Colloquium Lectures 1996

Earthbound “Flying” Simulators for Weightless Rendezvous and Lunar Landings

by Lee H. Person, Jr.

Tuesday, January 30, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium (rescheduled from November 14, 1995 because of the furlough).


Mr. Person will use slides, videos, and memories to introduce some of the earthbound “flying” space simulators which were developed in the 1960’s for studying vehicle dynamics and as training aids to prepare the original seven astronauts for maneuvering in space and on the moon. With the space program getting into high gear in the early 1960’s, Person, as well as other Langley flight-research pilots, participated in prototype lunar-landing research vehicle flight tests conducted at the Langley Lunar Landing Research Facility to evaluate the last 150-foot descent to the surface of the moon. He will discuss the challenges in development of these simulators as well as in development of the rendezvous and docking simulator in Langley’s Flight Hangar.

Mr. Person also will discuss his experiences with one-person vehicles such as “Icarus” and Pogo. Envisioned by Langley engineer Don Hewes, “Icarus” was a backpack with peroxide thrusters, intended to be a locomotive method for lunar-surface travel. The Rocketbelt/Pogo, a vehicle also designed for lunar travel, was developed by Bell Aerosystems. Person says his talk is on “small steps to aid our knights-in-shining-armor on their journey to the moon–and some dragons we encountered along the way.”


Lee H. Person, Jr. recently retired from his position as a research pilot for the NASA Langley Research Center. His flying career began with Naval Aviation training in 1954 and, except for a short break to obtain an Mechanical Engineering degree from NC State in 1961, he has been flying ever since. After joining Langley in 1962, his research flying centered around aircraft handling qualities and advanced cockpit controls and displays. His flight experience includes nearly 10,000 hours in over 100 types of fixed-wing, rotary-wing and V/STOL aircraft. For the past 20 years he has functioned as Lead Pilot for NASA’s Advanced Transport Operating Systems (ATOPS) Program, spending most of his time in the aft research flight deck of NASA Langley’s highly modified Boeing 737-100 aircraft. Mr. Person is a graduate of the Naval Test Pilot School, a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the SAE S-7 Committee, a recipient of the IR-100 Award for the Takeoff Performance Monitoring System (TOPMS), and a recent recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Microelectronics and the New Millenium

by Carl Kukkonnen

Friday, February 23, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Dr. Kukkonen will present an overview of JPL’s research and development programs in microelectronics and microinstruments, and describe their application in the space and earth sciences.


Dr. Kukkonen is Director of the JPL Center for Space Microelectronics Technology and Manager of Supercomputing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. The Center conducts research and development in microsensors and microinstruments, detectors, and high performance computing, and is sponsored by NASA and the Department of Defense to develop advanced technology for space mission applications. Prior to joining JPL in 1984, Dr. Kukkonen was at Ford Motor Company where he assessed the prospects for “Hydrogen as an Alternative Automotive Fuel”, and designed and developed a direct injection diesel engine. Dr. Kukkonen earned his PhD in Theoretical Physics from Cornell University in 1975.

Apollo 13: A Personal History

by Hans Mark

Dr. Mark’s visit to Langley is being jointly sponsored by ICASE.

Tuesday, March 5, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The Apollo 13 mission to the moon was launched from Kennedy Space Center at 2:13 p.m. EST on April 11, 1970. Although the crew, consisting of James Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert, never got the chance to achieve their original scientific objective of exploring the geology of the moon, they and their colleagues on the ground demonstrated to the world what NASA could do in situations of grave danger while working under extreme pressure. Following the successful recovery of the Apollo 13 astronauts on April 17, the accident investigation board began the long process of finding out what happened, and why. Based on his personal experience as a member of this investigation board, Dr. Hans Mark will describe the accident and the investigative process that discovered the sequence of events that led to it.


