Archive for August 2019

Shawn Cochran - Civil and Environmental Space Manager

August 22, 2019 @ 8:19 pm

In this episode:

We meet Shawn Cochran, a senior manager for Civil and Environmental Space in Raytheon’s Space Systems, a mission area within Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. Prior to joining Space Systems, Shawn was the chief scientist for the Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System and the head of the Mission Data Services program for Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. 

Shawn tells us about Raytheon's role in the Apollo missions 50 years ago and about Earth observation systems, in particular, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). VIIRS data supports a broad and diverse range of applications, some of which are still being discovered. In addition to providing highly detailed information on emerging global storm patterns, VIIRS generates high-fidelity sea, land and atmospheric data for a variety of other applied products, including monitoring of wildfires, drought, flooding, vegetation health, algal blooms and nighttime phenomena.

Shawn provides the following advice to our listeners, "Ask, for help. Never be afraid." He explains how mentorship is a key to growing and developing in your skillset.

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Michael Soluri - Documentary Photographer

August 15, 2019 @ 9:20 am

In this episode:

We meet photographer Michael Soluri. Michael tells us how he got into photography and is currently documenting behind-the-scenes NASA human and robotic space exploration missions. He explains the trust NASA and individual astronauts have put into him to tell their story through non-scripted photography.

Michael documented the New Horizons mission to Pluto from 2005 all the way through the historic flyby, which brought endless information about the dwarf planet back to Earth. Michael also tells us about his portrayal of flown astronaut space tools as pieces of sculpture as part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.

We discuss the story Michael told through images of the final Space Shuttle mission to the Hubble Telescope, a story which began years before the actual launch and included photography training to the astronauts.

Michael is also the author of Infinite Worlds-the People and Places of Space Exploration (Simon & Schuster). Learn more about Michael on his website: 


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Alex Wagner - AIA Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

August 1, 2019 @ 10:20 am

In this episode:

We meet Alex Wagner, the Aerospace Industries Association’s Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and the Senior Advisor to the President.

Alex joined AIA after serving nearly seven years in the Department of Defense, most recently as Chief of Staff to the 22nd Secretary of the Army. Previously, Alex managed Uber’s global policy development team, practiced law at K&L Gates in Seattle, and served in various capacities on four U.S. presidential campaigns. Prior to law school, he worked as a reporter and policy analyst for the Arms Control Association, a national security think tank in Washington, D.C. Alex received his B.A. from Brown University and his J.D. from Georgetown Law, where he has taught as an adjunct professor since 2011.

Alex shares with us his interest with law, government and technology, as well as the work he is currently doing with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Alex also shares AIA’s Vision for 2050, "an optimistic vision of where aerospace & defense can take our world in the coming years." 

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