Image from A Space Odyssey, courtesy of the film.

On the Screen: A.I., Commercial Interests and Travel in Space

Featuring a post-film discussion with Dr. Moldwin, the Michigan Theater presents a film screening of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

From the explosion of commercial space to A.I., space travel has launched to the top of trending topics in the U.S. and across the world. A unique event at the Michigan Theater will bring these topics to the big screen with a special presentation of “2001: A Space Odyssey” in May.

Featuring a post-film discussion with Professor Mark Moldwin, Ph.D., the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, the event will take place at the Michigan Theater at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 20, 2023.

An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behavior, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine that results in a mind-bending trek through space and time.

After guests enjoy the iconic film, Moldwin who directs the Michigan Space Grant Consortium and teaches at U-M Climate and Space will give a short talk. He will discuss the explosion of the commercial space industry, the use of Artificial Intelligence in space, and the NASA Artemis program, which will once again work to land humans on the moon. One aim of the mission is to collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the moon, as NASA prepares to take the next giant leap and send the first astronauts to Mars.

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