Dr. Hans Mark was named Chancellor of The University of Texas System in 1984, and now teaches at the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the University of Texas, he served as Deputy Administrator of NASA after being appointed by President Reagan in 1981. From 1977 to 1979 he was Undersecretary of the U.S. Air Force, and was appointed Secretary of the Air Force by President Carter in 1979. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., he was the Director of NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA. Born in Mannheim, Germany in 1929, Dr. Mark came to the U.S. in 1940 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1945. He obtained his A.B. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1951, and his Ph.D. in physics from MIT in 1954. During his career, Dr. Mark has made significant contributions to nuclear and atomic physics and has also led the engineering development of many spacecraft and experimental aircraft. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including two Distinguished Service Medals from NASA, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Dept. of Defense.

The Clementine Mission

by Col. Pedro Rustan, USAF

Monday, March 18, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The Clementine mission was approved by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) (then the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization [SDIO]) Director in January 1992. In March 1992 the Naval Research Laboratory was selected as the lead agency to design, build and launch Clementine, with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory selected to integrate the payload, a sensor suite of six cameras comparable to those which were planned for use in the now defunct Brilliant Pebbles program. Since NASA was not performing any lunar or asteroid missions at that time, they agreed to become a cooperative partner, providing a Science Team and tracking facilities. The NASA partnership significantly strengthened the mission, as NASA lunar and asteroid scientists reviewed all aspects of the project and provided suggestions that enhanced the scientific value. The Clementine mission was to flight qualify 23 advanced, lightweight technologies, using 3 celestial bodies (the Earth, Moon, and a near Earth asteroid [Goegraphos]) as targets. On January 25, 1994, the Clementine spacecraft was launched (on time and on budget) from Vandenberg AFB on a Titan IIG refurbished booster. Actual experimental results from the historical flight of the Clementine spacecraft will also be shown.


Colonel Rustan is assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office as the Director of the Small Satellite Development Office. He is responsible for developing alternative small satellite architectures and for building small spacecraft to meet specialized requirements. Colonel Rustan received his Air Force commission from the Officer Training School in 1972. He received his Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1969 and 1970, and completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1979.

From 1987 to 1993 Colonel Rustan managed three Space Power Experiment Aboard Rockets (SPEAR) spacecraft and from 1987 to 1993 and the Polar Ozone Atmospheric Measurement (POAM) program from 1989 to 1993. In 1992 he was selected to manage the Clementine mission, the first DoD mission to deep space. As the Mission Director for the Clementine program, he selected and managed the integration and flight qualification of 23 advanced technologies. He has published over 50 articles in scientific journals, several of which discuss the use of advanced technology and streamlined spacecraft program management. Born in Guantanemo, Cuba, Colonel Rustan is married to the former Alexandra Cary, of Lake Bluff Illinois. They have two children, Peter and Amy.

In Search of Cybernautics

by Prof. Steven C. Crow

Tuesday, April 9, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


This is a talk about the future of aviation in the information age. Microprocessor speeds have increased by a multiple of 25,000 since their introduction a quarter century ago, a rate of 50% each year, with no sign of slowing. Personal computers now have the power to monitor the state variables of hundreds of individual aircraft, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) with various enhancements can provide all of these state variables. GPS Vertical position accuracies within 1 foot have been demonstrated in recent experiments, and the research emphasis has shifted to issues of integrity, continuity, and availability. Inertial navigation systems (INS) contribute much to the reliability of GPS-based autoland systems, because if the GPS data stream is interrupted the INS can still complete a precision landing from an altitude of 200 feet.

The future of aviation looks like automatic airplanes communicating among each other to schedule ground assets and to avoid collisions and wake vortex hazards. The business of the FAA will be to assure integrity of global navigation systems, to develop and maintain the software rules of the air, and to provide expert pilots to handle emergencies from the ground via radio control. This vision of aviation is democratic and lends itself to personal airplanes, since some data analyses reveal that personal airplanes are just as efficient and fast as large turbofan transports over distances up to 1,000 miles due to the decelerative influence of the hub and spoke system. Maybe by the year 2020, the airplane will rank with the automobile and computer as an agent of personal freedom.


