Bill Gattle – President of Space Systems, L3Harris Technologies

March 30, 2020 @ 1:34 pm

In this episode:

We meet Bill Gattle, the President of Space Systems for L3Harris Technologies, Space and Airborne Systems Segment, which covers an extensive portfolio of solutions in intelligence, surveillance, small satellites, electronic warfare, and avionics. Previously, Bill was President of Space and Intelligence Systems for Harris Corporation prior to their merger with L3 Technologies last year. He is also a board member of the Space Foundation, the University of Florida’s Dean’s Advisory Board, and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation.

In this episode, Bill explains what inspired him to go into the space industry in 1987, some of the early projects he worked on, lessons learned in the Harris Corporation-L3 Technologies merger, the growing importance of small satellites, protecting our assets in space, how the creation of the Space Force is changing the space industry, as well as his thoughts on mentorship and the skills that companies like L3Harris will look for in their future employees. 

In discussing the steps teachers should take to get their students interested in the STEM workforce of the future, Bill said, “It used to be that we’d have a wonderment about space, so we’d just love the aspect of learning about it. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the mechanics of what we’re learning, we don’t see the wonder of what we’re creating, and what we’re doing. With the world changing so fast, I think we’ve got to create that wonder in students again.”

For more information on L3Harris Technologies, visit their site at l3harris.com.

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Dr. Tanya Harrison - Professional Martian

March 25, 2020 @ 11:57 am

In this episode:

We meet Dr. Tanya Harrison, who describes herself a “professional Martian.” She has spent the last decade working as a scientist on mission operations on multiple NASA Mars missions, including the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers. 

Tanya specializes in geomorphology, the study of a planet’s evolution based on its surface features. Before her Mars work, Tanya had her head in the stars as an astronomer studying the metal content of star clusters and recurring novae systems. 

She tells us about how she developed a passion for space and science and explains more about geomorphology. Tanya shares the detective work she does when looking at a photo of Mars and how she uses her knowledge to help further our studies of the red planet. Tanya is also an advocate for advancing the status of women in science and for accessibility in the geosciences.  She also talks about being one of the organizers of the annual Women in Space conference.

Tanya tells us about her new book For All Humankind, a collection of true stories based on interviews with people who watched the Apollo 11 Moon landing live but from outside the U.S. The book is available on Amazon and at ForAllHumankind.Space. 

You can follow her on Twitter @tanyaofmars.

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Judy Cara - Planetarium & STEM Director

February 28, 2020 @ 9:01 am

In this episode:

We meet Judy Cara, Project Manager for the Planetarium and STEM Center at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Judy recently oversaw a massive makeover of the planetarium, which had been closed to the public for 15 years and reopened on March 3, 2019. Their attendance goal for the first year was 25,000 visitors, and as they approach their one-year mark, they’ve had 41,000 visitors and counting.

In this conversation, Judy talks about how she was initially more interested in the arts than in STEM fields, and the experiences she had that changed her interests. She also discusses the new technology and other upgrades visitors will enjoy at the planetarium, points out that not all the shows they present are just space related, and how, beyond just visual presentations, the planetarium also offers hands-on STEM activities for field trip classes.

To illustrate how inspiring a visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Planetarium can be, Judy says, “Just last week we had Colonel Nick Hague here, who is a graduate and an astronaut. And he talks about how, when he was six years old, he went to that planetarium with his dad and that’s what convinced him he should apply to become a cadet, and then subsequently an astronaut.”

Free shows are held for planetarium visitors Monday through Friday, at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. For details and things to know before visiting the planetarium, visit www.usafa.edu/planetarium.

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Alan Ladwig - Author, Part Two

February 12, 2020 @ 8:39 am

In this episode:

We continue our conversation with Alan Ladwig, the author of “See You in Orbit? Our Dream of Spaceflight.” Between 1981 and 1990, Alan held a variety of positions at NASA Headquarters, including Director of Special Projects for the Office of Exploration and Manager of the Shuttle Student Involvement Program. Alan was also Manager of NASA’s Space Flight Participant program in the 1980s, which included the “Teacher in Space” project, most famously known for its selection of Christa McAuliffe as the first teacher and civilian to be chosen to participate in spaceflight.

