A Celebration of Space Exploration in Honor of Roger B. Chaffee

Roger That Conference Image

February 10 – 11, 2017

Roger That! Conference

Roger B. Chaffee was born February 15, 1935 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and went on to become one of the city’s favorite sons. An engineer, pilot and astronaut, Chaffee lost his life in the Apollo 1 accident on January 27, 1967. This event, scholarly in nature and open to the general public (and free with registration, apart from the ticketed dinner keynote) is co-organized by Grand Valley State University, the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Roger B. Chaffee Scholarship Fund. Roger That! seeks to honor Chaffee and highlight local research in a two-day celebration of space exploration.

Roger That! is a series of concurrent events in downtown Grand Rapids taking place on Friday, February 10th and Saturday, February 11th. Speakers from a number of different fields will present. Click here to register for the conference!

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Academic and Public Conference

Date: Friday, February 10th
Location: GVSU Eberhard Center

  • Space and Science presentations will cover space-related topics in the fields of physics, engineering, geology, biology, and mathematics.
  • Space and Society presentations will cover such topics as; the psychology of astronaut team-building, the history of space exploration, space travel and religion, archaeoastronomy, and the economic costs and benefits of space travel.
  • Space and the Arts presentations will take a multimedia approach in discussing the relationship between space exploration and popular culture, focusing on art, science fiction, literature, and film.
  • Student Design Challenge presentations will allow local students in the 6th-12th grades to show off their innovative solutions to a number of challenges involving space exploration. Solutions will be presented and displayed in the Eberhard Center on Friday, February 10th and winners will be announced at the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Saturday, February 11th.

School Field Trips

Date: Friday, February 10th
Location: Grand Rapids Public Museum

Local students will have an opportunity to learn about space exploration through a series of programs at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, including hands-on activities and a presentation at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium. For more information visit our Field Trips page.

Museum Celebration

Date: Saturday, February 11th
Location: Grand Rapids Public Museum

The GRPM will continue the celebration of space exploration and the life of Roger B. Chaffee through exciting and educational exhibitions and activities taking place throughout the day.

Click here for more information about the Museum Celebration.

Special Exhibits

A “Roger That!” photo exhibition will be on display from January 9 through March 31 at the West Wall Gallery in GVSU’s Eberhard Center. The exhibition, produced by the GVSU Art Gallery in conjunction with the Chaffee family and the Grand Rapids Public Museum, will display images depicting the life of Roger B. Chaffee.

In addition, samples of actual lunar material returned by the Apollo astronauts who walked on the surface of the moon will also be displayed along with various types of meteorites. This material is on loan from NASA and will be available for viewing during the two-day Roger That! Event. Please consult the Roger That! Schedule for viewing times.

Presented by Grand Valley State University in association with the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium.


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