Steve Crow is Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at The University of Arizona and is presently on sabbatical at Stanford University. He is a graduate of Caltech, has worked at Boeing, the National Physical Lab in England, Lawrence Livermore Lab, UCLA, Science Applications International, and his own company–Poesidon Research. He is known for his research on aircraft vortex wakes, jet noise, sonic booms, submarine hydrodynamics, and GPS guidance and control. He is responsible for the automobile-aircraft concept called the “Starcar.”

The New and Improved Hubble Space Telescope

by Dr. Kathryn Thornton, Astronaut

Thursday, April 18, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Even in its flawed state the Hubble Space Telescope made a string of exciting observations, including black holes lurking in the centers of galaxies, expanding rings around a supernova, and a rare storm on Saturn. To realize its full potential, though, the telescope needed to be repaired. Although the task proved technically challenging, it was less difficult than it might have been because Hubble was designed so that astronauts could easily change failed parts or update the telescope with more advanced instruments.

During the 11-day flight of STS-61, the Hubble Space Telescope was captured and restored to full capacity by inserting a new camera with corrective optics, and by using corrective mirrors for other instruments. The repair mission required a record five space walks by four astronauts, and for their successful efforts Thornton and the other members of the Hubble Recovery Team were awarded the 1993 Collier Trophy, the most prestigious aeronautical award in the Nation. They were honored for their leadership, their courage, and for renewing public faith in America’s space program.


Dr. Kathryn Thornton was selected as an astronaut by NASA in May 1984. A veteran of three space flights, Dr. Thornton has logged nearly 600 hours in space, including more than 21 hours of extravehicular activity (EVA).

A Journey Through a Giant Planet: The Jupiter Galileo Probe Mission

by Marcie Smith, Galileo Probe Manager

Tuesday, May 7, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The Galileo Probe made history’s first entry into the atmosphere of an outer planet, giant Jupiter, on December 7, 1995. The Probe plunged into Jupiter’s swirling cloud tops at 47.4 km/s and descended 600 km through turbulence, violent winds and clouds into the hot, dense atmosphere below. The Probe systems and performance will be described and an overview of the initial science results presented.


After earning her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia, Ms. Smith came to the NASA Ames Research Center in 1980. She earned her M.S. at Stanford in Aeronautics and Astronautics while at Ames in 1982. She has worked in the Space Projects Division since arriving at Ames, focusing on spacecraft operations. She has been a member of the Pioneer Operations Team since 1980, working on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter Mission as well as the Outer Solar System Extended Missions of Pioneer 10 and 11. She has been a member of the Galileo Team since 1992 and has been the Galileo Probe Manager since 1994.

Frontiers of the Responsibly Imaginable in Aeronautics

by Dennis Bushnell, NASA Langley Senior Scientist

Tuesday, June 4, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


This lecture discusses envisaged advanced concepts across the speed range including VTOL converticars (personal air transportation), advanced subsonic and supersonic long haul transports, and air-breathing space access. In most cases, these concepts and approaches offer at least the potential of 100 percent improvements in various performance metrics and, in some cases, far more. Special emphasis is given to advanced CTOL configurations which may offer simultaneous opportunities for mitigation of both drag-due-to-lift and wake vortex hazard and to synergistic propulsive, structural and aerodynamic interactions. The lecture concludes that a virtual revolution in civilian aeronautics is conceivable as a result of technology maturation in several areas which could enable the exploitation of “end-point” designs. These concepts would mitigate the expected erosion in long-haul air travel due to the technology explosion in “tele-travel” and could provide solutions for such problems as the international balance of payments and concentrated population pressures on the environment.


Dennis Bushnell received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut (where he was a University Scholar) and the University of Virginia, respectively. He began his career at Langley 33 years ago as an aerospace engineer, served as Section Head, Branch Head, and Associate Division Chief in the Fluid Mechanics Division, and is currently the Center Senior Scientist. Mr. Bushnell has given more than 100 invited seminars and presentations and is the author of over 200 papers. He received the AIAA Sperry and Fluid and Plasma Dynamics awards and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. Mr. Bushnell has also delivered the ICAS Guggenheim lecture and the Royal Aeronautical Society Lanchester lecture, and is a fellow of ASME, AIAA and the Royal Aeronautical Society. He has contributed to numerous programs during his career, such as Sprint, RAM, Gemini, X-15, Apollo, Shuttle, aircraft energy efficiency programs, the national aerospace plane, the current X-plane program, America’s Cup sailing racers, submarine/torpedo optimization, high-speed magnetic levitation trains, anti-armor munitions, advanced hypersonic facilities, and cooperative aeronautical programs with Russia.

