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Cold Star Project

Author: Jason Kanigan

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The Cold Star Project digs into the challenges of scaling fast that tech and Space manufacturing founders encounter. Money does not solve all problems--so what now? Listen in to discover what scaling problems you'll be running into soon, and get a serious advantage in starting to solve them before they run you over!
88 Episodes
Dr. Amelia Greig of the University of Texas at El Paso's Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research is on the Cold Star Project to talk about her experience. We're looking into both her own experience as a student and professor, and that of her graduate students in today's programs.  Dr. Greig earned an Australian National University doctorate in plasma physics & electrical propulsion, a Postdoctorate in Plasma Physics at CalTech, and taught aerospace propulsion, space environment and spacecraft thermal control at California Polytechnic State University before moving to the University of Texas.  I wanted to hear from "boots on the ground" about what's going on in academia regarding smallsats. So we cover what kind of courses students are interested in, the hands-on opportunities they're being given in addition to classroom theory, and Dr. Greig's vision for the future.  In addition, she shares her thoughts on what graduate students can and should be doing before and as graduation approaches so they can maximize their job opportunities. Networking done well during this time can pay off strongly into their career.  You can connect with Dr. Greig at   Talk to Cold Star:
Dr. Rick Fleeter, associate adjunct professor at Brown University and visiting lecturer at La Sapienza (Rome), has decades of personal history with small satellites.   “I got started in microspace through amateur radio and AMSAT. In the early 1980s I had the unusual experience of spending evenings building small satellites in a garage in Redondo Beach, CA, paid for essentially with small contributions by the team that was building them, while during the day working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and then TRW, where it was insisted that without something close to $1 billion there wasn’t much you could do other than paper studies.”  Rick Fleeter was launching smallsats in the 1970s, when they were considered merely a hobby or toys. Since then he has helped change the perception of cubesats to useful tools by leading well designed, cost-minimized projects. As an example, Brown's Space Engineering department built a satellite for just $5000. He has written books, founded the company AeroAstro and the Space Horizons annual conference at Brown.  In this interview, Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan asks Dr. Rick Fleeter about the smallsat and cubesat field, new developments, frustrations with space, and even company development.  Inquiries for Dr. Fleeter can be emailed to:   Talk to Cold Star:
Host of the top space educator YouTube channel, Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur, is on the Cold Star Project and we're talking about the future of smallsats.Isaac Arthur shares his views with host Jason Kanigan on:the potential impact of economies of scale and the sheer number of cubesats about to be put into orbittracking problems and space debris cleanup possibly resulting from mission failure, end of life, and collisionsconnectivity improvements leading to SAR (search and rescue) & lifesaving operationsthe next two or three decades of industry & commercial development of continuous launches to place and replace satellite constellationsthe future of smallsat technology and "space jobs."Check out Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur here: to Cold Star:
Why a forensic criminologist / incident investigator on a Space podcast? Dr. Ron Martinelli has much to share with us about how to analyze documentation properly, derive lessons from it, and become a truly learning organization.  Dr. Ron Martinelli is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist who is the only police expert in the country who is also a Certified Medical Investigator at the physician’s level.  Dr. Ron directs the nation’s only multidisciplinary Forensic Death Investigations & Independent Review Team and specializes in forensic investigations including officer-involved and civilian self-defense shooting death cases.  Everything he has to share is directly applicable to improving smallsat mission success rates.  In this episode of the Cold Star Project we're digging into:  ways in which evidence can be misleading  the effectiveness or lack thereof of bodycams (and all cameras)how movies & TV portray psychological profilers versus real lifethe way "the story can change over time" and lessons invalidated that you thought you had learned--and indoctrinated the entire culture about in the meantime, getting it all wrongthe importance of processes & systems to collect critical data.  Find out more about Dr. Ron Martinelli at Talk to Cold Star:
Phoenix Launch Systems co-founder and Vogue Aerospace president Matthew Travis is on the Cold Star Project to share his plans for enabling simplified, rapid access to space.  With a nanosatellite launch system and versatile space transportation system, Matt is engaged in the mission to bring launches to a daily occurrence. His experience with smallsat components and interest in streamlining products and processes provide the drive to keep costs minimized and a goal of US $750K launches.  We discover what Matt learned about the reliability of third party component specifications and other experiences "from the front lines" in this interview.  Contact Matt by email at  Talk to Cold Star: Cold Star Tech: "Make Space Boring" - Smallsat Manufacturing Process Improvement & Data Science
