james oberg logo



space shuttle





These lectures from James Oberg on a wide variety of space-related topics are entertaining and enlightening. They can be tailored in length from 30-40 minutes to two hours, and can use 35-mm slides or powerpoint projectors.

Lecture topics include:

oberg lecture

Oberg speaks at Ohio Wesleyan (his alma mater)

OWU Press Release on speeches

Gagarin's 50th Anniversary


seeing from space

'Gagarin Anniversary' and 'Space Eyes'
Contact Jim directly for details and scheduling.

ALSO: Jim's new lecture on the top secret Yasniy Spaceport in Siberia


Seeing the earth from space - coming soon
Spaceflight Safety – It’s Not Just ‘Rocket Science’ – As the ‘point of the spear’ of American science and technology, spaceflight has always been inherently risky. But NASA’s bitter experience with the loss of two space shuttles (each with seven astronauts) and other expensive space probes provides lessons for anyone back on Earth who must deal with high-technology hazardous operations. This is because ‘space safety’ involves the application of principles also common to Earth safety, and because NASA’s greatest disasters occurred not because space itself was too hard, but because segments of NASA’s teams were too soft – they forget lessons that earlier generations had learned, often at high price in time, treasure and lives. As NASA must ‘fight the forgetting’ and revive its safety culture, workers and officials in other industries can benefit by seeing the common thread that runs through ‘hazard-control’ in space and on Earth.
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
“Cosmonauts and Cosmo-NOTS -- the history of Soviet space photographic forgeries and the lessons for the future.” In the early years of the Space Age, the Russians retouched dozens of photos of their cosmonauts to conceal unflattering information about accidents, setbacks, and misbehavior -- but Western investigators (led by Oberg) found original versions of the images and tracked down what the erased cosmonauts had really done, or had done to them.
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
Yasniy of Siberia -- The World’s Newest and Most Profitable Spaceport”. Since 2006 a Russian-Ukrainian commercial space launch team has been launching satellites for Western customers from an active Russian nuclear missile base in southwestern Siberia. Oberg is the only space journalist to attend such a launch, and he describes the facility, its history and its future, is revelations and its secrets, and his investigation that identified exactly which retired missile silo is being used for these missions.
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
Russia’s Space Program at 50 – Where Now? Fifty years after Sputnik and more than a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly bankrupted their space industry, the Russian space program possesses significant resources for future expansion. It maintains its preference for evolutionary space designs – its human spacecraft, Soyuz, is based on a 40-year-old design carried into space by a rocket that evolved directly from the one that carried Sputnik on October 4, 1957. Major portions of its space program – science missions, weather satellites, reusable boosters – died with the USSR, but its new strategy relies on international partnerships to provide funding and technology that its own government remains unable to provide.
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
Tourist Guide to the Baykonur Cosmodrome – Western visitors have become common at the formerly top secret spaceport in Central Asia, but the secrecy there has only slowly faded. Only in the last few years have reliable maps, high-resolution commercial space imagery, and open access to historical memoirs created an unprecedented transparency for foreign visitors to fully experience the history of triumphs and tragedies that the space center is immersed in. Oberg is an experienced, insightful story-teller who can triple the calue of any ‘space tourist’ visitor to Baykonur.
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
NEW: Russia's Fobos-Grunt sample return mission -- Plans, Context, Prospects

Oberg discusses what is officially and unofficially known and suspected about 'Fobos-Grunt' and the current November¬† 2011 launch date. The mission is a crucial experiment in determining the future role of the Martian moon ‘Phobos’ in human exploration of Mars – as a shelter and base, as a resource for fuel and water, and as a ‘stepping stone’ to further goals. In 1996, Oberg sleuthed out the actual impact area (on dry land – not the ‘deep ocean’ as officials claimed) of the radioactive fragments of the last Russian Mars mission, 'Mars-96', and he assesses the past weaknesses in Russia’s Mars probes, and the degree to which these weaknesses have been remedied.
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
Pall Over Apollo (Lessons of the ‘Moon Hoax’ Myth) – As an attention-grabber for middle and high school science classes, the widespread notion that the Apollo moon landings were somehow faked is a perfect tool. Everybody has heard the stories, and many wonder how true the accusations are. But application of scientific principles and performance of experiments in classrooms and at home can demonstrate that the science of moon flight is sound and that with intelligence and experienced judgment a young person can reasonably hope to see through this myth and similar ‘science frauds’ that they will encounter in their roles as students, consumers, voters, jurors, parents, and all-around human beings.
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
Soviet Saucers and Space Secrets
The coverup that took forty years to unravel, how top-secret Soviet military missile and space activity early in the 'Space Age' sparked mass "UFO flaps" across the USSR and hopelessly polluted the outside world's "UFO data base"
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
NEW: Feb 2, 2006: “Russia - Candidate Roles in the Exploration Vision”.
NASA Langley Space Center lecture

“Expanding human presence beyond Low Earth Orbit promises to be a technological challenge as great as the Apollo program and the International Space Station, requiring all the space-related resources and experience of Earth. Oberg will explore the potential contributions of the Russian space industry, based both on its experience with long-duration space stations and its own 'Space Race' projects for human flight to the Moon and Mars. He will also suggest 'lessons learned' in recent years about the delivered values of international partnerships (none of the promised benefits of such partnerships for ISS have materialized, but some surprising other benefits have), and will present a range of scenarios for different levels of hardware and operational integration over the coming 10 to 20 years.”
Example Slides Adobe PDF (large file size)
China’s Space Leap Upward – How and Why? Adobe PDF (large file size)
Towards A Theory of “Space Power” for National Advantage Adobe PDF (large file size)
Planetary Engineering Versus Climate Change – The Technological Solution Adobe PDF (large file size)
Sleuthing Soviet Space Secrets – A Memoir Adobe PDF (large file size)
The Human Side of Human Spaceflight
Repairing the Biosphere: Human Protection of Earth's Climate
Inner Secrets of Outer Space
Folklore of the Future: Great Myths and Legends of Outer Space
The Conquest of Mars - Why It May Be Crucial To Our Survival on Earth
Great Aerospace Disasters -Why We Seem to Keep Repeating Old Mistakes
Terraforming ("Planetary Engineering"): Rebuilding and Repairing Earth and other Worlds
Why I do NOT believe in UFOs


oberg corner piece

home | profile | articles | books | lectures | jim speaks | humor
links | email

Copyright 2010 James Oberg. All Rights Reserved
Site Designed and Maintained by YoeYo.com

oberg corner piece