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Behind the Wings

Author: Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum™

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Wings Over the Rockies has a new podcast! Based on our hit YouTube and PBS series of the same name, the Behind the Wings podcast will cover everything from aviation history to the future of space exploration with thought leaders and experts in the industry. This one's going to be cool!
17 Episodes
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There’s space for everybody.” But we know little about how differently-abled people will respond to low-gravity environments and the unique challenges that can arise in human space flight. Mission: Astro Access - a crew of disabled scientists, aerospace professionals and artists based in America - is planning its second mission to explore how different people navigate space travel. What challenges arise, and surprisingly, what advantages might different abilities have? Our guests today are Eric Ingram and Lindsay Yazzolino. Eric, a wheelchair user, and Lindsay who is blind are two of the crew members who set out to find answers to these questions on board Mission: Astro Access's parabolic flights where they experienced zero gravity, and gravity-simulating the moon and Mars. On the mission, the ambassadors will explore questions like: How would you navigate if the lights went out on your spacecraft? How would you communicate if it's too loud to hear? The experiments on Astro Access will benefit all future explorers, as the learnings are passed onto players in the space industry, making spacecraft and space stations safer, easier to navigate and adaptable to the diversity of humans who will one day visit, live and work in space.Key Takeaways Mission Astro Access is a project dedicated to promoting disability inclusion in space exploration by paving the way for disabled astronauts in science, technology, engineering and math. In turn, they are making space accessible for everyone. Astro Access completed its second mission in November of 2022, where they launched disabled scientists, veterans, students, athletes and artists on parabolic flights. They conducted experiments in weightlessness, lunar gravity, martian gravity and zero gravity.  Eric Ingram is the founder and CEO of SCOUT Inc. a smart satellite components company. He uses a wheelchair and flew on Astro Access 1 and 2. Lindsay Yazzolino is a totally blind nonvisual designer who currently works as a user experience designer at CVs Health. Linday flew on Astro Access 2. NASA is sending astronauts back to the moon and commercial space flight is growing. We are well past the age where only military fighter pilots are becoming astronauts. It is only a matter of time until space flight is a part of human civilization says Eric. Lindsey's experiment on Mission 2 involved designing and testing tactile decals for the inside of the aircraft. The main decal is a tactile V to help people orient themselves non-visually. Other decals included tactile symbols for oxygen masks and other emergency equipment. Eric describes microgravity as alien. You don't have the buoyancy of water holding you up. You don't have air rushing by your face as if you were jumping out of a plane. Lindsay recalls martian gravity as feeling as if the plane was moving around her. All Astro Access experiments lead to solutions that are applicable for and can benefit all human space flight. If lights go out on a spacecraft, you will need a way to navigate. If you get injured or grow old in space, you will need ways to adapt to that new physical reality. The conversation of accessibility in space is well underway due to Astro Access' initiatives and the support of several commercial space flight companies.  Resources Astro Access on Radio Lab! The Right Stuff (radiolab.org)   NASA on Astro Access: NSF Live: AstroAccess - Advancing Disability Inclusion in Space Exploration - YouTube  Astro Access on BBC: Access All: Disability news and talk: 'It was magical' - the first disabled crew to fly in zero-gravity on Apple Podcasts  Astro Access Website Ambassadors2 - AstroAccess  The Verge: The mission to break barriers to space travel for people with disabilities NYT on Astro Access https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/22/science/astronauts-disabilities-astroaccess.html 
In this episode of Behind the Wings, we are talking about the James Webb Space Telescope! A next generation deep-space telescope that NASA launched in December 2021. It’s the most powerful telescope ever built, with the ability to see further and clearer into space than any previous telescope. It’s advanced design, sensors, and technology will allow it to time travel to some of the first galaxies that formed, learn about exoplanets that could be capable of supporting life. We are joined by Lee Feinberg, the Optical Telescope Element Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope. Lee shares with us the fascinating story of how he became involved with the project and the challenges he and his team faced in developing the telescope. He discusses the cutting-edge technology being used in the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope and the groundbreaking science it will enable us to explore. Tune in to learn more about this exciting project and the impact it will have on our understanding of the universe.There is a LOT to explore with this one, and the scientific research is only really just getting started. This one is going to be cool!Key Takeaways: One of the main design challenges for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was