In this second part of our conversation, Alan discusses how Russia played an early role in paving the way for civilian passengers to travel to the International Space Station, the plans that four companies currently have to develop commercial space stations for civilian use, how the arts are regarded within the space community, and how the prohibitive cost of space travel hinders the democratization of space.

In discussing how high costs prevent more access to space, Alan said, “We want space to be an environment that is experienced by a wider range of people. Not just scientists, engineers... Not trained astronauts and cosmonauts, but people from all walks of life. Because … space is just an extension of who we are.”

For more information on Alan and his current pursuits, visit his website at toorbitproductions.com, and visit his Facebook page to view his space-inspired artwork. Alan’s book is available for purchase at amazon.com.

Click here for Part One of this conversation.

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Alan Ladwig - Author, Part One

January 30, 2020 @ 1:34 pm

In this episode:

We meet author of "See You in Orbit? Our Dream of Spaceflight" by Alan Ladwig. Between 1981 to 1990, Alan held a variety of positions at NASA Headquarters, including Manager of the Space Flight Participant Program, Director of Special Projects for the Office of Exploration, and Manager of the Shuttle Student Involvement Program. In addition, Alan was in charge of NASA’s Space Flight Participant program in the 1980s, which included the Teacher in Space Program, most famously known for its selection of Christa McAuliffe as the first teacher, and civilian to be chosen to fly to space.

Alan tells us about how he came to work for NASA the day before a government hiring freeze. Alan also shares insights into the thousands of letters he received and would respond to from citizens who wanted to go to space, including one young man who wrote countless letters and kept his dream and eventually worked with NASA and has a commercial spaceflight booked.

Alan also shares the process that was involved with the selection of sending a teacher to space, including the original debate, who should go to space? A teacher? Journalist? Jacques Cousteau's son? Walter Cronkite?

For more information on Alan and his current pursuits, visit his website at toorbitproductions.com, and visit his Facebook page to view his space-inspired artwork. Alan’s book is available for purchase at amazon.com.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this podcast, coming soon.

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Paul Francis – Inventor

January 23, 2020 @ 11:56 am

In this episode:

We meet Paul Francis, an award-winning inventor.

Paul invented SpiraFlex resistance technology for NASA‘s Mission Critical program to counteract astronaut bone and muscle loss caused by zero gravity. Paul tells us about his journey as an inventor and how he came to work with NASA on the technology that would be used by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Paul reminds us that to be a successful inventor, one needs to be persistent and able to accept failure in order to succeed.

A 16-week NASA study proved that Paul’s SpiraFlex resistant technology provided the same benefits as the gold standard of free weights. More than 50 International Space Station crew members have kept in shape for over 10 years using the SpiraFlex-powered Interim Resistive Exercise Device (iRED) invented by Paul.

Paul founded OYO Fitness to incorporate SpiraFlex technology into fitness equipment that can be used here on Earth – providing the same benefits as weights, without the weight. The company’s first product was the second most funded fitness product in Kickstarter history.

In 2019, the SpiraFlex iRED was inducted into the Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame®.

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Duane “Digger” Carey – Former NASA Astronaut, Part Two

January 15, 2020 @ 9:18 am

In this episode:

We continue our conversation with former NASA astronaut Lt. Col. Duane "Digger" Carey, USAF (Ret.) and current owner of One-Eighty Out, Inc. Among Digger’s accomplishments was piloting the Space Shuttle Columbia on the STS-109 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope in 2002.

In this second part of our conversation, Digger discusses the process of being selected by NASA, the supporting tasks that filled his years in NASA leading up to piloting the Space Shuttle Columbia, his memories of working Mission Control when the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy occurred in 2003, and the STEM education efforts he’s dedicated himself to since he retired from NASA.

