Space4U Archive

Jonathan Gardner – Deputy Senior Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope

February 25, 2021 @ 7:35 pm

In this episode:

We meet Dr. Jonathan Gardner, the Deputy Senior Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope and the Chief of the Laboratory for Observational Cosmology in the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard. He received his bachelor’s degree in Astronomy in Astrophysics from Harvard University, and then attended graduate school at the University of Hawaii, earning a master’s degree and a PhD in Astronomy. He began working on Webb as a member of the Ad-Hoc Science Working Group in the late 1990s, and then joined the project as the Deputy Senior Project Scientist in 2002.

 

The James Webb Space Telescope project began in 1996 and is currently scheduled for launch on October 31, 2021. It will be the largest and most powerful space telescope ever built and launched into space — 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, and it promises to fundamentally alter our understandings of the universe. The telescope is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, and with an almost $10 billion price tag it's one of the most expensive space missions in history.

 

In our conversation, Dr. Gardner explains how Webb will be able to see the first light created in the universe after the big bang 13.5 billion years ago, how it will create a 3D model of our universe together with Hubble, how it’ll have the capability to detect signs of life in the atmospheres of 300+ exoplanets, and he tells us when the public will begin to see images of what Webb is observing.

 

Sharing what he's looking forward to most about the mission, Gardner says, “I’m most excited about the fact that whenever we put up a new capability that is a hundred times better than anything that’s happened before ... we find discoveries that we really were not expecting.”

 

To learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope, visit webb.nasa.gov.

 

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

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Joe Urso, Founder/CEO ActivePure Technologies

February 17, 2021 @ 8:35 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Joe Urso, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ActivePure Technologies, LLC. Urso purchased the former Electrolux North America in 1998 and has transformed the company into what is now an industry leader in creating healthy indoor environments. Their air-cleansing technology, initially used exclusively by NASA on space missions, has been reengineered for use in a range of portable and installed units that serve both residential and commercial markets, including healthcare, education, and hospitality. It is for this adaptation that ActivePure Technologies was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2017.

 

In our conversation, Joe explains how he took the concept of the space-based ethylene scrubber and adapted the technology to build a family of products that benefit people in their everyday lives. He also shares his passion for bringing peace of mind to everyone who uses their line of products, and testimonials of people’s lives who have been changed because of ActivePure’s ability to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and allergens.

 

Joe describes a time in the mid-1990s when he attended a global summit at the White House where leaders were discussing plans to address a future bacterial or viral pandemic.  Regarding the technology now known as ActivePure, Joe says, “So, when I saw this technology, the early stage of it, I thought ‘My gosh — this has a chance to make a difference.’”

 

To learn more about ActivePure Technologies, visit https://www.activepure.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

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Jack Gregg, Author of ‘The Cosmos Economy’

February 10, 2021 @ 9:18 am

In this episode:

We meet Dr. Jack Gregg, author of the forthcoming book The Cosmos Economy, currently scheduled for publication on March 14, 2021. Dr. Gregg has served in corporate learning as the Founding Dean of the Space Sector Corporate University at Northrop Grumman, and in the nonprofit sector as Executive Director of the California Space Authority.

 

Dr. Gregg has also held leadership positions in public and private higher education, as Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at Loyola Marymount University, and as Assistant Dean at the University of California-Irvine, California State University-Long Beach, and the University of California-Riverside.

 

In our conversation, Dr. Gregg discusses what the cosmos economy is, how the drivers for the cosmos economy are different compared to those of the space economy, the role of governments in developing the cosmos economy, and the skills and jobs that are going to be in the highest demand.

 

Referring to the questions he’s sought to answer in his research and writing, Dr. Gregg says, “What are the industries that will thrive in space? How will space business differ from Earth business? How will the cosmos economy impact Earth’s industries and economy? When will all this stuff start to happen? And how will investors and entrepreneurs know they’re on the right track?”

 

To learn more about the cosmos economy visit http://cosmoseconomy.com, and to preorder Dr. Gregg’s book, go to https://www.amazon.com/Cosmos-Economy-Industrialization-Space/dp/3030625680.

 

Note: This podcast was recorded in December 2020 and mentions an anticipated publication date for “The Cosmos Economy” in January 2021. The confirmed release date for the book is now March 14, 2021.