creating a large, lightweight mirror that could withstand the extreme temperatures of space. Another significant challenge was developing a sunshield to block out heat from the sun and allow the telescope to operate at the extremely low temperatures necessary for its infrared observations. The JWST's primary mirror is made up of 18 hexagonal mirror segments that work together to provide a large field of view. The sunshield is made of five layers of a special material called Kapton, which is able to withstand extreme temperatures and protect the telescope's instruments. The JWST's deployment used a robotic arm to unfold the sunshield and the primary mirror. The deployment went so smoothly that JWST has extra fuel that could expand its lifespan. The telescope's instruments include a camera, a spectrograph, and a coronagraph, all of which are designed to study the infrared light from distant objects. The JWST has been designed to study a wide range of astronomical phenomena, including the formation of stars and planets, the evolution of galaxies, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy. The JWST's discoveries include the first direct images of exoplanets, the study of the formation of the first galaxies, and the search for biosignatures on exoplanets. The JWST's advanced capabilities will provide new insights into the origins of life and the evolution of the universe. The JWST launched on Dec 25, 2021 and is be operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Resources NASA's James Webb Space Telescope website (https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/) is a comprehensive resource for information on the telescope, including its mission, science goals, and current status.  The European Space Agency's James Webb Space Telescope webpage (https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/James_Webb_Space_Telescope) provides information on the telescope's history, development, and scientific capabilities.  The Space Telescope Science Institute's James Webb Space Telescope page (https://www.stsci.edu/jwst) contains resources for scientists interested in using the telescope, including information on proposal submission and data access.  The James Webb Space Telescope's official Twitter account  The James Webb Space Telescope's Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope) provides a summary of the telescope's history, development, and capabilities. It also includes links to additional resources and references. 
Today, we are going deeper with a company called MissionGo who is using drones to do a variety of things from infrastructure inspections to medical and commercial cargo. Our guests are MissionGo President Chris Corgnati and Director of Flight Operations Ryan Henderson.Last time on episode 4 we discussed drone soccer, and the regulatory challenges that this quickly growing industry faces as it takes on autonomous flight, air taxi services and more, so if you want a great introduction on drones go check that out.Infrastructure inspections are certainly important, and I know a lot of companies are out there doing that and it is where many of them are able to make money today, but I’m really excited about the medical applications. In April 2019, MissionGo did the first-ever drone delivery of an organ transplant, and since then they have delivered everything from pizza, to blood, and life-saving medication. We should probably say the pizza and organs are separate delivery packages right, but in all seriousness, this is such a cool and important use case that I think we’re going to see more and more.Key Takeaways: Dr. Joe Scalea, a MissionGo cofounder and renowned transplant surgeon, conceived the idea to use drones for organ and medical transplant resulting in the first successful organ transplant in 2019, and the founding of MissionGo. Why Drones? Drones are best for dull, dangerous, or dirty work. They also reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution when compared to larger, combustion engine aircraft. MGV-100 is MissionGo's flagship single rotor drone. The design lends itself to stability and reliability, which are critical for the sensitive medical loads that MissionGo transports. The battery architecture provides redundancy in the case if one of the motors or batteries fails in-flight. It is usually safer and more efficient to fly the drones autonomously, rather than manually. Infrastructure surveying is currently how companies, including MissionGo, are able to generate the majority of their revenue while they work on other delivery programs that have yet to reach their full-scale potential. MissionGo completed the First successful organ delivery for transplant by an uncrewed aerial vehicle or UAV in 2019. The delivery took just 10 minutes, covering about 2.6 miles from one hospital to another. Time is of the essence in these critical medical operations, making it a great use case for drone delivery. MissionGo, MediGo and The Navajo Nation completed a series of flights in January 2022 using the MGV100 drone where they were able to deliver critical cargo like life-saving prescription medication, meal kits, and emergency supplies, even livestock medication to look at how drones could improve healthcare access in rural America. When transporting biohazardous cargo like blood or organs technologies like tamperproof packaging and identity verification can help make these deliveries safe and successful. We are just at the beginning at fully realizing and executing on the diverse applications of drone technology. There is already tremendous impact and results from the industry, and the future is bright. Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! (wingsmuseum.org)References: MGV100 - MissionGO  Watch first-ever drone delivery of organ for transplant | CNN  Microsoft PowerPoint - 15 Drone Package Delivery-Newest Member of the Supply Chain - Adam Greco (faa.gov)  The Race For Last Mile Drones | Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (auvsi.org) 
