognition Here and Beyond

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Cognition Here and Beyond

Watch the May 3 installment of our ongoing Thought Leader Series. Titled Cognition Here and Beyond, a panel discusses autism ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Apollo 10 with astronaut Tom Stafford

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Apollo 10 with astronaut Tom Stafford

Apollo 10 set the stage for Neil Armstrong’s historic steps on the Moon. It did so with a bit of ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Life Beyond Earth in Space and Time

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Life Beyond Earth in Space and Time

Water. Energy. Organics. Is there life on other planets? Those three things could help NASA answer that question. NASA chief ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Applications of lessons learned from human space flight tragedies

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Applications of lessons learned from human space flight tragedies

Space exploration takes courage, tenacity and innovation. Tragically, it also claimed the lives of 17 brave souls in the Apollo ...
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ISS

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – International Space Station

In his State of the Union address on Jan. 25, 1984, President Ronald Reagan directed NASA to build an international ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - An Evening With Glynn Lunney

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – An Evening With Glynn Lunney

In the Nov. 15, 2019 installment of our Thought Leader Series, the center hosted a special evening with Apollo flight ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - STS-95: John Glenn’s Second Spaceflight

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – STS-95: John Glenn’s Second Spaceflight

Space Center Houston brought in experts from the space shuttle mission STS-95 to discuss the anniversary of John Glenn’s second ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Apollo, The Golden Age of Spaceflight

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Apollo, The Golden Age of Spaceflight

Walt Cunningham, an astronaut from the first crewed Apollo spaceflight, shares his unique perspective on a remarkable era of exploration, ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - NASA Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – NASA Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer

NASA Johnson Space Center employs nearly 10,000 people and covers nearly 1,700 acres. Running JSC is a big job. Luckily, ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Leading Women of NASA

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Leading Women of NASA

From hidden figures to leading lights, these women are shaping the future of space exploration. This Aug. 24, 2018 installment ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Pioneers of Space Exploration

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Pioneers of Space Exploration

Forty years ago NASA recruited its first six women astronauts. Three of those trailblazers share their mission memories in this ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - Alan Stern and David Grinspoon discuss the New Horizons mission

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – Alan Stern and David Grinspoon discuss the New Horizons mission

In 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft made interplanetary-travel history by taking the first up-close photos of Pluto. Dr. Alan Stern ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - ESA Director General Johann Woerner

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – ESA Director General Johann Woerner

How are NASA and the European Space Agency working together? Learn all about this partnership and more in this April, ...
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VIDEO: Thought Leader Series - A Conversation with Apollo 13 Astronaut Fred Haise

VIDEO: Thought Leader Series – A Conversation with Apollo 13 Astronaut Fred Haise

In this March 16, 2018 installment of our ongoing Thought Leader Series, Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise discusses that fateful ...
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