My guest on the Cold Star Project this time is the Director of Education and a partner at the Boston Career Institute, where they train sterile processing techs.  I have been interested in the sterile processing field for some time as it exists at the intersection of the opportunities I enjoy most:  compliance culture time-based critical mission(and hopefully) desire to be the best.  That last is not always in evidence out there.  Steve Yanovsky's insight to this world was fascinating to me. I have spoken with Steve before but we had not gotten to this level of detail. This conversation immediately got me started on looking for evidence of such culture mismatches elsewhere...and I suspect they are just about everywhere.  I have certainly seen this kind of issue in the world of sales training: the VPs of Business Development have zero idea what the "boots on the ground" problems their front line salespeople are experiencing...they only care about their numbers.  Especially if you are in the healthcare field this will be an eye-opener. I'd recommend it as alarming listening for anyone interested in the world and human affairs, though.  You'll hear about how:  Sterile Processing Departments (SPDs) could lose 70% of their workforce because they can't get their staff certifiedthe Sterile Processing Tech (SPT) field is much bigger than equipment / setup / sterilization much discretion left to the tech, supervisor, etc. on carrying out of tasks SPTs can "get ahead" in hospital work environments the missing culture connection of the SPD directly to patient care in the operating room is causing training and delivery problems.  Talk to Cold Star:
This time on the Cold Star Project we're looking at Albert Kahn. Kahn’s firm pioneered standardization and modular systems, and had the biggest impact on industrial architecture in the 20th Century--yet is almost completely unknown both in the USA and Russia despite having done major projects in both countries.  Kahn's USP was designing buildings on time & under budget, with good quality of construction. The "Why" of hiring his firm was not about hiring the artist (as with contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright) but rather the "corporate guarantee" Kahn's leadership brought to the table.  The USSR's transition from an agrarian to industrial economy was certainly sparked by the teaching and involvement of Kahn's firm as the Soviets hired them to teach their engineers and build their first giant mass production factories.  I'm indebted to Claire Zimmerman and Sonia Melnikova-Raich for the information used to create this episode. Subscribe: Talk to Cold Star:
CPA Luis Lomanov and author of Financial Foundations works with high growth tech firms to give them scalable financial infrastructures. In early stage, fast growth periods, Luis excels at helping these companies avoid taking on big costs too soon. These include processes and systems the owners are typically not thinking about, which enable them to avoid:  getting sucked into unprofitable "busy work" that takes them away from sales hiring a $150K/yr CFO too early -their people and systems breaking when the level of activity quadruples KPIs that don't help the owners in making decisions running out of cash unexpectedly in the middle of a growth spurt.  This discussion about scalable financial systems between Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan and Upward Insights Managing Partner Luis Lomanov will show you the key perspective to have about money processes as you grow.  Connect with Luis Lomanov on LinkedIn.Talk to Cold Star:
Todd Hockenberry returns to the Cold Star Project to share his experience with and views on how to make inbound marketing effective for service organizations.  While many service companies believe they understand their ideal customer avatar and buyer's journey, the fact is they're often irritating their best customers. What those customers want is not what the company believes they do--or what the organization wants to "push."  Todd Hockenberry is the author of "Inbound Organization: How to Build and Strengthen Your Company's Future Using Inbound Principles."  Learn more about Top Line Results and Todd through this Welcome Link: to Cold Star:
Brian Reynolds helps family-run firms, often in the manufacturing space, in the $50 - 100 million revenue range "replace stale and ineffective business models with modern, integrated sales & marketing processes."In this episode of the Cold Star Project hosted by Jason Kanigan, Brian Reynolds talks about the challenges of navigating the family through a process of your plans can survive the holiday dinner you are not invited to.Is the business' vision separated from its tasks? Is there succession planning? And how important is branding to the owners? These are key questions Brian raises in our discussion.Brian notes that it's a terrible idea to run your business as if nothing bad will ever happen. Yet that is how most are operated. Listen in and find out what you can be doing differently as a business owner to ensure yours doesn't get stuck.Talk to Cold Star:
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