Colloquium Lectures 1998

Access to Space Beyond the Year 2000

by Delma C. Freeman, Jr.

Tuesday, January 13, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Access to space began with the successful launch of the Sputnik 1 satellite October 4, 1957. Thus began a race to space that has spanned forty years and resulted in spectacular achievements in communication, human presence in space and it’s exploration, research in space and earth sciences, and a multitude of spin offs that have positively affected virtually everyone on earth. Governments have been the primary sponsors of access to space. Today, this paradigm is shifting. There are numerous endeavors around the world to commercially produce expendable vehicle systems to launch small and medium payloads into earth orbit. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is facilitating an industry developed commercial reusable launch system. This system, called the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program is an option to succeed the Space Shuttle and provide significantly reduced cost to access space in the 2000-2010 time frame.

This presentation focuses on the NASA Reusable Launch Vehicle Program. It will give an historic perspective on the analysis, the discussions, and the processes that lead to the decision to proceed with the RLV Program. The political, technical and administrative activity required to implement the Phase 1 Advanced Launch Technology Program, the Phase 2 X-33 Program, and the Phase 3 RLV Commercial Development Program will be presented. There will also be discussion on the impact of doing this program in the commercial market as opposed to a government program like the Shuttle.


Delma C. Freeman, Jr. is the Director of the Aerospace Transportation Technology Office of the NASA Langley Research Center. Del started his career as an aerospace engineer in 1964 working in the area of dynamic stability and control at the Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel. In 1970, he became involved in the development of the Space Shuttle, defining the aerodynamic stability and control of the orbiter, the launch, and the approach and landing configurations. Since the completion of the Shuttle development work, Del has been involved in the concept, definition, analysis and the optimization of advanced space transportation systems. He has just completed a special assignment as a member of a five person team that defined a Space Transportation Investment Strategy for NASA that will support an orderly transition from the Space Shuttle to a new replacement system.

Del has held a number of management positions with increasing responsibility at NASA Headquarters and the Langley Research Center. In his current position as Director of the ATTO, he is responsible for Langley’s activities in space transportation and hypersonic technology. In his years of service he has received numerous awards including the NASA Exceptional Services Medal. Outside of NASA, Del has been significantly recognized by his peers. He has chaired the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Hampton Road Section, served on the AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics and Space Transportation technical committee, and is a AIAA Fellow in space and missile systems. Del has chaired the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Space Transportation Technical Committee and twice chaired IAF symposia of Space Transportation. Del graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering.

How Aerospace Gets to Your Home

by Joseph S. Heyman

Tuesday, February 3, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


How does AeroSpace technology get to your home? Your car? Your medical caregiver? What does it do and who got it there? NASA’s Aeronautics and Space Programs reach far beyond their direct AeroSpace products. Many people know that America’s greatest contribution to the balance of foreign trade is the aviation industry. Over the past ten years, that industry brought over $20B to U.S. soil. It could be well over $40B for the next decade, with the next generation of advanced commercial and high speed transports! NASA enables many technologies, but, how does NASA touch the face of America in other ways?

NASA and NACA Programs contribute to the economic health of the United States. Recently, however, NASA took dramatic steps to accelerate its benefits to the American public. This talk will focus on how Intellectual Property (Patents) enables development of economic opportunities. Companies are licensing patents and building new futures. Methods of creating partnerships with industry will be discussed resulting in benefits to industry, to NASA and to the American public. Dr. Heymen will highlight new products for air quality, materials, sensors, and health.


Dr. Joseph S. Heyman is Director of the Technology Applications Group at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. He received many awards including NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal and NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal. Dr. Heyman is responsible for the Center’s technology partnership programs with industry to enhance America’s national competitiveness. This Group primarily provides leadership for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Programs, Space Act Agreements with non-aerospace industries, and licenses of NASA’s intellectual property. In addition, the Group facilitates all technology transfer agreements between the Research Center and industry.

NASA Research on the Russian Space Station

by Greg Stover

Tuesday, March 3, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Between March 1995 and May 1998, the Russian Space Station Mir hosts NASA astronauts as crewmembers, and a variety of US experiments. The NASA program supporting this endeavor is commonly known as International Space Station (ISS) Phase 1. This program utilizes Mir to gain experience in the areas of cooperation, investigation, and operation in preparation for the construction and utilization of the International Space Station. ISS designers are using Mir as an unique opportunity for long-duration data gathering for space station hardware, materials, and construction methods. In addition, Mir crewmembers are taking advantage of the microgravity environment to conduct scientific investigations and make improvements in operational procedures. Mr. Stover will discuss LaRC’s involvement with the Phase I program and will present results gathered from experiments conducted on Mir. The experiments were conducted both internally and externally and involve crew force measurements, superconducting materials, debris and materials exposure, and Earth sensing instruments.