 

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

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Jason Reimuller – Executive Director, International Institute for Astronautical Sciences & Project PoSSUM

January 27, 2021 @ 9:16 am

In this episode:

We meet Dr. Jason Reimuller, Executive Director of both the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) and Project PoSSUM, a nonprofit astronautics research and education program within the IIAS studying our upper atmosphere and its role in our changing global climate. Jason is also Co-Investigator of NASA’s PMC-Turbo experiment and works as a commercial research pilot and flight test engineer with atmospheric remote-sensing company GATS, Inc. He is a National Association of Underwater Instructors scuba divemaster, has authored the book Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations, and formerly served as a system engineer and project manager for NASA’s Constellation Program.

 

In our conversation, Jason explains how little we understand about our planet's upper atmosphere, noctilucent cloud dynamics and how they're indicators for changes in global climate, the many aspects of Project PoSSUM, how it advocates for underrepresented groups in the space community, and whether he personally has an interest in being involved in the space missions of the future.

 

Explaining his part in Project PoSSUM, Jason says, “You know, my first role in this organization is to serve our community ... serve the community, and to make sure that what we’re all doing is preserving that historic role and the imperative of what astronauts have been.”

 

To learn more about the IIAS, go to https://astronauticsinstitute.org, and for more on Project PoSSUM visit https://projectpossum.org. Candidate applications for the Out Astronaut program that Jason mentions in this conversation are being accepted through Jan. 31, 2021, at https://outastronaut.org/contest/.

 

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, aerospace, Space Foundation, Space4U, STEM Education · Comments

Emily Carney – Space Hipster, Writer, and Podcaster

January 20, 2021 @ 10:53 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Emily Carney, a leading social media influencer, writer, and public speaker highly knowledgeable on a number of human spaceflight topics. She was formerly a nuclear propulsion mechanic for the U.S. Navy, and also a schoolteacher for a time. She was working as a freelance writer when she founded her blog This Space Available in 2010, which is was later picked up by the National Space Society, and then she created the hugely popular Space Hipsters Facebook group in 2011, which recently passed the 20,000-member mark. In addition to those ongoing endeavors, she is also cohost of the new Space and Things podcast.

 

In our conversation, Emily describes what sparked her interest in space, her time in the Navy, the ethos and community behind Space Hipsters, her favorite historical space figures and spaceflight programs, the recent successes in space that excite her the most, and whether she has ever considered any other roles in the space community.

 

Commenting on what she feels is a critical mindset for the future of spaceflight, Emily says, "I think it's important for us to go forward, and to be future-thinking and to think, 'Okay, what are we going to be doing in space 50 to 100 years from now? How are we going to expand our civilization, and are we going to expand it into space? How are we going to use this technology in a positive way?'"

 

Note: This podcast was recorded on December 14, 2020. Since the recording took place, the Space Hipsters Facebook group surpassed 20,000 members. Also, mentions of the SpaceX SN8 Starship launch are in reference to the first high-altitude test flight of that prototype, which occurred on December 9, 2020.

 

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

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Lori Garver & Courtney Stadd — Former Presidential Transition Staff Members

January 13, 2021 @ 9:13 am

In this episode:

 

Space4U welcomes two veterans of presidential transitions to discuss the process and how it relates to the U.S. space program. For a balanced perspective, we’re joined by former transition staff members from both Democratic and Republican administrations.

 

Lori Garver served as NASA’s Deputy Administrator during the Obama Administration from 2009–2013, as well as during the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Policy and Planning. For the latter half of 2008 into early 2009, Ms. Garver served as the lead for the Obama Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for NASA. She’s a veteran of Capitol Hill, the commercial space industry, various campaigns, an advisor to numerous groups and space organizations, and she founded the Brooke Owens Fellowship to promote diversity in the aviation and space exploration communities for female college undergrads.

 

Courtney Stadd served as NASA’s Chief of Staff and White House Liaison during the George W. Bush Administration. He’s also a veteran of the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, where he served at the National Space Council and later NASA. For the latter half of 2008 into 2009, he served as the lead of the George W. Bush Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for NASA. He is also a veteran of the commercial space industry, having been an entrepreneur, business development officer, and program leader for several enterprises.

 

In our conversation, Lori and Courtney discuss how a transition takes place, the elements involved, the different players on a transition team and what they do, how transition teams cooperate, what an incoming administration seeks to achieve during a transition, and more.

 

Note: This conversation was recorded prior to the events that transpired at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 – events that would certainly have impacted the discussion. Although this recording predates those events, the collateral effects they will have on the Presidential transition remain to be seen.

 

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 Foundation, Space4U, NASA · Comments

Sarah Cruddas – Space Journalist

December 16, 2020 @ 9:53 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Sarah Cruddas, an accomplished space journalist, international TV host, and award-winning author from the United Kingdom. A global thought leader in the growing commercial space sector, Sarah’s many talents and her background in astrophysics have led her to opportunities such as being a host for “Contact” on Discovery Channel and Science Channel, as well as making regular appearances on Sky, the BBC, CNN, People Television, ITV News, and more. Sarah has authored four books about space exploration, including her latest: “Look Up: Our Story with the Stars.”

