Archive for October 2021

Libby Jackson – UK Space Agency Human Exploration Programme Manager & “Space Explorers: 25 Extraordinary Stories of Space Exploration and Adventure” Author

October 27, 2021 @ 2:56 pm

In this episode:

We meet Libby Jackson, the Human Exploration Programme Manager at the UK Space Agency, and author of two books for young people on space exploration: Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space published in 2018, and the recently published Space Explorers: 25 Extraordinary Stories of Space Exploration and Adventure. Libby is one of Britain’s leading experts in human spaceflight and she’s passionate about sharing stories on that topic with young people to encourage them to follow their passions in life.

Space was Libby’s childhood inspiration, and she has worked in the space industry since she earned her degrees in Physics from Imperial College and Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University. She began working at Europe's control center for the International Space Station as a flight instructor and controller in 2007, and a few years later, became director for the European Space Agency’s ISS Columbus module. She joined the UK Space Agency in 2014 as spokesperson for the first British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station and has remained there since.

 

In our conversation, Jackson explains how she wrote a “Travel Guide to Mars” when she was just nine years old, how, at age 17, she shadowed a mission control worker at NASA Johnson Space Center, what it was like working at Europe’s control center for the International Space Station, what inspired her to write her new book, and how the stories in it go beyond just facts — to include the emotions that the explorers experienced on their missions.

 

Describing her objective in writing her newest book, Libby says, “Here’s a book I wish I had when I was 10, or 11 or 12. Something that tells these fantastic stories, gets behind just the pictures and the highlights of what you see. And I hope I get across just how exciting and brilliant a place [space] is.”

 

To learn more about Libby and her books, visit libbyjackson.com

 

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

Filed under Space, Space Foundation, Space4U, STEM Education · Comments

Homer Hickam – Bestselling Author

October 18, 2021 @ 3:31 pm

In this episode:

We meet Homer Hickam, author of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling memoir Rocket Boys and its ever-popular movie adaptation, October SkyRocket Boys is the story of a young man and his friends in Coalwood, West Virginia, who, inspired by the space age, started building and launching rockets, which was just the beginning of a fantastic career that eventually took Homer to NASA. Since he published that first book, he has written more than a dozen fictional and nonfictional bestsellers.

On October 26, Hickam will release a new follow-up memoir to Rocket Boys titled Don't Blow Yourself Up. This story includes tales of his life and times during the next 40 years that take the reader to college, Vietnam, underwater, NASA, and to remote locations looking for dinosaur bones.

In our conversation, Hickam details his memoir writing process, what it was like to pioneer the infamous Virginia Tech Skipper game cannon, his time at NASA, meeting Elon Musk at adult Space Camp, becoming an avid amateur paleontologist, and why he would be considered an old Grinch on a suborbital flight.

 

In discussing whether he is an actual Renaissance man, Homer says, “I wonder if the people during the actual Renaissance thought of themselves as Renaissance people — I don’t think you know that until you look back. I love the idea of having an adventure in my life and, and when it’s presented to me, I just grab it, and I just go with it, and I just want to make it happen so much.”

To learn more about Homer Hickam and his newest book, Don't Blow Yourself Up, visit https://homerhickam.com/

 

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

Filed under Space, Space Foundation, Space4U, NASA · Comments

Dr. Kathryn Thornton — Former NASA Astronaut

October 7, 2021 @ 3:11 pm

In this episode:

 

We meet Dr. Kathryn Thornton, former NASA astronaut and current Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

 

Dr. Thornton was selected by NASA in May 1984, became the third woman to walk in space, and the first woman to make multiple extravehicular activities (EVAs). A veteran of four space flights, which included her stents as a spacewalker, repairing in-orbit satellites — including the Hubble space telescope — gave Dr. Thornton nearly 1000 hours of space travel.

In our conversation, Dr. Thornton discusses pursuing education in STEM at a time where women were not encouraged in the field, the advancement of gender equality in space, how she trained for missions, an incident that could have impacted the course of a space flight, and what travel to the Moon means for deep space exploration.

 

In sharing advice regarding a career in space, Dr. Thornton says, “There are lots of ways to be involved in the space program. Anybody can, there’s so many different dimensions that require humans and people with a passion that anybody can be a part of it.”

 

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

Filed under Space, Space Foundation, Space4U, Astronaut · Comments

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