Keynote Speakers

Lori Garver

Lori Garver. General Manager, Air Line Pilots Association.

Lori Garver serves as the General Manager of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l. ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 51,000 pilots at 31 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Prior to joining ALPA, Ms. Garver served as the Deputy Administrator of NASA, from 2009 - 2013. Her efforts at NASA focused on advancing U.S. aeronautics and space activities through technology development, partnerships and innovation. This was her second time serving at NASA, having previously been Associate Administrator of the Office of Policy and Plans from 1996-2001. Other public roles have included being the lead civil space policy advisor to Mr. Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign and the head of the agency review team for NASA during post-election transition. She also served as the lead space policy advisor for the Hillary Clinton and John Kerry presidential campaigns. Throughout her career she has held a variety of senior positions in government, non-profit and commercial sectors. Lori has a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics from Colorado College and a master's degree in Science, Technology and Public Policy from George Washington University.


Chris Lewicki. President and Chief Asteroid Miner, Planetary Resources, Inc.

Mr. Lewicki has been intimately involved with the lifecycle of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix Mars Lander. Lewicki performed system engineering development and participated in assembly, test and launch operations for both Mars missions. He was Flight Director for the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the Surface Mission Manager for Phoenix. The recipient of two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, Lewicki has an asteroid named in his honor: 13609 Lewicki. Chris holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. At Planetary Resources, Mr. Lewicki is responsible for the strategic development of the company’s mission and vision, engagement with customers and the scientific community, serves as technical compass, and leads day to day operations.

Chris Lewicki


John Mather

John Mather. Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he specializes in infrared astronomy and cosmology. He received his Bachelor's degree in physics at Swarthmore College and his PhD in physics at the University of California at Berkeley. As an NRC postdoctoral fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (New York City), he led the proposal efforts for the Cosmic Background Explorer (74-76), and came to GSFC to be the Study Scientist (76-88), Project Scientist (88-98), and the Principal Investigator for the Far IR Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) on COBE. He and his team showed that the cosmic microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within 50 parts per million, confirming the Big Bang theory to extraordinary accuracy.The COBE team also discovered the cosmic anisotropy, now believed to be the primordial seeds that led to the structure of the universe today. It was these findings that led to Dr. Mather receiving the Nobel Prize in 2006. Dr. Mather now serves as Senior Project Scientist (95-present) for the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the great Hubble Space Telescope.


Story Musgrave. Astronaut, NASA.

Story Musgrave was born in 1935 on a dairy farm in Stockbridge, MA. He was in the forests alone at 3 and by 5 floated his homebuilt rafts on the rivers. He rode combines at 5, drove trucks and tractors at 10 and when alone in remote fields repaired them by 13. He never finished school, ran off to Korea with the U. S. Marines where he was an aircraft electrician and engine mechanic. He started flying with the Marines and over the next 58 years accumulated 18,000 hours in over 160 aircraft. He is a parachutist with over 800 freefalls. He has 6 graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, and literature. He has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates. He was a part-time trauma surgeon for the duration of his astronaut career. He was a NASA astronaut for over 30 years and flew on six spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger's first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia. He was the communicator in mission control for 25 missions.

Story Musgrave


Bob Richards

Bob Richards. CEO, Moon Express.

Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards is a space entrepreneur and futurist. He is a Co-Founder of the International Space University, Singularity University, SEDS, the Space Generation Foundation and Google Lunar X PRIZE competitors Odyssey Moon Ltd. and Moon Express, Inc., where he currently serves as CEO. As Director of the Optech Space Division from 2002-2009, Bob led the company's technology into orbit in 2004 and to the surface of Mars in 2007 aboard the NASA Phoenix Lander. Bob studied aerospace and industrial engineering at Ryerson University; physics and astronomy at the University of Toronto; and space science at Cornell University where he became special assistant to Carl Sagan. Bob is an evangelist of the "NewSpace" movement and has been a catalyst for a number of commercial space ventures. He is a contributing author of "Blueprint for Space"; "Return to the Moon" and "The Farthest Shore." In 2005 Bob received a Doctorate of Space Achievement (honoris causa) from the International Space University.


Rick Tumlinson. Chairman of the Board, Deep Space Industries (DSI).

Named one of the world's top "Space Visionaries" and one the top one hundred most influential people in the space field by Space News, Rick N. Tumlinson co-Founded the Space Frontier Foundation, called "pound for pound the most effective space organization on Earth." Over the years Rick has been a lead witness in six congressional hearings, including testifying before Senator John McCain and the Senate Space and Technology Committee on the Moon, Mars and Beyond program. He also helped pass the Space Settlement Act of 1988. Mr. Tumlinson founded Orbital Outfitters, which produced the world's first commercial space suit in 2007 and is considered one of the early successes of the New Space movement. He is currently living in Texas, where he founded the Texas Space Alliance to transform the state into a driving force in the realm of commercial space and space exploration. He is also working on Project: Space Diver, whose goal is to return people from space without spacecraft for safety, while working on his next book.

