May 23, 2020 @ 10:00 am 12:30 pm PDT

Crew Dragon DM-2 and First Flights: A Historical Perspective with authors from the Outward Odyssey series of spaceflight history books

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

May 23, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM (PT)

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e-Town Hall Meeting May 23, 2020, 10AM-12:30PM


Crew Dragon DM-2 and First Flights: A Historical Perspective


authors from the Outward Odyssey series of spaceflight history books:

Michelle Evans, Francis French, David Hitt (Moderator), Richard Jurek, Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom, Melvin Croft, Geoffrey Bowman, and Chris Petty

(Please see below and RSVP & Information for speaker biography)

As NASA and SpaceX prepare for the first launch of astronauts from U.S. soil since the last flight of the shuttle nine years ago, the AIAA Los Angeles Section hosts authors from the Outward Odyssey series of spaceflight history books for a panel discussion of the preparation, risk and excitement that go into first flights of new vehicles. From the daring test pilots who risk their lives in cutting-edge planes to pave the way to space, to the first launches of new vehicles from Apollo to the Shuttle, to the dawning of the new era of commercial spaceflight, panelists will share stories from history on the eve of a new chapter of history beginning.


Join us for a relaxing and informative Saturday!

RSVP and Information


May 23, 2020 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Michelle Evans is the founder and president of Mach 25 Media (www.Mach25Media.com) and is a writer, photographer, and communications specialist in aerospace. She has written the book “The X-15 Rocket Plane, Flying the First Wings into Space.”

Michelle’s background in aerospace engineering includes serving in the US Air Force working on missile systems, and later in private industry accomplishing environmental testing for systems used in airliners and spacecraft. Michelle is a Distinguished Lecturer with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and her book on the X-15 was a finalist for the Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Literature.

Michelle received the Diverse Community Leader Award from Orange County Human Relations, and was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Orange County. She has appeared in numerous publications, including Air & Space Smithsonian, Ad Astra, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, Time magazine, and the New York Times. Michelle was also a technical consultant on the Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man.”

Francis French – Francis brings International experience in relating science, engineering, music, astronomy, art, and wildlife to general audiences through classes, workshops, public speaking, television and documentary productions. He is the author of numerous bestselling history books, and an international keynote speaker at conferences.

David Hitt – David Hitt is co-author of two books, “Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story,” written with astronauts Owen Garriott and Joe Kerwin, and “Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years.”

Hitt has worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center since 2002, and currently serves as a payload engagement strategist for NASA’s Space Launch System, working with scientists and mission developers interested in launching spacecraft on America’s next-generation heavy-lift rocket that will return astronauts to the moon. A contractor employee with ASRC Federal, Hitt is a recipient of the Silver Snoopy Award, given by NASA’s astronaut office.

A former newspaper editor, Hitt is a native of Huntsville, AL, and holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi. He is a former chair of the National Space Society’s policy formulation subcommittee and serves as a volunteer at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center museum in Huntsville, a role he began during a restoration effort for the Center’s Skylab trainer.

He and his wife, Rebecca, have one son, Owen.

Richard Jurek – Richard Jurek is the author of The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA’s Visionary Leader George M. Low (UNP Outward Odyssey Series, 2019), and he is also the co-author of Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program (MIT Press, 2014). A contributor to Air & Space magazine and website, he authored the January 2019 cover story “The Man Who Won the Moon Race,” a profile of George Low as Apollo Program Manager and his role in the Apollo 8 decision. He served as a consulting producer on the award-winning PBS/American Experience mini-series Chasing the Moon, and he is also a frequent commentator and speaker on NASA history, especially concerning its historic public affairs efforts and pioneering brand journalism. He has appeared internationally for media outlets such as Forbes, Slate, NBC News, CBS News, Canadian Public Radio, Australian Public Radio, U.S. National Public Radio, NPR’s Back Story with the History Guys, and other popular media outlets. A marketing and communications executive for the past quarter century, he lives and works in the greater Chicagoland area.

Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom is is an author, speaker and space entrepreneur. She is the Co-Founder of International Space Consultants and SpaceBase – a social enterprise working to democratize access to space in emerging countries, starting with New Zealand. Emeline is an Edmund Hillary Fellow, and is the former Chief Impact Officer of Singularity University based in California, USA. Emeline has Physics, and Earth and Space Science degrees, and attended the International Space University Space Studies Program. She has worked and consulted for several space startups including Space Adventures and Zero Gravity Corporation. She was the Payload Flight Manager for Odyssey Moon. Emeline is co-author of the book Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Space Flight which was selected in 2013 for the US Air Force’s Chief of Staff Reading List.

Melvin Croft is coauthor of Come Fly With Us: NASA’s Payload Specialist Program, which details “an elite group of space travelers who flew as members of many space shuttle crews from pre-Challenger days to Columbia in 2003. Not part of the regular NASA astronaut corps, these professionals, known as ‘payload specialists,’ came from a wide variety of backgrounds and were chosen for an equally wide variety of scientific, political, and national security reasons,” according to the University of Nebraska Press.
An instructor in the Department of Geology at Colby College, Croft is a retired geoscientist, having worked for Chevron around the globe, and joined Colby’s ranks 10 years ago. An avid scientist, he has used his “retirement” to move from the terrestrial to the extraterrestrial and examine the history of U.S. spaceflight, culminating in the release of this book.
Geoffrey Bowman is a contributor to the Outward Odyssey book Footprints in the Dust, in which he shares his journey from the UK to Florida to watch the launch of the Apollo Soyuz Test Project. A retired Belfast solicitors Bowman is also author of a forthcoming volume in the series, a biography of Apollo 17 astronaut Ron Evans that will be published next year.
Chris Petty is a space and aviation enthusiast and author of The High Frontier blog. His articles have appeared on Adam Savage’s Tested site and the Space Review and his first book Beyond Blue Skies: The Rocket Plane Programs That Led to the Space Age is due for publication this November as part of the Outward Odyssey series.

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May 23, 2020
10:00 am – 12:30 pm PDT
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