 

In our conversation, Sarah discusses what led her to pursue a career in the space community and what it’s like being an international space journalist. She also gives unique insight into being a communicator within the science world, the private space industry, and the global space economy.

 

Sarah, who was first inspired to pursue a space career as a teen attending Space Camp in the U.S., says “My whole life, space has been my passion. It’s there from the start. For me, I would always say to people who ask, ‘Why would you care about space?’ My answer would be: ‘Why would you not care about space?’ It’s as much about philosophy and a search for meaning as it is about science.”

 

For more information about Sarah, visit her website at https://sarahcruddas.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

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Sarah Noble – NASA Program Scientist, Psyche Mission

December 9, 2020 @ 10:34 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Dr. Sarah Noble, a planetary geologist at NASA headquarters and the Program Scientist for the Psyche mission. She was previously the Program Scientist for NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, and the Deputy Program Scientist for Mars 2020. In addition to her involvement with Psyche, she is currently the Program Scientist for the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

 

Psyche was only the sixteenth asteroid identified when it was discovered in 1852. It is roughly the size of the state of Massachusetts and resides in the solar system's main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It’s thought to be the exposed remnant core of a protoplanet — a planet that began to form, but then lost its outer layers due to collisions that occurred billions of years ago. Unlike most asteroids that are rocky or icy bodies, it is believed that Psyche is composed mostly of iron and nickel (similar to the Earth’s core), which is why the Psyche mission spacecraft will be studying an asteroid more than 300 million miles away to learn more about our home planet’s core.

 

In this episode, Sara explains her role in the Psyche mission, what phase the mission is currently in, why we think we know what the asteroid is composed of, the spacecraft’s instruments and propulsion, how long the mission will take to complete, and much more.

 

For more information about the Psyche mission, visit https://www.nasa.gov/psyche and https://psyche.asu.edu.

 

To view the Psyche-inspired artwork Sarah mentioned in the episode, visit https://psyche.asu.edu/psyche-inspired-showcase/, and for information on submitting your own artwork, go to https://psyche.asu.edu/get-involved/psyche-space-crafty/.

 

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

Erin Macdonald – Tattooed Scottish-American N7 Rebel from Starfleet Academy

December 2, 2020 @ 10:37 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Dr. Erin Macdonald who holds a PhD in astrophysics and is an internationally recognized space science expert, writer, speaker, and consultant. Erin’s academic research background is in gravitational waves and general relativity, and she currently lives in Los Angeles working as a writer and science consultant for the Star Trek franchise.

 

In our conversation, Macdonald discusses how pop culture played a major role in inspiring her to pursue a career in science, and how she uses pop culture herself to teach others about the subject. She also gives details on her scientific consulting job with the Star Trek franchise, talks about her roles as a voice actor for video games, and explains her unorthodox professional title.

 

In discussing her enthusiasm about her role with the Star Trek franchise, Erin says, “It takes a lot for me to, like, not be walking down the street in Star Trek gear, and have someone be like, ‘Oh, I like Star Trek,’ and for me to [not] scream in their face, ‘I WORK FOR STAR TREK!!!’”

 

To learn more about Erin and her various activities, visit erinpmacdonald.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

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John Olver – Emisshield, Inc.

November 18, 2020 @ 9:22 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Dr. John Olver, President, CEO, and founder of Emisshield Incorporated, located in Blacksburg, Virginia. Dr. Olver has extensive experience working in the engineering, environmental, chemistry, and physics fields, and has more than 20 patents and/or patent applications in numerous industries.

 

In our conversation, Dr. Olver discusses how emissivity ― the ability to radiate ― inspired him and his team to build upon an existing technology developed by NASA for heatshields in the X-33 and X-34 programs. His company, Emisshield, uses this protective ceramic coating concept to make existing materials more thermally efficient across multiple commercial platforms, including power generation, aerospace, and even textiles. John also explains the company’s two priorities while advancing the technology: Keeping the concept environmentally friendly, and simple enough to be applied by everyday hardware store tools.

 

“We’re enhancing thermal performance, be it heating or cooling of any piece of material,” Olver says. “What we’re really doing is taking the technology from NASA and making composite materials and structures that enhance cooling and/or heating up for an industrial process, or everyday use in clothing, or anything like that.”

 

To learn more about Emisshield visit http://www.emisshield.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 Foundation, Space4U, Space Technology · Comments

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