Rick Tumlinson


Pete Worden

Pete Worden. Center Director, NASA Ames Research Center.

Dr. Simon P. Worden (Brig. Gen., USAF, ret.) is the center director at NASA Ames Research Center where he leads a staff of nearly 2,500 civil servants and contractors and oversees an annual budget of approx. $800 million providing the critical R&D support that makes NASA's and the nation's aeronautics and space missions possible. In just three years, Worden has completely transformed Ames, reinvigorating the center's workforce and taking a leadership role in important, cost-effective small satellite mission. Worden has also put Ames on the critical path for all major NASA space exploration missions through effective use of the center's unique wind tunnels, arc jets, intelligent systems and supercomputer facilities and capabilities. Worden's 'GreenSpace' initiative has brought Ames' remote sensing capabilities to bear on air traffic safety, fighting forest fires, and the study of climate change. And Ames' new Sustainability Base facility will serve as a model for future eco-friendly, high-performance federal buildings. In recognition of these outstanding achievements, Worden was named the Federal Laboratory Consortium's Laboratory Director of the Year for 2009. Worden retired in 2004 after 29 years of active service in the United States Air Force. His final position was Director of Development and Transformation, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA.


Speakers

Joseph Amor

Joseph Amor. Vice President & General Manager, Microspace Communications.

Mr. Amor has served as Vice President and General Manager for Microspace since 1995. In the early 90s, he began his career with Microspace as a customer and works today to maintain the high level of service and support that the company has become known for. Mr. Amor has also been a driving force behind Microspace's innovation and commitment to the industries it services. He is frequently quoted in leading trade publications and speaks regularly at industry events. Mr. Amor holds a Bachelor of Science/Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri (Kansas City) and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Rockhurst College.



Jose Aponte

Jose Aponte. Research Associate Professor, Astrochemistry Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Jose C. Aponte is a Research Associate working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through a contract with The Catholic University of America. He develops analytical methods (GC-MS/IRMS and HPLC) to characterize, quantify, and measure the isotopic signatures of small organic compounds (e.g. amines, monocarboxylic acids and amino acids), that are present in carbonaceous chondrites (carbon-rich meteorites), and that may have been relevant to the origins of life on Earth and elsewhere.


Edward Ashford

Edward Ashford. President, Ashford Aerospace Consulting.

Edward Ashford has more than 50 years of space related experience, at Honeywell, ESA, Lockheed-Martin, SES, and now, since 2004, as an educator and independent consultant. He consults on a wide range of communication satellite and space related topics, with clients that have included NASA, the government of Luxembourg, international law firms, the Graz University of Technology, satellite and space technology companies, investment banks and venture capitalists. He is the author of one book on the history and characteristics of communication satellites, and co-author of two others on their operating principles and services. He is the past director of The Delft University of Technology master's program on space systems engineering, and a lecturer on communication satellite topics for the AIAA. He also serves as a member of the engineering physics advisory board for Embry-Riddle University.



Robert Bell

Robert Bell. Executive Director, Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI).

Robert Bell serves as the Executive Director of the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), where he is responsible for the programs, finances and operations of the organization. Mr. Bell has led business development missions to cities in Asia and the US; and has appeared in segments of ABC World News and The Discovery Channel. He is a frequent contributor to publications including Asia-Pacific Broadcasting, Satellite News, The Orbiter, The Municipal Journal of Telecommunications Policy, Telecommunications and Asian Communications.


Steve Brody

Steve Brody. VP, International Space University.

Steven Brody operates ISU's North American Office, located in the Washington, DC area. Before joining ISU, Steve worked for NASA and was intimately involved with the Discovery Program of planetary science missions, including Lunar Prospector, Genesis, and Deep Impact. In earlier roles, he contributed to NASA's Strategic Planning, its investment in in-situ resource utilization, and its support of the commercial development of space. While working on the Space Station Program, he spent four years in The Netherlands as NASA's representative to ESA. Before joining NASA, Steve worked in aerospace industry, performing systems engineering and project management for Space Shuttle integration & test. He has a Bachelor's degree in Physics (Drexel Univ.), and a Masters in Aeronautics & Astronautics (MIT).



Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.

Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.. Professor, UNC Chapel Hill Dept. of Computer Science.

Kenan Professor Fred Brooks grew up in Greenville NC, and graduated from Duke. His Harvard Ph.D. was under Howard Aiken, architect of the first American computer. He's been crazy about computers since teenage. In the '50's, he was an architect of IBM's Stretch and Harvest supercomputers. In the '60's, he was IBM's Corporate Project Manager for the System/360 development, including the System/360 computer family ("mainframe") hardware, and the Operating System/360 software. He founded the UNC Department of Computer Science in 1964 and chaired it for 20 years. His current research is in interactive computer graphics ("virtual reality"). His best-known books are The Mythical Man-Month, (1975,1995), Computer Architecture: Concepts and Evolution (with G.A. Blaauw, 1997), and The Design of Design (2010). Dr. Brooks has received the National Medal of Technology, and the Turing Award of the ACM. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the (British) Royal Academy of Engineering, which is the most fun of them all. He and Nancy are faculty advisors for the graduate-student chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. They have three children and nine grandchildren.


