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e-Town Hall Meeting with Dr. Bill Gerstenmaier (SpaceX), Dr. Bruce Banerdt (JPL), and Frank Czopek (GPS)

September 5, 2020 @ 10:00 am 4:00 pm PDT

e-Town Hall Meeting w/ Dr. Bill Gerstenmaier (SpaceX), Dr. Bruce Banerdt (JPL), & Frank Czopek

 Sep 5, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (PT)

RSVP and Information: https://conta.cc/3eMyMrp

Volunteers are needed for all AIAA activities, please contact cgsonwane@gmail.com

Agenda/Schedule (September 5, 2020)

10:05 AM Dr. Chandrashekhar Sonwane (AIAA LA LV Section Chair) (Welcome)
10:10 AM Dr. Dan Dumbacher (AIAA Eexcutive Director)
10:30 AM Dr. Bill Gerstenmaier (SpaceX)
12:00 PM Dr. Bruce Banerdt (Mars InSight)
1:30 PM Frank Czopek (Introduction to GPS and Pre-History of GPS)
4:00 PM Adjourn

Saturday, September 5, 2020 (Add to Calendar)

International Space Station’s critical role in enabling human exploration beyond low Earth orbit


Dr. William H. Gerstenmaier


AIAA Honorary Fellow

Former Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (NASA HQ)


Gerstenmaier is widely considered one of the world’s top specialists in flying humans in space, frequently testifying before Congress on the subject. -CNBC.com, 22 February, 2020

William H. Gerstenmaier (born September 1954) is an aerospace engineer and policymaker, who served as NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations between 2005 and July 10, 2019. Prior to being Associate Administrator, Gerstenmaier served as the International Space Station Program Manager, at Johnson Space Center, a position he began in June 2002. In February of 2020 SpaceX announced that Gerstenmaier, had joined the company as a consultant, as the company prepared to launch astronauts for the first time.

As a teenager he followed the early space programs of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. He had early dreams of being a test pilot, and after high school, enrolled at the United States Naval Academy. After seeing so many pilots returning from the Vietnam War, he thought he may not get a chance to fly, and chose to reconsider his path. He transferred to Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, hoping to get into flight via academics. During his time at Purdue, Gerstenmaier found a great interest in space technology, and chose to focus on this area for his career.

Gerstenmaier graduated with a bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University School of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1977, and joined the Lewis Research Center (now called the John Glenn Research Center) in Ohio, beginning his career with NASA. Initially doing research with supersonic wind tunnels, developing air data curve information used during entry on the Space Shuttle. Gerstenmaier continued his education, obtaining his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Toledo in 1981.

In 1980, Gerstenmaier moved to Houston, Texas, to work at the Johnson Space Center, in mission control specializing in propulsion systems on the Space Shuttle, and was involved in the earliest phases of the International Space Station design. In 1984, he was a semi-finalist in the selection for NASA Astronaut Group 10

In 1992, Gerstenmaier was given a fellowship from NASA to obtain his doctorate degree from Purdue, and in 1992 and 1993, he completed course work for a doctorate in dynamics and control, with a minor in propulsion at Purdue University School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Of the time away from NASA, he said, “It was the most humbling experience of my life.” In May 2019, Purdue awarded Gerstenmaier an Honorary Ph.D. In Aeronautics and Astronautics.

In 1995, Gerstenmaier returned to NASA as the Shuttle/Mir Program Operations Manager, and was the liaison to the Russian Space Agency for operations and protocols. For the first half of 1996, he was stationed in Russia to support astronaut Shannon Lucid, who spent six months aboard Mir.

In December 2000, Gerstenmaier was named Deputy Manager of the International Space Station Program.

Throughout his career he has received numerous awards, but he recognizes that these awards are only possible through the work of amazing teams.

Mr. Gerstenmaier is well suited to talk about the unique role of ISS in exploration.

International Space Station’s critical role in enabling human exploration beyond low Earth orbit

Station is often recognized for being an engineering marvel, playing a key role in international cooperation, and for having crews continuously on board for almost 20 years. This presentation will focus on the key role that ISS is playing in enabling human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. ISS obviously can enable testing of spacecraft systems that must work for the extended journey’s beyond low Earth orbit. This presentation will discuss many subtle and critical aspects that are not commonly attributed to ISS. It is often stated that the funds spent of ISS would be better spent directly on human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. This presentation will provide an alternate viewpoint and show that ISS today is contributing in ways that could be critical to the future success.


The InSight Mission to Mars
JPL Mission Principal Investigator
Dr. Bruce Banerdt
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(Landed at Elysium Planitia on November 26, 2018)

Dr. Bruce Banerdt, Principal Investigator of the InSight mission, is a planetary geophysicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He holds a B.S. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Southern California and has worked in the Earth and Space Sciences Division of JPL since 1977. Dr. Banerdt has served on a number of NASA and National Academy of Sciences advisory panels on planetary and space science and has published over 90 journal articles, reports and book chapters. His research focuses on the geological history of the planet Mars and geophysical investigations of the interiors of terrestrial planets using analyses of gravity, magnetic, topographic and seismic data. He has participated in several planetary flight instrument teams, including the MOLA altimeters on Mars Observer and Mars Global Surveyor, the SAR on Magellan, and the Seismometer on the CNES NetLander mission, and he served as Project Scientist for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers for six years.

The InSight Mission to Mars

The InSight landed in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars on November 26, 2018. In contrast to the 45 previous missions to Mars, which have thoroughly explored its surface features and chemistry, atmosphere, and searched for past or present life, InSight will focus on the deep interior of the plane, investigating the processes of terrestrial planet formation and evolution by performing the first comprehensive surface-based geophysical measurements on Mars, using seismologya, precision tracking (for rotational dynamics), and heat flow measurements. It will provide key information on the composition and structure of an Earth-like planet that has gone through most of the evolutionary stages of the Earth up to plate tectonics. I will describe the mission and its science goals, and give an update on its current status on the surface of Mars.


Introduction to GPS & Pre-History of GPS


Frank Czopek

• Has worked Space and armor systems for all his career • 35 years on GPS• Hired at the start of the GPS operational era• Held numerous jobs on GPS from Responsible Engineer to Program Manager• Unofficial GPS Space historian

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN*What Does the following have to do with GPS-The Slovakian independence movement of 1918-Development of RADAR-Nixon being elected to the second term in the White House-Sputnik-AC 130 Gunship*The significance of-NDS payload-ICDs*Why Raytheon claims to have invented GPS*The cast of Individuals who we need to thank


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September 5, 2020
10:00 am – 4:00 pm PDT
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AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section

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