Strap in folks, we are going to Space with a very special guest who blazed her own trail, defying the grip of Earth’s gravity, and breaking a glass ceiling into the cosmos. Our Guest today is Retired NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins.Col. Collins has lived an amazing life, and though she has retired from the NASA astronaut program, her mission to share her story and inspire the next generation of explorers is far from over. Many of us can only dream of a career like hers - from her achievements as the first woman to command an American space mission and the first to pilot the space shuttle to her early years as one of the Air Force’s first female pilots.Eileen is one of those pioneers who forever changed the trajectory of space exploration - this one's going to be cool!Key Takeaways: Eileen Collins was born in 1956 in Elmira, New York. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and economics from Syracuse University in 1978. Collins joined the Air Force in 1979 and became a pilot. She was selected for the astronaut program in 1990. Collins made her first trip to space in 1995 as a member of the STS-63 crew. In 1999, Collins became the first woman to command a space shuttle when she led the STS-93 mission. She commanded two more space shuttle missions: STS-114 in 2005 and STS-121 in 2006. Collins retired from NASA and the Air Force in 2006. After her retirement, she worked as a consultant and public speaker. Collins has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to space exploration, including the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! (wingsmuseum.org)References: The official NASA website has a page dedicated to Eileen Collins that provides biographical information, photos, and details about her missions: https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biographies/eileen-m-collins/biography The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has an interview with Collins on their website, where she discusses her career and experiences in space: https://astronautscholarship.org/eileen-collin The National Air and Space Museum has a page about Collins on their website, which includes information about her career and achievements: https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/eileen-collin The Encyclopedia Britannica has an entry about Collins that provides an overview of her life and career: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Eileen-Collins The Women in Aviation International organization has a profile of Collins on their website, which includes information about her achievements and contributions to the field of aviation: https://www.wai.org/pioneers/eileen-collins
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a non-profit organization that serves as the civilian auxiliary of the USAF. Its membership includes everyone from younger cadets to their more senior members, totaling more than 56,000 volunteers across the US. The CAP started just 6 days before Pearl Harbor, and they served a unique, and relatively active role, patrolling the Atlantic coast during WWII. Today their mission includes youth mentorship, and aerial assistance with missions like search and rescue, fire monitoring and more. In this episode we will dive into the unique history, and the work they are doing today. This one’s going to be cool!Key Takeaways: The Civil Air Patrol was started by congress on Dec 1, 1941, just 6 days before Pearl Harbor CAP has about 2,000 members in Colorado, and about 60,000 members nationally Its early missions during WWII focused on surveillance, and defense off the Atlantic coast of the US where German U-boats were threatening merchant ships As an auxiliary organization to the US Air Force, CAP is tasked with Air Force-assigned missions from the Air Force rescue coordination center Primary roles today include search and rescue, aerospace education, and its cadet youth mentorship program The CAP supports a variety of medical missions including COVID-19 response, collecting blood donations, and delivering critical medical supplies Cadets, aged 12-21, learn both leadership and aerospace skills CAP completes more than 100 search and rescue saves each year in collaboration with agencies including the US Forest Service CAP has identified cyber security as a topic important to the future Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! (wingsmuseum.org)References: About CAP | Civil Air Patrol  History of the Civil Air Patrol - Wikipedia Civil Air Patrol-U.S. Air Force > Air Force > Fact Sheet Display (af.mil)
Ready or not, strap in, because we have got 10 great episodes coming up for Season 2. It’s time to Go... Behind the Wings!We’ve got a lot to explore – stories about how history shapes aviation today, trailblazers in space, and up-close looks at iconic aircraft of the past, present and future. There’s a lot of cool stories coming up in Season 2, so stick around.You can find the Behind the Wings podcast wherever you listen. Episodes come out every two weeks – starting Monday Dec 5th with an awesome conversation about the fascinating history and unique mission today of the Civil Air Patrol. For past episodes and show notes visit: WingsMuseum.org/podcastWe’ll see you next time on Behind the Wings.