Barrett S. Caldwell

Barrett S. Caldwell. Professor, Purdue University.

Dr. Barrett Caldwell is a Professor in Industrial Engineering, and Aeronautics & Astronautics, at Purdue University. Barrett's research team focuses on how people get, share and use information… well. What is needed, and what Barrett's work highlights, is an engineering approach to explore and develop units of knowledge sharing that help improve productivity, safety, and effectiveness of teams on earth and in space. Barrett has been an author on over 150 scientific publications and graduated over 12 PhD and over 30 MS thesis students. Over his 12 years as Director of the NASA-funded Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC), he has managed over $7 million in NASA education and outreach funds, and helped support over 200 STEM students in undergraduate and graduate programs across 18 INSGC academic affiliates. Barrett serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments, an open-access peer-reviewed scientific and practitioner journal. He is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), and a Purdue University Faculty Scholar (2011-16).



Matt Cannella

Matt Cannella. Propulsion Components Engineer, United Launch Alliance (ULA).

Matt Cannella is a Propulsion Components Engineer at United Launch Alliance (ULA), where he helps with the production, design, and future development of propulsion systems for the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles. Prior to joining ULA, Matt led and managed several cutting edge rocket propulsion research projects at the Busemann Advanced Concepts Laboratory. He also has worked for NASA and Masten Space Systems. A graduate of the NASA Propulsion Academy, Matt believes strongly in public outreach for the industry and currently serves as the Deputy Director for Young Professionals for AIAA Region V. Cannella earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Master's Degrees in Aerospace Engineering Sciences and Engineering Management from the University of Colorado Boulder.


Brad Cheetham

Brad Cheetham. Student Researcher and Instructor, CU Boulder.

Bradley Cheetham is the lead instructor and curriculum developer for a graduate level two-course sequence in Commercial Spaceflight Operations at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is currently completing his PhD focused on three-body astrodynamics and satellite navigation. Brad has experience leading research, proposals, and strategic partnerships at the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, and is a part of the team at the University of Colorado at Boulder which was selected as a member of the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. He serves on the board of the Future Space Leaders Foundation and is a member of the AIAA Space Transportation Technical Committee. Cheetham earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder.



Carissa Christensen

Carissa Christensen. Managing Partner, The Tauri Group.

Carissa Bryce Christensen is a founder and Managing Partner of The Tauri Group, an analytic consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. Ms. Christensen is a recognized expert in commercial space, and for 25 years has engaged the leading edge of the space industry with innovative analysis of space systems, industry economics, advanced technologies, unique regulatory requirements, and underlying demand. Her on-going work with government agencies, industry organizations, launch firms, and satellite manufacturers and operators helps decision makers better understand market positioning, future demand for space services, and competitive dynamics. Ms. Christensen's publications include contributions to peer-reviewed journals, industry publications, books, and conference proceedings. She has often been quoted in trade and popular media, including Wired, the CBS Evening News, Space News, and the Los Angeles Times.


Carol Christian

Carol Christian. Hubble Space Telescope Outreach Project Scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute.

Dr. Christian is a scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute and serves as the Outreach Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. Her role is to champion the scientific integrity of material produced by the Office of Public Outreach by fostering a closer partnership between OPO and the STScI scientific staff. She participates in scientific review, and facilitates overall scientific review of news articles and public press releases. She also leads the STScI activities in citizen science and participates in developing new strategies for communicating HST discoveries and JWST information to the public. Dr. Christian received a PhD in Physics and Astronomy at Boston University. She has been a staff scientist involved at instrument, software and archive development at several observatories prior to coming to STScI.



William Claybaugh

William Claybaugh. Vice President, Strategic Space Solutions, LLC.

Mr. Claybaugh is Vice President at Strategic Space Solutions, LLC, a strategic analysis and business-planning consultancy. He advises clients on business opportunities including mergers and acquisitions. Previously, Bill was Senior Director for Human Space Systems within the Advanced Programs Group at Orbital. His duties included strategic and tactical analysis of business opportunities in human spaceflight as well as conducting strategic studies for corporate management. Before Orbital, Bill was Director of the Studies & Analysis Division within the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation at NASA Headquarters. Bill previously served as a member of NASA's Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS), an intense 65-day effort to design a human-rated Earth-Moon transportation system; for his effort he was awarded the NASA Public Service medal. Bill served as Business Advisor within NASA's Reusable Launch Vehicle Program Office where he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service medal.


Jeff Feige

Jeff Feige. CEO, Orbital Outfitters.

