Masters Series Title Lg

Masters Series, an adult education program of the Pasadena Senior Center, is designed to increase understanding of national and international issues, the arts, other cultures, the community, and the individual. With a focus on “understanding,” courses are presented by local university faculty and experts. Each term provides a wonderful opportunity for learning and discussion.

Logo Women AuthorsThe Masters Series is funded
in part by a generous grant from
the Pasadena Literary Alliance

Exploring: Space

Fall Term of the Masters Series

Tuesdays, October 1 - November 19, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Members Full Series: $105
Individual Lecture: $15


For as long as humans have been around, we have been curious about the cosmos. We’ve created observatories, told stories, made art, built spaceships, and argued about the meaning, uses, and ownership of space. The depth and breadth of this series includes the Juno mission and its inspiration of human creativity resulting in a remarkable convergence of art and science, a new renaissance; an explanation of JPl’s Deep space network and what is required to get pictures from mars back to Earth; the Victorian Era debates about the existence of life on other planets: and, the depiction of space in the movies.

Weekly lectures will discuss different aspects of our understanding of the universe, including art, culture, and politics. These speakers and more will provide an opportunity to “Explore space” like never before. Join us!

To be placed on The Masters Series mailing list, please contact Annie Laskey at (626) 685-6702 or Register online

Scott Bryant

October 15

JPL's Deep Space Network: Getting pictures from Mars back to Earth

Scott Bryant

Senior Staff Member, JPL

From NASA's first Explorer spacecraft to the latest Mars mission, data and pictures from deep space have come back to Earth through JPL's Deep Space Network. Scott Bryant, Senior Staff member, Jet Propulsion Laboratory will explain how we can talk across the Solar System using the DSN./p>

Scott Bryant received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics engineering from MIT in Cambridge Mass, and a graduate degree in the same field from USC in Los Angeles. He is Senior Staff Member with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he has worked for the last 20 years. He has worked on several of JPL’s Deep Space Network (DSN) systems including the receivers, exciters, telemetry decoders, and spacecraft tracking subsystems. He has also worked as a design engineer on several Europa Exploration studies, lunar South Pole base studies, and on the SWOT RADAR mission that launches in 2021

Scott Bryant

October 22

Mars in Astronomy and Popular Culture

Jay Belloli

Freelance Contemporary Art and Astronomy Curator

Science and popular culture influence each other in surprising ways. Contemporary art and astronomy curator Jay Belloli, past Director of Gallery Programs at Armory Center for the Arts, now free- lance contemporary art and astronomy curator, will trace relationships between astronomy, art, and culture focusing on our engagement with the planet Mars.

October 29 - To be annoucned

Tracy Drain

November 5

Tracy Drain, Flight Systems Engineer

Tracy Drain

Flight Systems Engineer, JPL

Tracy Drain, Flight Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory has worked on numerous space missions employing robotic exploration, including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Kepler Project and the Juno Mission. She will share stories of her career at JPL, and what it is like to be a woman in the predominantly male field of space science.

Devin Griffiths

November 12

The Victorian Age and Debates about Extraterrestrial Life

Devin Griffiths

Associate English Professor, USC

The mid-nineteeth century generated many scientific and technological breakthroughs, from the Industrial revolution to Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. Devin Griffiths, Associate English Professor, USC, will show how the expanding understanding of science informed the Victorian debates about the existence of life on other planets.


John Semper

November 19

Outer Space at the Movies

John Semper

Film and Television Writer and Producer

From the earliest days of silent film to the blockbusters of today, filmmakers and audiences alike have found outer space an irresistible topic. Whether science or science fiction, stories involving other planets and galaxies have always been good box office. Writer-Producer John Semper (whose credits include, film, television, animation, and comic books) will trace the history of space in the movies, and how these images have influenced his own projects.


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Contact Us

Phone: (626) 795-4331
Fax: (626) 577-4235
Lunch Reservations: (626) 685-6751

Pasadena Senior Center
85 East Holly Street
Pasadena, CA 91103