FORT WAYNE — Planetary protection engineer Moogega “Moo” Cooper, a key contributor to NASA’s Mars 2020 mission with the Perseverance rover, is the next speaker in the 2022-23 Omnibus Speaker Series at Purdue University of Fort Wayne. Cooper will describe his joy of science during a presentation titled “Limitless” on Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the 1,500-seat Auer Performance Hall at the Rhinehart Music Center.
Conference tickets are free on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of four per person. A convenience fee of $1.50 is assessed per ticket for online orders.
To guarantee a place, tickets must be reserved in advance through the university’s online ticketing platform or at the Schatzlein box office in the lobby of the Rhinehart Music Center. The opening hours of the ticket office are from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Tickets can be ordered by phone at 481-6555 with a credit card during box office hours.
Tickets booked online can be sent to customers via SMS or email. These digital options are useful to avoid staying at the box office the night of the show. Tickets can also be picked up in person from one hour before the presentation.
A guardian of the galaxy in real life, Cooper is responsible for protecting the Red Planet from any terrestrial contaminants. Her work with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is integral to the ongoing mission to determine if Mars could be habitable for humans and to ensure we don’t harm the planet – work she has worked on for most of his life.
After graduating from high school in New Jersey at age 16, Cooper studied physics as an undergraduate at Hampton University, earning a master’s degree, and later earning his doctorate. in mechanical engineering at age 24 from Drexel University, with a thesis on spacecraft materials.
Cooper is passionate about empowering organizations and others to achieve their dreams and overcome obstacles. A role model for women in science and technology, she is also passionate about introducing more people to the wonders of the STEAM world. This includes speaking about his work to children from underrepresented communities and appearing on shows like Because Space and Bill Nye Saves the World.
Cooper has received several awards, including the NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, the Charles Elachi Award for Exceptional Early Career Achievement, and the JPL Voyager Awards for Technical Leadership.
The remaining lineup for the current season of Omnibus includes Scott Dikkers, founder of iconic comedy website “The Onion,” on Feb. 16; and George Takei, actor, social justice activist and social media megapower, on April 25. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Ticket availability for these presentations will be announced at later dates.