Jeff Feige is the Space Frontier Foundation's Chairman of the Board, and he has worked exclusively for NewSpace entrepreneurial space companies as a consultant for both government affairs and government marketing. Prior to his work at Orbital Outfitters, he worked for Polispace, a consulting firm focused on supporting entrepreneurial spaceflight firms. He was also the Assistant to the Executive Director of the Aerospace States Association, an organization devoted to developing the aviation and space industries through the tools available to state governments. In addition to his work in the NewSpace industry, he helped found Talon Aerospace, an LED lighting firm that develops internal and external lighting solutions for the commercial air transportation industry. He is an avid sailor, SCUBA diver, and pilot.



Jeff Foust

Jeff Foust. Senior Staff Writer, Space News.

Jeff Foust is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews, joining the publication in September 2014. He covers civil and commercial space topics for the publication and is also involved in developing new approaches for reporting about the space industry. He has more than a decade of experience writing about space policy, commercial space, and related topics. He founded spacetoday.net and The Space Review in the early 2000s, both of which continue to operate to this day. Prior to joining SpaceNews, he worked as a senior analyst for the Futron Corporation, an aerospace consulting company. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 and a B.S. with honors in geophysics and planetary science from the California Institute of Technology in 1993. He was a member of both Caltech SEDS and MITSEDS and served as SEDS-USA co-chair from 1992-93.


Josh Fuchs

Josh Fuchs. Graduate Student, UNC Chapel Hill.

Josh Fuchs is a Ph.D. student in Astrophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He studies pulsating white dwarf stars. By studying these starquakes the internal composition and structure of white dwarfs can be determined through a process called asteroseismology. He primarily uses the SOAR Telescope in Chile and the SALT Telescope in South Africa to conduct his research. Josh has been an author with Astrobites, the astro-ph readers digest, since 2012. Astrobites covers the latest published astronomy articles and summarizes them at an undergraduate level. He enjoys all levels of public outreach and education and just finished two years as a Universe Awareness Student Ambassador. Josh got his B.S. from Rhodes College and his M.S. from UNC - Chapel Hill.



Joe Grebowsky

Joe Grebowsky. Project Scientist, MAVEN Mission.

Dr. Grebowsky is NASA's Project Scientist for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, that has recently successfully entered Mars orbit to explore where the water and atmosphere went. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Manhattan College, NY, NY and a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. He is currently a research scientist in the Planetary Magnetospheres Laboratory at Goddard Space Flight Center. His research efforts encompass: ionospheric radio wave propagation; the Earth's upper atmosphere/ionosphere; spacecraft plasma environments; terrestrial ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling; Venus/Mars ionospheric/atmospheric/magnetospheric physics; Venus lightning; meteoric metal ion and neutral species layers at Earth and in the atmospheres of other solar system bodies. He was also Deputy Mission Scientist for the terrestrial Radiation Storm Probes and TIMED spacecraft missions.


Ben Haldeman

Ben Haldeman. Spacecraft Architect, Planet Labs, Inc..

Ben Haldeman is a spacecraft architect at Planet Labs where he has led the design of 5 spacecraft iterations in under a year and launched over 70 spacecraft. Previously, Ben designed instrumentation for life detection on Mars and built a global robotic telescope network. Ben believes a new agile aerospace approach to space will play a key role in humanity becoming a multi-planetary species.



Roger Hathaway

Roger Hathaway. NASA Langley Office of Education.

As the Head of the NASA Langley Office of Education until July 2014, Dr. Roger A. Hathaway was responsible for providing leadership and policy guidance for formal and informal education programs at NASA Langley. The programs include pre-college, higher education, distance learning, digital media laboratory program activities, and adult learning programs. Dr. Hathaway began his federal career in 1983 as an education specialist in the Office of Public Services at Langley. In 1991, he was appointed the Pre-College Officer for the Langley Office of Education. During 1993, he spent several months at NASA Headquarters in the Office of the Administrator as the Executive Officer for the Special Assistant to the Administrator. Dr. Hathaway has received two NASA Honor Awards. In 1992, he was the recipient of the Equal Employment Opportunity Medal for Exemplary Support for the Minority Programs at Langley. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Exceptional Service Award for Leadership and Management of University Programs.


Chris Hennon

Chris Hennon. Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Carolina Asheville.

Dr. Christopher Hennon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at UNC Asheville. He earned his doctorate in Atmospheric Sciences from The Ohio State University (2003), specializing in tropical cyclone prediction. His Master of Science Degree, also in Atmospheric Science, was earned at Purdue University (1996). Dr. Hennon completed his undergraduate degree at Miami University (Ohio) in Aeronautics-Mathematics in 1994. After a 2-year post-doctoral research position at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL, Dr. Hennon joined the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at UNC Asheville in 2005. He has taught a variety of undergraduate courses, including Tropical Meteorology, Physical Climatology, Applied Climatology, and Atmospheric Dynamics. Although still active in the tropical cyclone research community, Dr. Hennon has also developed a strong interest in climate and climate change.



