Campus Life

Five great minds come together to talk about space exploration

The Lethbridge community has the opportunity to hear five great speakers as they bring the topic of space exploration down to Earth.

Colonel Douglas Wheelock (Wheels), a NASA astronaut, will join University of Lethbridge professors, Drs. Craig Coburn, Olga Kovalchuk, David Naylor and Locke Spencer, to talk about how space exploration relates to bettering the human condition and how geopolitics affects space exploration and expansion.

While the public panel discussion scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the University Theatre has filled, the event will be livestreamed on Vimeo at

Before Tuesday evening’s public event, Wheelock and his wife, Dr. Kelley Wheelock, will speak to local high school and U of L students at 1:30 p.m. (pre-register at Reach New Heights) and again following the U of L Career Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 3:30 p.m. Both presentations will be held in the Fine Arts Theatre (W500).

“They both have tremendous careers and will talk about how they developed their interests and their careers,” says Massey. “Students will hear about how to cultivate what they’re curious about, how to remain curious and how to keep the doors open to new opportunities. Kelley and Doug are exemplars of this.”

Colonel Doug Wheelock performs a spacewalk.
Doug has accumulated more than 178 days in space. When he was commander for Expedition 25, he conducted three unplanned spacewalks to replace a faulty ammonia pump module. Before he joined NASA in 1998, he was a pilot in the U.S. Army and attended West Point. He’s also a poet. Kelley is a pharmacist, an actor and has a deep interest in yoga.

“My hope is that we can provide some of these special opportunities that give students a chance to connect with people who have such inspirational careers that are so different from the norm. We want to open as many doors as we can for them; I think that’s our responsibility as a university,” says Massey.