In today’s show, we’re going to go Behind the Wings of a cutting-edge space vehicle – The Orion Spacecraft, and the Artemis Missions - with Lockheed Martin systems engineer and Integration senior manager Kerry Timmons.Kerry leads a team of engineers at Lockheed Martin, working on Orion’s vehicle requirements - from the advanced electrical systems to human integration for the Artemis I and II missions. With the Artemis program we’ll be able to explore uncharted parts of the moon, and learn more about what it takes to not only explore the moon but deep Space. What an exciting time for human space flight. I remember as a kid the wonder of Apollo – In today's conversation that excitement is back! Key Takeaways: Kerry Timmons is a second-generation Lockheed Martin employee. She has been working on the Orion spacecraft since 2008. Orion is the US and NASA's crewed deep space exploration vehicle, consisting of the crew vehicle, the service module, and the launch abort system. Orion uses the same blunt-body capsule as the Apollo spacecraft, but there are differences in the crew capacity (3 on Apollo, 4 on Orion), and mission length (Apollo 14 days, Orion 21 days). The Orion capsule is reusable, enabling more frequent missions. The Apollo missions were named after the Greek god Apollo, the god of the sun. The Artemis missions are named after Apollo's twin sister Artemis, the goddess of the moon. Artemis I is an uncrewed mission around the moon planned for launch in 2022. The spacecraft will go deeper than any crewed vehicle has before, based on the trajectory and orbit, to ensure the safety of the vehicle for Artemis II Artemis II will take the crew out for the first time in the Orion Spacecraft to orbit the moon. It is planned for 2024 Artemis III will take the first woman and person of color to land on the moon. It is planned for 2025. Artemis IV will be another mission to the moon, possibly incorporating the upcoming Lunar Gateway. It is planned for 2026. NASA wants to build a sustainable lunar environment both on the surface and as orbiting an orbiting platform to grow our knowledge and experience living and working in space Lockheed Martin partnered with Amazon on the Callisto payload to bring the Alexa voice control and Cisco WebX video communication aboard Orion. When the Orion Spacecraft returns to Earth it will bounce off the atmosphere in a maneuver called a skip re-entry. This was conceived during the Apollo program but is only now technologically possible. Kerry Timmons's hope for the future of space exploration, is for more people to be part of the space industry, a thriving earth-lunar economy, and for more people to be able to experience the wonder of exploration in space. Use the code SEASON1 for 20% off a new membership at Wings: Become A Member | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org)Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! (wingsmuseum.org)References: Orion (spacecraft) - Wikipedia  NASA Artemis  Orion | Lockheed Martin  The Next Frontier in Space | Behind the Wings on PBS Callisto (lockheedmartin.com)
Today’s show is a conversation with Allissa Battocletti Noffke – a 'professor' of spacewalking! Allie works for the flight operations directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center – NASA’s center for human space flight based in Houston Texas - where she specializes in EVAs or Extra Vehicular Activities.Most of her work has focused on the International Space Station. Whenever astronauts need to make a repair, or check on maintenance issues, they need to exit the station and go for a space walk.  In this episode we explore what space walking is like, how astronauts train for EVAs and how important it is to make those extravehicular activities as safe as possible.With these upcoming Artemis Missions to the moon, astronauts will soon be making new tracks in lunar regolith for the first time in about 50 years. We also discuss how moonwalking compares to space walking and what can we expect from the Artemis program. What a fascinating topic, and time to talk about spacewalking.Key Takeaways: Allie Battocletti Noffke first got interested in Space as a girl when her dad taught her about the Apollo missions. Today she is the operational lead for Spacewalk preparation on the ISS.  