Erik Tandberg presenting at the Lunch'n Learn at Norway HouseErik Tandberg presenting at the Lunch'n Learn at Norway House

Space legend Erik Tandberg in Houston

Last updated: 4/14/2016 // Erik Tandberg, sometimes recognized as Norway's grand old man of space, visited Houston and other NASA locations last week traveling with a delegation of Norwegian space enthusiasts. The visit included a VIP tour at NASA's Johnson Space Center and a Lunch'n Learn at Norway House, where Tandberg held a fascinating presentation about the history of space flight, as well as some perspectives on the future, including possible space travel to Mars.

Tandberg’s presentation at the Lunch’n Learn event was both educational and entertaining, and the conference room was filled to capacity. “Happy to finally see you for real and in color,” Consul General Morten Paulsen said when introducing Tandberg, making reference to many Norwegians' memory of Tandberg commenting live on the Moon landing in 1969 during the days of black and white television. Tandberg is a space legend in Norway, and has been a source of knowledge and expertise for the Norwegian media since the 1960s.

Tandberg started his presentation talking about the Apollo era. “The Apollo programs were technical break-troughs, raising space confidence in the US and Texas”, Tandberg stated. Further, he explained all the positive spillover effects generated by the Apollo programs, such as computers being as small and powerful as they are today, due to space scientists being forced to create computers fit for space travel. “In 1957 the first satellite was sent to space, in 1961 we had the first man in space, and in 1969 we had the first man to land on the moon. In just a few years, we made leap steps in the space industry. This is something we may never see again, at least not in our lifetime”, Tandberg proudly said.

Tandberg went on to explain the quest for finding signs of life on other planets. “In our Galaxy alone, there are probably close to 400 billion stars, and studies indicate an average of at least one planet per star. How can we possibly assume that the Earth is to be the only planet with life and intelligence?” Tandberg stated.  He explained how scientists have already found a few planets with the potential of holding water, which is a necessity for life to exist; however, these are only found extremely far away from the Earth. Tandberg explained that as of now Mars is the closest celestial body where we have a chance to find life in space, but “currently it takes 900 to 1100 days to reach Mars. In addition, a relative position between the Earth and Mars is needed to enable travel there, something that occurs every 26 months only. Thus, going to Mars is currently a very long and hard trip”, Tandberg explained.

Tandberg argued that a collaboration between the European, Chinese, Russian and U.S space programs would be the best way to continue the use of The International Space Station and to reach the objective of sending people to Mars in the relatively near future.

The Norwegian Consulate General are grateful for Erik Tandberg taking the time to present at our Lunch’n Learn event during his U.S. visit. The audience enjoyed every second of the presentation, and we were all extremely grateful and felt privileged to have experienced Erik Tandberg in action.


Source: Maiken Sørensen   |   Bookmark and Share