Lindley Johnson

Lindley Johnson. Program Executive, NASA's Near-Earth Object Program.

Lindley Johnson is assigned to NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate, Planetary Science Division, as the Program Executive for the Near Earth Object Programs. Prior to NASA he served 23 years of Air Force active duty, obtained the rank of lieutenant colonel while working on a variety of national security space systems. After joining NASA, he was the Program Executive for NASA's Deep Impact mission to comet Tempel 1, launched in January 2005 to deliver an impact probe to the comet's surface on July 4, 2005, and explore the composition and interior structure of short-period comets. NASA's NEO Observations program has discovered over 8,000 near-Earth asteroids and comets since Lindley became its manager, about 80% of the total known. Lindley has received NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal for his work on comet and asteroid missions. Asteroid 5905 (1989 CJ1) is named "Johnson" to recognize Lindley's efforts in detecting Near Earth Objects.


Hannah Kerner

Hannah Kerner. Chair, SEDS-USA.

Hannah Rae Kerner currently serves as the Chair of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) USA. She is an Advocate of the Space Frontier Foundation as well as Chair of the Foundation's NewSpace conference. She has worked at NASA's Langley Research Center and Goddard Space Flight Center on data analysis software for Earth observing satellites as well as the design of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge, a NASA Centennial Challenge. She is currently working as an onboard software engineer at Planet Labs, an agile satellite startup based in San Francisco. Hannah graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.S. in computer science where she conducted research in robot motion planning for micro air vehicles. She will return to UNC in 2015 to complete an MS in computer science.



Don Kessler

Don Kessler. Orbital Debris and Meteoroid Consultant.

Donald J. (Don) Kessler retired from NASA in 1996 as NASA's Senior Scientist for Orbital Debris Research. He began his career at NASA modeling the interplanetary meteoroid environment and later applied these modeling techniques to artificial satellites in Earth orbit. These models predicted that the hazard from man-made orbital debris soon would exceed the hazard from the natural meteoroid environment. Don has published more than 100 technical papers on meteoroids and orbital debris. However, he may be recognized by the general public for the "Kessler Syndrome", a term propagated by the popular press to describe his 1978 publication. His awards include the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, the AIAA Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award, the IAASS Jerome Lederer Space Safety Pioneer Award, and the AAS Dirk Brouwer Award "For first recognizing, then defining and researching the Earth's orbital debris hazard during his half-century career in astrodynamics."


Adam C Kimberlin

Adam C Kimberlin. Engineer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Mr. Kimberlin is an engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. His current duties in the Aerosciences Branch include the analysis, design and testing of subscale launch vehicle configurations for NASA's Space Launch System and Commercial Crew. In 2011, he joined the Propulsion Research and Development Laboratory at NASA MSFC where his responsibilities included the development, maintenance, operation, and testing of world-unique facilities and test articles. In 2008, he joined NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) as a co-op student where he supported many small R&D projects as well as the International Space Station, Space Shuttle, and Constellation programs. Mr. Kimberlin received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in May of 2011.



Les Kovacs

Les Kovacs. Director of Executive Branch Affairs, United Launch Alliance (ULA) .

Les Kovacs is director of executive branch affairs at United Launch Alliance (ULA). He works with the White House, NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the departments of Commerce and Defense to shape policies affecting ULA's business and the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, which launches the nation's most critical national security and scientific payloads to Earth orbit and interplanetary destinations. Prior to joining ULA, Kovacs was the operations manager and launch site manager for Orbital Sciences' Antares launch vehicle at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. Kovacs also served in the U.S Air Force as a Space Operations officer, serving in a variety of ballistic missile warning roles and culminating with duty as a launch controller at Cape Canaveral, Florida. He also developed the Air Force's spacelift course, where he instructed classes in orbital mechanics, launch vehicle design, range and flight safety operations.


Swaminathan Kumar

Swaminathan Kumar. President, SEDS India.

Swaminathan Kumar is the former President of SEDS in India for the year 2013-2014. He served as the head of projects for SEDS before being elected president, where he headed up various technical projects. In his tenure as the President of SEDS-India, Swaminathan initiated various programs to create awareness about space exploration and SEDS in Indian universities, including initiation collaborations with chapters in USA and UK and extending SEDS to North East Indian chapters where there was no presence previously, including other technical programs. Swami's interests lie particularly in space technology spin offs and in collaboration and management of space related programs and exploring the interface of human experience and technology in space exploration. Swami graduated from VIT University in India in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and is currently a professional master’s student of Engineering Management at Duke University.



Kipp Larson

Kipp Larson. Kepler and K2 Missions Operations Manager, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation.

Kipp Larson led the Ball team that tackled Kepler's reaction wheel failure and developed a completely new two-wheel mission from initial concept to demonstrated planet detection in only four months. He has a degree in Physics and Philosophy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and Space Systems Operations Management from Webster University. He worked at Johnson Space Center as a Mission Operations Lead for the International Space Station Human Research Facility where he was responsible for mission planning, leading console operations and crew training. He is an adjunct professor at Webster University, and has authored numerous publications in the fields of high-energy imaging spectrometer instrument design and spacecraft mission operations. A private pilot, he is currently building a four-seat airplane in his garage.