Spacewalking began in the early days of the ISS during its assembly phase from about 2000-2011, with parts flying up on the Space Shuttle. Assembly was declared complete in 2011, but it continues to be upgraded and maintained. NASA had experimented with untethered Spacewalks with an MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit); an astronaut propulsion device used on only three missions in 1984. The units were retired and were deemed too risky compared to manipulator arms or tethered EVAs. Astronaut Candidates come from all different backgrounds. EVA training starts with introductions to basic mechanical skills, operational communication, and body positioning. Mission control handles things like positioning solar arrays to free up time for astronauts on board the ISS for research projects, and spacewalking for missions that can't be done complete by mission control. Thousands of NASA Spinoff projects have come off the ISS. NASA spinoff technologies are commercial products and services which have been developed with the help of NASA, often for use on Earth. With more than 20 years of constant activity on the ISS, the legacy of the ISS is about human exploration and being a proving ground for learning how to live and work in space for long durations. With the ISS set to retire around 2030, commercial space stations and transport are filling in as the next generation for low earth orbit activity. Creativity is a key aspect of conduction repairs with the limited tools and resources that are available on the ISS, and without launch on demand Spacewalking is a free-float, micro-gravity environment, whereas moon walking is at 1/6th gravity. The Russian cosmonauts have their own spacewalk operations and their own airlock and spacesuits. NASA's partners from Japan, Canada, and Europe all train on US spacewalks. Overall it is collaborative, sharing tools to complete missions. Use the code SEASON1 for 20% off a new membership at Wings: Become A Member | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org)Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! (wingsmuseum.org)References: Allie B Covering MDM Long - YouTube Allie B NBL Run Overview - YouTube Purduette Becomes a “Professor” of Spacewalking | Purdue 150th (takegiantleaps.com) EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY (EVA) (nasa.gov)
We are all familiar with the name Amelia Earhart, but do we really know what she was like or what she believed in?Today’s show is a conversation with Sammie Morris. Sammie is the Head Archivist at the Purdue University archives and special collections where they hold some of the most extensive collections on Amelia Earhart, one being donated by Amelia’s husband, George Palmer Putnam, himself. Amelia also worked with and taught at Purdue University just before her last flight.We are going to discuss the interesting and radical life of legendary aviatrix, Amelia Earhart! She was the first woman and second person to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932. Now, that was one of her most famous records, but she set so many more! Of course, a lot of us know her for her mysterious disappearance, but in this episode, we are going to dive deeper into the woman behind the mystery, how she blazed her own path in early aviation, and the legacy she left behind.  Key Takeaways: The Purdue University Archive is a great resource for researchers interested in the life and legacy of Amelia Earhart. They hold two collections on Amelia Earhart, one collection on her husband, George Palmer Putnam, and one on her navigator, Fred Noonan. Earhart's energetic, adventurous, brave personality was ahead of her time. She shared her radical beliefs about women's roles in the home and in the field of science, for example, yet she was able to not shock the public and alienate herself. The Friendship Flight in 1928 was the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. Amelia was a passenger, alongside co-pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon. The journey took 20 hours and 40 minutes, which is also the title of the book she wrote about this flight. Amelia Earhart was the first woman and second person to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932. Amelia Earhart befriended First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who became an advocate for aviation, women in flight, and Amelia's endeavors Amelia Earhart co-founded the 99's - an organization still around today that is dedicated to inspiring women pilots since 1929 - and became their first president Multiple factors influenced Amelia Earhart's disappearance on the last stretch of her world flight, such as low fuel, weather, and lost radio connection Use the code SEASON1 for 20% off a new membership at Wings: Become A Member | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org) Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! (wingsmuseum.org)References: Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937 | Archives and Special Collections (purdue.edu) https://flightpaths.lib.purdue.edu/blog/2016/09/13/amelia-earhart-the-flying-feminist/  https://www.ninety-nines.org/our-history.htm https://www.purdue.edu/uns/x/2009b/091019CordovaEarhart.html  https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1895&context=purc https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/lockheed-vega-5b-amelia-earhart/nasm_A19670093000 Speech by Amelia Earhart | Library of Congress (loc.gov)
