Will Henry – Writer & Producer, “The High Frontier: The Untold Story of Gerard K. O‘Neill”

November 18, 2021 @ 10:14 am

In this episode:

We meet Will Henry, award-winning filmmaker, producer and writer of the documentary film The High Frontier: The Untold Story of Gerard K. O'Neill, released on September 15th of this year. Will is the Creative Director and Senior Producer at Multiverse Media, a media company focusing on space exploration and science and technology. He is also currently producing an eight-part television series in association with NASA, and is the writer and producer of The Legendary Podcast, a monthly podcast dedicated to sharing stories of perseverance and glory from the world’s top athletes.

 

In our conversation, Will discusses how he ended up working on the film, how long it took to take it from concept to release, how difficult it was to encapsulate a 30-year period of O’Neill’s eventful life into documentary film length, how they were able to round up Gerry’s family and associates to participate, and how much O’Neill’s work then has inspired today’s commercial space travel efforts.

 

Discussing O’Neill’s inventiveness, Will says, “He was a prolific inventor. He invented the particle accelerator; he invented the chambers that made that work. He also invented the precursor to GPS, and he predicted a lot of what we use today, you know — things like the Kindle to self-driving cars. And it’s just incredible how way ahead of his time he was.”

 

To learn more about the documentary, visit thehighfrontiermovie.com. To learn more about Will and his projects, visit willhenryfilm.com or catch him on Twitter @WillTHenry.

 

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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Garrett Harwood – Founder/CEO of Eagle Shield Inc.

November 10, 2021 @ 11:56 am

In this episode:

We meet Garrett Harwood, founder of Eagle Shield Inc., a premier provider of energy-saving products for home and business that were developed using a technology originally created by NASA. Eagle Shield’s products are space-certified through Space Foundation’s Space Certification Program.

 

Prior to Eagle Shield, Garrett was vice president of sales for a billion-dollar fitness center with locations in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School with a degree in administration, and also holds an MBS in Green Sustainability from San Francisco Institute of Architecture.

 

In our conversation, Garrett discusses how the lessons he learned in his previous career in the fitness industry helped to lay the groundwork for Eagle Shield, the space technology at the core of their product and its applications, how radiant barrier reflective insulation works, how use of the insulation has moved beyond residential homes to private and commercial properties, and where he’d like to take Eagle Shield next.

 

In describing how reflective insulation works, Harwood says, “Deep space is -460º [F] below zero. Why wouldn’t you have a heater in an astronaut uniform? Because your own body heat is 98.6 degrees [F]. So, by having the reflective insulation in the astronaut uniform, you’re reflecting your own body heat back in, keeping you comfortable.”

 

Learn more about Eagle Shield by visiting https://eagleshield.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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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

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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

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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

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Jay Chattaway, longtime Star Trek series music and score composer

September 22, 2021 @ 12:59 pm

In this episode:

We meet Jay Chattaway, an Emmy award-winning composer who has been nominated nine times for his work in television, particularly for the hit Star Trek series. In addition to his television work, Jay has composed scores for more than 30 feature films.

 

Chattaway is also the producer of many Grammy-winning music projects, working with artists such as Carly Simon, Bob James, Maynard Ferguson, Gato Barbieri, David Byrne of The Talking Heads, The Fania All-Stars , Herb Alpert, and the von Trapp Children. He has served as Director of A&R for CBS records, has been the president of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, and governor of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Jay is also in demand as a conductor, having recently conducted the London Philharmonic at Royal Albert Hall.

 

Jay has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University and post-graduate studies at The Eastman School of Music. Jay serves as Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at West Virginia University and received an Honorary Doctorate there in May 2019.

 

In this episode, Jay discusses the first instrument that he picked up and how it led him to a career in music, the musical artists that influenced him and his work, how music adds to storytelling, how he pairs music with a scripted scene, the processes and interactions he has with the director and writers for the show, and more.

 

Recalling how he initially got the job doing music for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Chattaway says, “So then they sent my whale orchestra on to the producers of Star Trek and they thought, ‘Wow, this guy’s out there, so I’m guessing if he’s that far out — doing whales in his orchestra — he might be the right guy to do Star Trek.’”

 

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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Frank Culbertson — former NASA astronaut, “The only US citizen not on Earth when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred”

September 9, 2021 @ 9:02 am

In this episode:

We meet CAPT Frank Lee Culbertson, Jr., USN (Ret.), a former American Naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aerospace engineer, NASA astronaut, and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He served as the Commander of the International Space Station (ISS) for almost four months in 2001, giving him the distinction of being the only U.S. citizen not on Earth when the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks occurred. As the ISS passed over New York City after the attacks, he captured impactful photos and video from low Earth orbit of the smoke emanating from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan.

 

You can read a letter he wrote detailing the complex emotions he experienced that day at https://www.nasa.gov/topics/nasalife/features/sept11_culbertson.html

 

Culbertson’s achievements are too numerous to list completely here. He served in the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, and later as a Naval aviator, Culbertson flew aircraft with the U.S. Air Force in the 426th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where he served as Weapons and Tactics Instructor. Culbertson then served as the Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer for USS John F. Kennedy until he was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, from which he graduated with distinction in 1982. He has logged over 9,500 hours flying time in 60 different types of aircraft.