Discussing his passion for space exploration, Carey says, “I flew in space and I saw the Earth without borders, and it sounds trite, but it’s a life-changing experience to see what the Earth really looks like from low Earth orbit, and you realize that human beings — if we put our minds to it, and we make the hard decisions, and we challenge ourselves — we can make all of these dreams come true.”

To learn more about Digger’s current efforts with One-Eighty Out Inc., visit the website at http://www.astronautbiker.com or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/astronautbiker/

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Duane “Digger” Carey – Former NASA Astronaut, Part One

January 8, 2020 @ 11:56 am

In this episode:

We meet former NASA astronaut Lt. Col. Duane "Digger" Carey, USAF (Ret.), and current owner of One-Eighty Out, Inc. Among Digger’s accomplishments was piloting the Space Shuttle Columbia on the STS-109 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope in 2002.

In part one of this two-part conversation, Digger talks about his humble beginnings as a kid who grew up in the housing projects of St. Paul, Minnesota, disliking school and how, against those odds, he transformed himself into who he is today. He also discusses how, during his years motorcycling and train-hopping across the country, he became inspired to pursue a college education so he could join the U.S. Air Force — setting into motion the events that led him to become an astronaut.

Citing the importance of confidence and determination in the pursuit of achieving one’s goals, Carey says, “The whole philosophy has to be: You see something you want to do, and you go after it, and if people laugh at you, or think that you’re not very smart, or think that you’re unprepared — let them laugh and stuff like that, because you’re going to show them in the long run, because you’re never going to give up.”

To learn more about Digger’s current efforts with One-Eighty Out Inc., visit the website at http://www.astronautbiker.com  or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/astronautbiker/

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Laura Gehl - Children’s Book Author

December 13, 2019 @ 8:52 am

In this episode:

We meet children's author and neuroscientist Dr. Laura Gehl, who's written a biography of Dr. Nancy Grace Roman, the "Mother of Hubble." Titled Always Looking Up: Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer, the book tells the inspiring story of Nancy Grace Roman who overcame weak eyesight and gender discrimination to become Chief of Astronomy at NASA and lead the team that built the Hubble Space Telescope.

In addition to Always Looking Up, Laura has published a series of books introducing babies to scientific careers. Baby Astronaut was released in 2019. 

In addition to being a prolific children's book author with seven books from major publishers in 2019 alone, Laura Gehl is the mother of four and has a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

Laura tells us what it is like transitioning from a neuroscientist to a children’s book author, and how she chooses the topics and themes of her books, including the story of how Always Looking Up came to be. The idea was a suggestion from former Space4U podcast guest, Stephen Garber!

Laura also shares what it was like working with Dr. Roman. In the course of their conversations, Dr. Roman shared much of her schoolwork, including an essay on Galileo, an essay on the Moon, and a perfect score on a math test. These endearing elements helped to shape the book into a story children can relate to. Nancy Grace was told that math and science were "masculine" subjects, that calculations and facts were best left to men, and she should study literature or history instead.

We hear about Laura’s love of science and the first-ever science fair at Casablanca American School in Morocco, organized by Laura. Hear all this and more in this episode of Space4U.

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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Devon Greco - Narbis Founder & CEO

December 5, 2019 @ 2:31 pm

In this episode:

We meet Devon Greco, Founder and CEO of Narbis. Devon is an entrepreneur, product engineer, and patented inventor focused on brain-machine interfaces and neurotechnology while specializing in human enhancement technologies.

He has 18 years' experience developing neurotechnology and neurofeedback with a focus on clinical and consumer applications. Narbis was recently named the latest Space Foundation Space Certification Partner.

Devon tells us about the NASA technology used in the Narbis glasses, a complex algorithm that uses three sensors on the head to monitor brain activity and help users learn the skills needed to stay focused on a certain task.

Devon also shares a little bit about his father who inspired him to do this type of work and his passion for helping others. Finally, Devon gives us a sneak peek at the upcoming plans for his company.

Learn more about the Narbis glasses by visiting narbis.com.

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

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