Today’s show is a conversation with Robert Arnold, the grandson of Hap Arnold – the Father of the air force. Arnold urged an independent air arm which he lived to see authorized in 1947 – he started flying with the Signal Crops in what could be described as a ‘wild west’ era in aviation - setting altitude records, and in WWI was the first aerial observer to report his observations using Radio. In WWII, he directed air activities for the nation's global war against Germany and Japan. Under him the air arm grew from 22,000 officers and men with 3,900 planes to nearly 2,500,000 men and 75,000 aircraft. An amazing accomplishment that shows how much was changing during this time, and Arnold’s influence on the development of air power. Key Takeaways: Hap learned to fly in the Wright Brothers ground school and became one of the first military pilots worldwide. Hap grounds himself after a near death experience in a Wright Model C flying the first ever aerial spotting of artillery during an accelerated stall. After testifying for Billy Mitchell and leaking information to the press, Hap and his family are forced to decamp for Fort Riley Kansas after Mason Patrick refuses Haps own request to court marshal himself after getting caught.  He directed the expansion of the US Air Force upon entry into WWII to create the most powerful air force in the world. Hap Arnold was the only officer to hold a five-star rank in two different US military services, the United States Army Air Forces and the United States Air Force. Use the code SEASON1 for 20% off your Wings Membership! Become A MemberSupport Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! wingsmuseum.org/giveReferences: HENRY. H. ARNOLD > Air Force > Biography Display (af.mil) Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold > National Museum of the United States Air Force™ > Display (af.mil)  Here’s why Hap Arnold, a practical visionary, became the ‘father of the Air Force’ (airforcetimes.com)  Become A Member | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org)
Today’s show is a conversation with Jonna Doolittle, the granddaughter of James H. Doolittle – who shares great insights into the American military general and aviation pioneer. It was great to get the family insights from Jonna, and as always, the historical context.  Doolittle won air races, was a test pilot, completing the first outside loop, something most people thought was impossible. In WWI he was active with the Signal Corps’ Aviation Section, but never saw combat. In WWII, Doolittle was chosen by Hap Arnold – the subject of our next episode, so stay tuned - to lead the planning of the first aerial raid on the Japanese mainland and retaliation for Pearl Harbor. Key Takeaways: Jimmy Doolittle was highly educated, as a mechanic, engineer, and pilot, which set up his career as an aviation pioneer Doolittle's innovation with blind flying and landing paved the way for landing in bad weather Doolittle helped organize the Air Force Association and was elected its first president Doolittle lobbied successfully to make the Air Force its own branch of the military Use the code SEASON1 for 20% off your Wings Membership! Become A MemberSupport Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! wingsmuseum.org/giveReferences: GENERAL JAMES HAROLD DOOLITTLE > Air Force > Biography Display (af.mil) I Could Never Be So Lucky Again by James H. Doolittle (goodreads.com) Become A Member | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org)
Today’s show is a conversation with Steve Lindsey who is a former U.S. Air Force (USAF) pilot and NASA astronaut with more than 30 years of flight test experience. Today, he is VP of Strategy at Sierra Space where he leads design, development, testing and operational employment of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft, a modern, reusable, lifting-body space system for uncrewed and crewed transportation to low-Earth orbit. We have a Dream Chaser HL-20 mockup at Wings Museum – so it’s a great opportunity to go Behind the Wings of this cutting-edge spacecraft.During his 15+ year tenure at NASA, Lindsey completed five space flights and logged more than 1,510 hours in space. He last served as chief of the astronaut corps, overseeing spacecraft development, crew selection and training and flight test/crew operations in support of the space shuttle, International Space Station (ISS) and Constellation Programs.Steve Lindsey is also featured in our latest season 4 of Behind the Wings on PBS, live now on Rocky Mountain PBS and Wings Over the Rockies YouTube Channel – so you can see Steve and the dream chaser in action!Key Takeaways: Astronaut was the perfect job for Lindsey at the intersection of his passions for flying and engineering Lindsey learned from