 

Frank was selected for and completed NASA astronaut training in 1985. He’s a veteran of three space flights: STS-38 aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis (Nov. 1990), STS-51 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery (Sept. 1993), and as part of the ISS Expedition 3 crew (launched via STS-105 on Space Shuttle Discovery, Aug. 2001). Culbertson lived and worked aboard the International Space Station for a total of 129 days on that mission and commanded the ISS for 117 of those days.

 

Culbertson recently retired as President of the Space Systems Group at Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, and currently consults for several aerospace companies. He’s also on the Board of Advisors of Bye Aerospace, the Board of Trustees of the AIAA, the Board of Directors of Firefly Black Aerospace, and is Member at Large on the Space Foundation Board of Directors. He remains an active pilot and is president of his own company, Higher Flight LLC.

 

In this episode, Frank recalls his day on the ISS on Sept. 11, 2001, how he received information about the attacks in bits and pieces as the day unfolded, the loss of his friend Capt. Charles “Chic” Burlingame (pilot of Flight 77 which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon that day), and how much the world had changed by the time he returned to Earth three months later.

 

Detailing his memories of taking photos aboard the ISS that morning, Culbertson says, “So, it made it easy to zoom in with the camera and look at what was happening. And as I zoomed in ... a big gray blob enveloped Southern Manhattan, and ... I found out later what I was seeing was the second tower come down.”

 

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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Sam Mastovich – General Manager, Keystone Compliance

August 11, 2021 @ 10:54 am

In this episode:

We meet Sam Mastovich, general manager of Keystone Compliance. He joined the company more than 10 years ago following a career in commercial banking. What started as a three-person, one-location Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing lab is now a 40-person, four-location, EMC, mechanical, wireless, package and product safety testing lab. Their many testing capabilities also make them a perfect partner for aerospace companies.

 

In our conversation, Sam discusses how Keystone tests EMC, how Keystone grew to be more than just an EMC test lab, how all these tests relate to space technology, some of the general test programs Keystone provides for space companies, the more common mistakes that manufacturers make, and the new tests that he sees being developed as we venture further into space.

 

In describing how seldom consumers consider the testing that goes into the products they purchase, Mastovich says, “What we do is what every consumer takes for granted. We go to Target or Walmart or ... on Amazon, we order something, bring it home, plug it in—and it doesn’t kill us... So, that’s basically what we as consumers just take for granted.”

 

To learn more about Keystone Compliance, visit keystonecompliance.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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Robert Brumley – Cofounder/Chairman of CommStar Space Communications

July 28, 2021 @ 8:20 am

In this episode:

We meet Robert Brumley, cofounder and chairman of the CommStar space companies. CommStar intends to deploy the CommStar-1 satellite to cislunar orbit in 2023, serving as a high-capacity data relay satellite in the cislunar service area. CommStar-1 is being designed in cooperation with Thales Alenia Space to serve as a hybrid satellite able to receive and relay both radio-frequency and laser-optic communications — serving demand for bidirectional data communications between the Earth and the Moon for commercial, civil science, and government customers.

 

Brumley was a Senate-confirmed Presidential appointee in the Reagan administration, serving in both terms. During that time, he acted as the Executive Director of the Commercial Space Working Group of the National Security Council, and the Economic Policy Council. He is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Bob has extensive executive experience in the management and financing of early-stage ventures, particularly in aerospace, telecommunications, and defense.

 

In our conversation, Brumley explains what the vast cislunar area of space means to private companies like CommStar, why it’s so important to have this kind of infrastructure closer to the Moon, how the system will provide the same internet and communications services on the Moon as we currently have on Earth, and how a similar configuration could potentially be considered as infrastructure for other locations in deep space.

 

In discussing the growing importance of the cislunar service area, Bob says, “People are just learning: What is cislunar? And what is that to do with the Moon? And is there a real commercial opportunity outside what the government is doing? And within the last six months — particularly what we've experienced — the answer is yes, and there is real excitement about bypassing what would be low Earth orbit and going deeper.”

 

To learn more about CommStar Space Communications, visit https://commstar.space/

 

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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Daniel Lockney – NASA Technology Transfer Program

July 14, 2021 @ 10:07 am

In this episode:

We meet Daniel Lockney, the Technology Transfer Program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. NASA has a long history of finding new and innovative uses for its space and aeronautical technologies, and Lockney is the agency’s leading authority on those technologies and their practical applications on Earth. 

 

Daniel is responsible for agency-level management of NASA intellectual property and the transfer of NASA technology to the public. In this role, Lockney oversees policy, strategy, resources, and direction for the agency’s technology commercialization efforts.

 

In our conversation, Lockney explains how the Technology Transfer office bridges the gap between space technology and our needs on Earth, how space technology impacts Earth’s economy, and some of the most interesting secondary applications of space technologies he’s seen.

 

Describing the significant uptick in commercial applications of NASA-developed technologies, Daniel says, “Over the past decade, a quintupling of the amount of commercialization we've typically seen from NASA... Our patent licensing is through the roof. You know, we used to average about 20, 25 patents licensed per year — now we're hitting 150 to 175 easily.”

 

To learn more about the Technology Transfer Program at NASA, visit https://technology.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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