Kris Lehnhardt

Kris Lehnhardt. Attending Physician/Assistant Professor, George Washington University.

Dr. Kris Lehnhardt is an Attending Physician and Assistant Professor at George Washington University (GWU) who specializes in Emergency Medicine and Aerospace Medicine. He is a graduate of the International Space University Space Studies Program and has trained with Flight Surgeons from NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and the Canadian Forces. At GWU, Dr. Lehnhardt is the Director of the Introduction to Human Health in Space graduate course and the Fellowship in Extreme Environmental Medicine. He is also a Medical Specialist with the Royal Canadian Air Force, a private pilot, and a PADI Advanced Open Water SCUBA diver.



Jeffrey Manber

Jeffrey Manber. Managing Director, NanoRacks LLC.

Jeffrey has three decades of experience in bringing innovative space projects to the marketplace, both in manned and unmanned space exploration and utilization. Jeffrey's experience includes working as an adviser to the chairman of PanAmSat, the first privately owned international satellite venture, as the company raised its first outside rounds of financing. For most of the 1990s Jeff worked to bring together the American and Russian space programs. In the early 1990s he carried over the first contract between NASA and the then Soviet organization RSC Energia. As CEO of MirCorp, which leased the Russian space station Mir, Jeff is the only businessman to have ever marketed an orbiting space station and conducted a commercial manned mission to space (MirCorp-1.) While leading MirCorp, Manber signed historic space-based media and entertainment deals with space tourist Dennis Tito and movie producer James Cameron. He also co-developed the first fund dedicated to commercial space on Wall Street (Shearson Lehman) and has written two books.



Mike Mongo

Mike Mongo. Space Educator and Chief Brand & Culture Officer, Icarus Interstellar.

Mike Mongo is a writer and author of The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens. In the US and abroad, He is as an enthusiastic advocate of space careers to elementary, middle and high school and college-age students. A popular space educator, Mike is Chief Brand & Culture Officer for Icarus Interstellar, a co-founder of Icarus Interstellar's interstellar space science summit Starship Congress, and (with Dr Andreas Tzioloas and video game creator Luke Blaise) he is co-founder of creative content startup incubator FarMaker. As a speaker and presenter before students, educators, and space professionals, Mike is known for his trademark introduction, "My name is Mike Mongo and I'm an astronaut teacher!" Mike is co-founder of the OBEY brand and the BUILD A STARSHIP initiative, and is based out of Key West, FL, where he lives with his wife Leonie Thompson-Mongo and cat George.


Robert Moses

Robert Moses. Atmospheric Flight & Entry Systems Branch, NASA Langley.

Bob joined NASA in 1989 and immediately contributed to flight test teams developing hardware for shuttle missions. Following the successful launch of his hardware aboard STS-37, he entered a NASA-sponsored graduate program until 1997. Also, during this timeframe, created and developed techniques for regenerative aerobraking. In 2004, he joined the Exploration Engineering Branch at LaRC, followed by the Constellation Program Flight Test Office at JSC. After Constellation, Robert began to mentor students from several internship programs, and still leads technology development for crewed missions to Mars. During the past four years, Robert worked on an advanced technology project to explore a new energy theory, and to develop radiation protection devices for the in-space habita. Earlier this year, Robert joined a small Blue Sky study team to derive a strategy for using In-Situ Resource Utilization to enable crewed missions to Mars by the 2030s.



James Muncy

James Muncy. Founder and Principal, PoliSpace.

James A. M. Muncy is the founder and principal of PoliSpace, an independent space policy consultancy that helps space entrepreneurs succeed at the nexus of business, public affairs, and technology. From 1997 through early 2000 he served on the Professional Staff of the House Science Committee's Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee. In the mid-1980s, Jim Muncy worked for as a policy assistant in President Reagan's White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and served as the White House's Staff Liaison to the National Commission on Space. A long-time leader in the space advocacy community, Jim Muncy co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation in 1988 and served as its Chairman of the Board for six years, and was reelected to the Board in 2007. Jim Muncy holds an MS in Space Studies from the Center for Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar.



Chris Nie

Chris Nie. M.S. Aerospace Engineering Student, University of Colorado.

Chris is a Master's degree student studying Aerospace Engineering Sciences with a focus in Bioastronautics at the University of Colorado, Boulder graduating in May 2015. In the past he has worked on student-led projects including balloon-borne optical telescopes, CubeSats, microgravity flight experiments, hypervelocity dust detectors, and ECLSS testbeds. Additional experience includes work at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Johnson Space Center in systems engineering, spacecraft habitability, and robotics. Currently, he is a research assistant developing and operating scientific payloads for use on the International Space Station.



Aaron Oesterle

Aaron Oesterle. Associate, PoliSpace.