The Viking Mission to Mars: 20 Years Later

by Dr. Edgar M. Cortright

Tuesday, July 16, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The journey to the surface of Mars began not with the launch of the Viking spacecraft in 1975, but many years earlier with the creation of NASA. Dr. Cortright, who played key leadership roles in the evolution of the lunar and planetary programs, will recount this study from his personal perspective. How did the programs evolve? Who were the key players? What were the successes and the failures? Notably, how did Langley become involved and establish a record of mission success unmatched anywhere? What did we learn from Viking? Was it worth the effort and cost? Where do we go from here?


From 1968 to 1975 Cortright was Director of the NASA Langley Research Center where he provided leadership during a period of transition, characterized by organizational and program changes, staff renewal, facility upgrades, and an increase in space related activities, including Viking.

Flight Research: Discovering the Real, the Imagined, the Overlooked, and the Unexpected

by Ken Szalai

Wednesday, August 14, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


This lecture will validate the value of flight research and pose new questions to be solved by future experimental aircraft. Ken Szalai prepared this presentation for the General Electric Aviation Lecture at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in January of this year. In the talk, he will draw upon his 31 years of flight research experience to trace the involvement of NASA (and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) in X-Plane research from the X-1 through X-31. He will then discuss the contributions of these and other research programs at Dryden to everything from airliners to the Space Shuttle.


Ken Szalai, Director of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, began his distinguished career at Dryden in 1964 which gives him a special perspective on this flight research. On several research aircraft programs, Szalai had research and systems engineering positions in which he investigated flying qualities, integrated flight controls, and fault tolerant-flight critical systems. Among the management positions he held before assuming his present position as director of the Center was director of the Dryden Research Engineering Division from 1982 through 1990.

Research, Development, and Innovation: How Much Is Too Much?

by Dr. Christoph von Braun

Tuesday, September 3, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


In the industrialized world, a lot of money is spent on research and development. As more and more participants engage in the technology race, innovation cycles start to speed up. New product introductions occur more and more often. The higher the innovation rate, the shorter the length of product life cycles becomes. How long can escalations of this kind continue? The bitter truth is that a company or a nation can lose money, market share, revenues, and its future if it does not spend enough on research and development. But the same can happen if it spends too much, or just spends indiscriminately. In the future, therefore, technology-induced success will not depend on spending as much – or more than – others on research and development, but on defining the right research program and then sticking to it.


Christoph-Friedrich von Braun has continuously been engaged in technological development and the economic and social impacts of advanced technologies. His most recent book “The Innovation War” points to the dangers associated with excessive innovation speed. It was published in Germany in 1994 and immediately led to a storm of controversial discussions in industry, government and the public. It has now been updated, enhanced, and translated into English, and was published in the U.S. this year. The theme of his presentation will be a summary of ideas and recommendations from this book.

Cassini to Saturn and its Satellite, Titan

by Dr. Earle Huckins

Tuesday, October 1, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The Cassini Mission to Saturn launch is planned for October 1997. It is a joint undertaking of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and other European academic and industrial participants. Cassini will provide a close-up investigation of the Saturnian system, including Saturn’s atmosphere and magnetosphere, its rings and several of its moons ­ especially its largest moon, Titan. The Huygens probe, which ESA is developing, will descend through the Titan atmosphere and directly sample the atmosphere to determine its composition. The orbiter and the probe carry 18 scientific instruments to conduct 27 scientific investigations. Following launch, the interplanetary spacecraft will swing by Jupiter in 2000. Cassini will reach the Saturnian system in 2004. The Cassini orbiter’s scheduled four-year tour of the Saturnian system includes multiple orbits of Saturn and flybys of Titan.

