Aerospace engineer and expert in Human-Robotics Shahrzad Timman is dedicated to returning humanity to the Moon. She will be presenting a talk on a beginner’s guide to space robots during Session 1 at Space Rocks London…



When did you first fall in love with science and space exploration? 
I saw the movie Apollo 13 when I was a kid, and it sparked a fire within me! Right there and then I decided that I wanted to be ‘Apollo Flight Director Gene Kranz’ when I grew up and to work on sending humans back to the surface of the Moon. Now, years later, I’m actually working on Moon missions in the preparation of sending humanity back!


Why do you think people find outer space so fascinating? 
Because it’s unknown, mysterious and above all out-of-this-world cool!


How did you get to work at ESA? 
I always call it an internship that got out of hand (in the best way possible!). Together with my boss, we were the first people who started working on this Moon mission and it was just too interesting to drop and go somewhere else. You learn a lot during an internship at ESA and you also gain quite some knowledge and interests in specific topics. That’s why I applied for the PhD position – in order to continue in the topic of human-robotics in space!


What is robotic exploration – are robots replacing astronauts? 
Robots are not replacing astronauts, hence the term ‘human-robotic operations’, or as we sometimes call it ‘partnership’! Robots have great skills (which we humans provide them with) and humans have their own unique abilities. The partnership of the two allows the best of both worlds to come together and results in an even greater mission that can be accomplished.


What are your favourite space movies?
My ALL-TIME favourite space movie is Apollo 13 – by now you can guess why. Really, watch it, you’ll love it! Interstellar is very cool too! And not to forget Star Wars, who doesn’t love Star Wars?


Get your tickets HERE!