Aaron Oesterle, 34, is a professional space activist and is currently an Associate at PoliSpace. He serves as Policy Director on the Board of Directors for the Space Frontier Foundation. He also served as Vice-Chair of the NewSpace 2014 conference. Aaron has a degree in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on Space Policy from the University of Michigan.


Dan Oltrogge

Dan Oltrogge. Senior Research Aerodynamicist, AGI.

Daniel Oltrogge is a Senior Research Astrodynamicist with AGI's Center for Space Standards and Innovation (CSSI) and the CEO of 1Earth Research, LLC. In the CSSI context, Dan is Program Manager of the Space Data Center, providing space situational awareness and analysis support to a broad spectrum of space operators. Dan received a Bachelor's Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master's Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. Dan has authored over 70 technical papers and professional journal articles, the consensus international standard on estimating orbit lifetime, and two book chapters. Dan's specialties include orbital debris mitigation, nanosatellites, launch and early orbit operations, international space operations and debris mitigation standards development, space situational awareness and astrodynamics analysis.



Zach Pace

Zach Pace. Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Zach Pace is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studies the evolution of galaxies through integral field spectroscopy, a technique which simultaneously provides tens of arcsecond-resolution spectra of a single extended source, allowing the construction of metallicity gradients and detailed star formation histories. His research uses data from the WIYN Telescope, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the Hubble Space Telescope. Zach's previous projects include Galaxy Zoo and Hubble Frontier Fields. Zach holds a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University at Buffalo. He is an alumnus of UB-SEDS and is the Development Manager for SEDS-USA.


Harry Partridge

Harry Partridge. Chief Technologist, NASA Ames Research Center.

Harry Partridge is the NASA Ames Center Chief Technologist. Previously, Harry was the Senior Technical Officer for the Space Technology Mission Directorate. In this role he served as the chief technologist for the 9 programs within the Space Technology Program. He served on numerous technical review panels including the Space Technology Research Fellowships, the Earlier Career Faculty awards, and Early Stage Innovation awards. He was on the recommendation panel for all STMD solicitations. He was the Deputy Director of the Entry Systems and Technology Division at NASA Ames and was responsible for managing the entire range of entry system technology developments. In addition, he has been the Branch Chief of the Nanotechnology Branch at Ames and the program manager for the Bio-nano project within the CICT program. Harry received his PhD from Indiana University in Chemical Physics and has published approximately 190 papers in computational chemistry.



Dan Pastuf

Dan Pastuf. Executive Director, SEDS-USA.

Dan currently serves as the Executive Director for SEDS-USA, where he is the principal administration official for SEDS-USA and its staff, overseeing most activities, as directed by the student Board of Directors. After serving in several roles with the organization, Dan was elected to the Chair of SEDS-USA for 2011 - 2012. During his term, he led efforts to complete the first strategic plan for the organization in over a decade. After his term ended, he acted as adviser for the incoming Board of Directors, and was appointed as Executive Director in 2012. Dan is a recent graduate of the University at Buffalo (UB) with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, and currently resides in Washington, DC.


James Pura

James Pura. President, Space Frontier Foundation.

James Pura, 30, has many years of experience in the aerospace industry, including working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Boeing, and Space Exploration Technologies. Within the Space Frontier Foundation, Pura has Co-Chaired some of the most successful NewSpace Conferences and currently serves as President & Director. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego, and currently operates a real estate investment company in Southern California.



Sian Proctor

Sian Proctor. Professor of Geology, South Mountain Community College.

Sian Proctor is a geology professor at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. Throughout her adult life she has pushed herself to take on new challenges and to learn new things. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science, M.S. in Geology, and a Ph.D. in Science Education. Both her masters and doctorate research involved the use of technology to understand how individuals learn. She teaches both hybrid and online geology classes, and has traveled and taught around the world. She was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program, was on the Discovery Channel reality TV show called The Colony, was the Education Outreach Officer on the 4-month NASA funded Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation 2013 Mission, and was a 2014 PolarTREC teacher doing climate change research in Barrow, Alaska. She loves traveling, playing sports, photography, and cooking.


Peter Smith

Peter Smith. Principal Investigator, Phoenix Robotic Explorer.

Dr. Peter Smith is a Professor Emeritus of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona and held the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair of Integrated Science. His career spans 4 decades during which he has participated in many space missions to various planets in the solar system. Smith has contributed to cameras that have flown to Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Titan. In 1997 his camera on board the Mars Pathfinder lander returned exquisite pictures of the dry, rocky plains in Chryse Planitia. In 2008, Dr. Smith was the Principal Investigator, or leader, of the Phoenix mission to the icy northern plains of Mars. He has won numerous awards including the prestigious NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. He is an imaging scientist on the OSIRIS-REx mission to return samples from a nearby asteroid.



Forest Stearns

Forest Stearns. Art Director, Planet Labs, Inc..