the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster to never accept something when it's not supposed performing like its supposed to Collaborating with Russian cosmonauts in Space was a success in international collaboration, in contrast to geopolitical challenges on Earth Following NASA's commercial cargo and crew programs, private space exploration is enabling a new era of greater access and sustainability in space exploration The Dream Chaser spacecraft is in 24/7 production and is likely to have its maiden flight in 2023 Sierra Space is partnering 50/50 with Blue Origin to create Orbital Reef, a mixed-use commercial space station Lindsey's vision for the future of space exploration is to talk into a classroom and say, "I'm an Astronaut" and for the students to say "Big deal, half of our parents have been to space." Use the code SEASON1 for 20% off your Wings Membership! Become A MemberSupport Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! wingsmuseum.org/giveReferences: Dream Chaser® | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org) Dream Chaser® Spaceplane | Private Space Travel for All | Sierra Space Become A Member | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org)
This will be our first show with two guests – Kyle Sanders and Dawn Zoldi - and we’re talking drones! We’ll explore new E-Sports like drone soccer, artificial intelligence, the role of drones in combat, and the legal issues that arise with drone law. Students are getting involved with drones at the high school level and even younger. There's so much opportunity with this growing field. U.S. Drone Soccer co-founder Kyle Sander discusses how drone sports get young people involved with building, and flying drones. But drones today extend past the soccer field into so many different industries. To learn more we spoke with Dawn Zoldi.Dawn’s had a fascinating career spanning 25 years as a military attorney, an internationally recognized expert on un-crewed aircraft systems and advanced air mobility law and policy. She is founder of P3 Tech Consulting, and hosts the Dawn of Drones Podcast. From her experience as a military lawyer, to Electric Take off and Landing Vehicles, there's a lot to explore.This one's going to be cool!Use the code SEASON1 for 20% off your Wings Membership! Become A MemberSupport Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! wingsmuseum.org/giveReferences:https://www.dronesoccer.us/https://www.p3techconsulting.com/https://pratt.duke.edu/faculty/missy-cummings
Today’s show is a conversation with Sharon Caples McDougle, a modern-day hidden figure, crew chief, and manager of the Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment Processing Department. She is the first Black woman to serve in those roles. She has had an amazing career and we’re going to dive into her journey.Sharon is a former NASA spacesuit technician. She suited up Mae Jaemison, the first Black Woman to go to Space, worked on the SR-71 with pressure suits, and now tells her story in all kinds of ways – she authored a Children’s book “suit up with Shay” and we are happy to have her tell her story today on Behind the Wings! This was a really fun conversation.Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! wingsmuseum.org/give
Today’s show is a conversation with Mike Rabens who is president of the F-14 Tomcat Association  –  who’s mission, they say, is to to preserve the history of the greatest fighter jet the US Navy has ever flown. Membership is open to anyone who has flown, worked on, or just plain loves the F-14 aircraft.Mike is graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School, Top Gun, a commander on US Naval Test Pilot School, with more than 4,700 flight hours in 58 aircraft, and more than 700 carrier landings. Today he is the Director of System Integration Test & Evaluation at Northrop Grumman— Sound familiar? It’s the same company that built his beloved Tomcat.This one's going to be cool!https://www.f-14association.com/Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! wingsmuseum.org/give
General Carl A. Spaatz was the first chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force and one of the most influential people in early U.S. Air Force History. Born in Boyertown, Penn. on June 28, 1891, Spaatz had a full career, beginning with the newly formed air corps and was one of the first military aviators in the U.S. Army. In this episode, we look at Spaatz' biography, but also what his story meant for the formation of the U.S. Air Force that we know today.Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! wingsmuseum.org/giveGeneral Carl Spaatz National USAAF Museum (spaatzmuseum.org)
Calling all aviation lovers, space nerds, history buffs, and futurists – Behind the Wings® is now also a podcast! Published every other Monday.
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