Dr. Huckins will describe the objectives of the Cassini mission, reviewing the results of previous flyby missions to Saturn and summarizing the spacecraft and probe systems. He will offer a brief summary of recent highlights in space science, including observations by the Hubble space telescope, the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the discovery of possible ancient life on Mars. He will also outline the schedule of space science missions planned for the next six months.


Effective February 1996, Dr. Earle K. Huckins III is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Science. He is responsible for the management direction and oversight of space science flight program policy, launch services requirements, technology infusion requirements, and mission study reviews and assessements. Dr. Huckins joined NASA in 1962 as a student trainee at NASA Langley Research Center. He specialized in the field of spacecraft dynamics, stability, and control. Dr. Huckins held various management positions at Langley including Mission Integration Manager for the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) Project, Head of the Large Space Antenna Systems Technology Office, Manager of the Large Space Structures Technology Program, and Deputy Manager of the Space Station Evolutionary Definition Office. In 1986, Dr. Huckins came to NASA Headquarters on a temporary assignment as Technical Assistant to the Associate Administrator for Space Station. Prior to his current assignment, he was Chief Engineer in the Office of Space Flight; Director, Space Station Engineering, in the Office of Space Systems Development; and Director of the Strategic Plans and Programs Division in the Office of Space Station.

Dr. Huckins received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1966, a Master of Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1968, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1972. He completed the program for Management Development at Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration under a NASA fellowship in 1984. Dr. Huckins has received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, a Creative Management Award, and numerous Special Achievement Awards.

Meteorites from Mars and Antarctica: Life on Mars?

by Dr. Marilyn Lindstrom

Tuesday, November 12, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


One of the oldest questions humans have speculated about concerns the possibility of life outside the Earth. In August, NASA Administrator Dan Goldin held a press conference at NASA Headquarters to announce that NASA scientists discovered that a meteorite believed to have come from Mars, which was found in the Antarctic, exhibited traces of primitive life that may have existed on Mars billions of years ago. This was the first evidence that life may have existed outside the Earth. The implications of this discovery, if correct, are staggering. This announcement made television, radio, newspaper, and magazine headlines in the United States and all over the world. As a result of this discovery, President Clinton has organized a World Summit in November to consider the possibility of life on Mars and its future exploration. Dr. Lindstrom will discuss the connection between Mars and the Antarctic, the evidence that the meteorite contains traces of early life on Mars, and whether we can answer the question, “Is there life on Mars?”


Dr. Marilyn Lindstrom is a planetary scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center, and is Curator of the U.S. Antarctic Meteorite Collection and Manager of the Meteorite Processing Laboratory. Dr. Lindstrom was featured on the recent Discovery Channel special, “Life on Mars?” Dr. Lindstrom received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California at San Diego, and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the University of Oregon. Prior to her present position at NASA Johnson Space Center, she was a researcher at the University of Maryland and at Washington University in St. Louis. She is editor of the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter, and has authored more than 70 scientific papers. Dr. Lindstrom is currently a member of the Meteoritical Society, the Geochemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, and the National Science Teachers Association.

New World Vistas for the USAF

by Dr. Richard Bradley

Tuesday, December 3, 1996 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Technologies that will guarantee the air and space superiority of the United States in the 21st Century were identified in a recent study conducted by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Scientific Advisory Board as commisioned by the Secretary of the USAF and the Chief of Staff. The Aircraft and Propulsion Panel was chartered to identify and recommend technologies and concepts that will favorably impact the USAF’s ability to accomplish its mission in the future. This talk will discuss the specific findings of the Panel and will probe the future of the USAF as well as the capabilities needed. The air vehicle concepts that were envisioned will be presented along with a survey of the technologies that are required.


Dr. Richard G. Bradley chaired the Aircraft and Propulsion Panel and is currently a member of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board. He is the Deputy for Development for the Systems Development Center at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems. The Center is responsible for initiation and development through demonstration/validation of new products and programs as well as the required technologies. Dr. Bradley’s technical experience encompasses a broad range of flight related aeronautical disciplines. He has been especially concerned with design applications and has contributed to the design and development of several tactical aircraft.