Forest Stearns is a prolific illustrator and facilitator with a passion for drawing everywhere. As the Art Director for Planet Labs, Stearns uses orbiting satellites and internationally located radomes as his unique artistic canvases. With the Planet's engineering team, he has collaborated to execute the largest outward facing art exhibit in space. Stearns believes that artistic creativity in tech & engineering stimulates the imagination and opens the viewer's mind, and thus provides the perfect environment where scientific theory can collide and collaborate with artistic abstraction. He thrives at working with diverse teams to find creative synergies to illuminate scientific concepts, cultural narratives, and natural phenomena. He has a MFA from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He resides in Berkeley, CA with his partner and daughter.


Geoff Steeves

Geoff Steeves. Chair of Space Sciences Department and Faculty Member, International Space University.

Geoff Steeves is Chair of the Space Sciences Department and a faculty member at International Space University, headquartered in Strasbourg, France. He is also a tenured faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Victoria in Canada. He completed his Ph.D. in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Alberta in 2001, conducting research in ultrafast microscopy. He continued his studies through an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2003 he joined the faculty at the University of Victoria where he conducts research and lectures in experimental physics, mechanics, electronics and optics. He is the co-founder of the StarAcers.com science education program and a TEDx speaker. He was a top 16 finalist in Canada's last Astronaut Recruitment Campaign.



Allison Thackston

Allison Thackston. Lead Robotics Perception, Oceaneering Space Systems.

Allison Thackston is the Lead Engineer for Robotic Perception on Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot on the International Space Station. She has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her thesis focused on collision avoidance in supervised robotic manipulation. She currently works at the Johnson Space Center on the Robonaut project where she is responsible for software development and applied vision research to facilitate cooperation between robots and humans.


Steve Townes

Steve Townes. Chief Technologist, Interplanetary Network Directorate.

Dr. Townes is the Chief Technologist of the Interplanetary Network Directorate at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). During his career at JPL he has been the Manager of the Communication Technologies and Standards Program Office, Deputy Manager of the Systems Concepts, Integration and Planning Office, Deputy Project Manager of the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration, and Manager of the Communications Systems and Research Section. He has also worked at The MITRE Corporation, Bedford, MA, in adaptive signal processing for communications and radar and at Stanford Telecommunications, Inc., as an analyst for GPS and digital communications systems. He has a PhD, MS and BE in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University, Stanford University and Vanderbilt University respectively.



Paul Unger

Paul Unger. President, NBS Search.

Paul Unger has more than 30 years of senior executive search experience. Prior to forming Paul Unger NBS Search he was a partner and Managing Director, Telecommunications and Technology, at top 10 search firm, Christian & Timbers. Previously, he was a partner and Practice Leader of the Global Technology Search Practice of AT Kearney Executive Search. During his career in executive search, Mr. Unger has worked with many broad segments of technology companies and industries. He has conducted search assignments worldwide including, North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Paul earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Upsala College. He is a founder and former Chapter President of Society of Satellite Professionals International and an Advisory Board Member of MetroTech.


Geronimo Villanueva

Geronimo Villanueva. Leader of Mars Studies for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Dr. Geronimo Villanueva, a planetary scientist at CUA and NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, specializes in the search for organic molecules on Mars and on icy bodies. He is the leader for Mars studies for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and scientist for the ExoMars 2016 mission. His foundational work on small bodies led the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to name asteroid "9724" after Dr. Villanueva. Since completing his Ph.D. studies at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solar-System Research in Germany in 2004, Dr. Villanueva has participated in many projects at three space agencies, NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and DLR (German Aerospace Agency). He was chosen as Science communicator by the US State Department and Shakira's foundation "Pies Descalzos" to promote science in developing regions.



Ian Webster

Ian Webster. Creator, Asterank.

Ian Webster is a software engineer at Google. Previously, he developed spacecraft avionics and ground control systems at Planetary Resources. In 2012, Ian created Asterank, a collection of computational tools and visualizations used to analyze asteroids and evaluate potential missions, acquired by Planetary Resources in 2013. Prior to working in space, Ian was a lead engineer at a startup acquired by Google. He holds a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College.


Kyle Willett

Kyle Willett. Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Kyle Willett is a postdoctoral research associate working with Prof. Lucy Fortson's group. He focuses on results from the Galaxy Zoo project, in which classifications of images by members of the public enable the science performed by professional astronomers. He is also working on the design of new citizen science projects involving radio galaxies. Dr. Willett's other research has included work on extragalactic masers, blazars, compact symmetric objects, and the variation of fundamental constants. He has used telescopes such as the EVLA in New Mexico, the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.



Gabriel Winer

Gabriel Winer. Project Director, The Satellite.

Gabriel is a designer and artist whose work focuses on environmental perception. He holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Yale University, and studied anthropology and art at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He received a master's degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU Tisch, where he began creating media environments with longtime collaborator Dana Karwas. Gabriel is Co-Director of The Satellite, and teaches courses on digital imaging at NYU Engineering's Integrated Digital Media Program.