Skip to main content
Portrait of Moogega Cooper

Tickets for Moogega Cooper Omnibus lecture set for release today

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Planetary protection engineer Moogega “Moo” Cooper, a key contributor to NASA’s Mars 2020 mission featuring the rover Perseverance, is the next speaker in the 2022-23 Omnibus Speaker Series at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Cooper will describe her joy of science during a presentation titled “Limitless” on Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Rhinehart Music Center’s 1,500-seat Auer Performance Hall.

Tickets to the lecture, which will be released today at 1:30 p.m., are free on a first-come, first-served basis. There’s a limit of four per person. A $1.50 convenience charge is assessed per ticket for online orders.

To guarantee a seat, tickets should be reserved in advance through the university’s online ticketing platform, or at the Schatzlein Box Office in the Rhinehart Music Center lobby. Box office hours are from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Tickets can be ordered by phone at 260-481-6555 with a credit card during box office hours.

Reserved online tickets can be sent to patrons via text message or email. These digital options are helpful to avoid standing at the box office the night of the show. Tickets can also be picked up in person beginning one hour before the presentation.

A real-life guardian of the galaxy, Cooper holds the awesome responsibility of keeping the Red Planet safe from any of Earth’s contaminants. Her work with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is integral to the ongoing mission to discern whether Mars could be habitable for humans and to ensure that we don’t harm the planet—a job she has been working up to for most of her life.

After graduating from high school in New Jersey at 16, Cooper studied physics as an undergraduate at Hampton University, received a master’s degree, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at 24 years old at Drexel University, with a dissertation 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 talking about her work to children from underrepresented communities and appearing on shows like Because Space and Bill Nye Saves the World.

Cooper is a recipient of several awards, including the NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, the Charles Elachi Award for Exceptional Early Career Achievement, and JPL Voyager Awards for Technical Leadership.

The remaining lineup for the current Omnibus season includes Scott Dikkers, founder of the iconic comedy website “The Onion,” on Feb. 16; and George Takei, actor, social justice activist, and social media megapower, on April 25. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Ticket availability for those presentations will be announced at later dates.

Note to editors: An on-campus media availability with Cooper is scheduled for Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. Members of the media are also invited to observe an hour-long session with Cooper and Purdue Fort Wayne Honors Program students beginning at 4:30 p.m. An advisory with complete details including location will be sent on Nov. 11.

For more information, contact Blake Sebring at [email protected] or 260-385-0092 (mobile).