Greg Stover is the Deputy Manager of the LaRC CERES Project, a remote sensing instrument recently launched on the TRMM observatory and scheduled for future flight on the EOS AM and PM missions. He previously served as Project Manager for MEEP, a debris and materials exposure experiment which successfully flew on Mir for 18 months, and for MACE, a structural dynamics and controls experiment which successfully flew on STS-67. Mr. Stover, a native of Jasper, Alabama, joined NASA in 1990 as an electrical engineer specializing in control systems. He has a B.S. from Auburn University, a M.S. and his Ph.D. coursework in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Designing the Mind-Centered Flight Deck

by Paul Schutte and Alan Pope

Tuesday, April 7, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


NASA has embarked on a bold new program to significantly reduce the number of aviation accidents world-wide. Over 70% of all aviation accidents and incidents have been attributed to human error. A group of researchers at NASA Langley believe that if flight decks were designed to take into account human limitations and to take advantage of uniquely human capabilities, a large number of these accidents could be averted. This group is working on a project called “Error Proof Flight Deck” which seeks to design a flight deck so that normal, fallible human behavior will not jeopardize the safety and efficiency of a flight mission. The design seeks not only to reduce the negative consequences of human behavior, but also to allow the mission to benefit from uniquely human abilities such as creativity, intuition, innovation, ingenuity, and responsibility – abilities that computers and automation do not yet have. The group believes that while human error has contributed to a large number of accidents, these uniquely human capabilities have prevented an even larger number of accidents. This colloquium will discuss how this group is using advanced measurement technologies Mapping), mental models, and innovative interface techniques and concepts to design a flight deck that reinforces the mental capabilities of the crew. In addition it will describe how spin-offs from these efforts are contributing technologies for mind-body medicine. The colloquium will be presented jointly by Mr. Schutte and Dr. Pope, and will include a demonstration of some of the measurement techniques.


Paul C. Schutte is a research scientist and technical team leader in the Flight Dynamics and Control Division, NASA Langley Research Center where he has worked since 1981. He has conducted research in knowledge-based systems for onboard aiding of civil transport flight crews, particularly in subsystem fault management. He codeveloped the Faultfinder fault management concept which received the 1991 R+D 100 award. He is the technical leader of the Error Proof Flight Deck team investigating human centered design concepts for civil aviation flight decks. His particular research interests include fault management and human-machine interaction. Mr. Schutte graduated from Mary Washington College with a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics and from the College of William and Mary with a M.S. in Computer Science.

Alan T. Pope is a research scientist in the Flight Dynamics and Controls Division, NASA Langley Research Center where he has worked since 1980. He leads the Hazards and Error Management (HEM) research program. The HEM program is engaged in the research and development of methods for identifying and controlling factors that lead a flight crew to error. He is also a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Assistant Professor at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Senior Lecturer at Christopher Newport University. Dr. Pope received a B.S. and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering, respectively, from Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Pope is the 1998 recipient of the AIAA Contribution to Society Award for his work on technologies for attention deficit disorder, diabetes, and stress-related disorders.

Innumeracy, Newspapers, and Democracy

by John Allen Paulos

Tuesday, May 5, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The talk will reprise some of the issues discussed in Innumeracy and, especially, in A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. Structured like the morning paper, the latter book investigates the mathematical angles of stories in the news. Mathematical naivete can put such readers at a disadvantage in thinking about many issues in the news that may seem on the surface not to involve mathematics at all. “Number stories” complement, deepen, and regularly undermine “people stories.” The notions of probability and randomness can enhance articles on crime, health risks, or other societal obsessions (including the bible codes). Logic and self-reference may help to clarify the hazards of celebrity and spin-doctoring. Business finance, the multiplication principle, and simple arithmetic point up consumer fallacies, electoral tricks, and sports myths. Chaos and non-linear dynamics suggest how difficult and frequently worthless economic and environmental prediction is. And mathematically pertinent notions from philosophy and psychology provide perspective on a variety of contemporary public issues.


Bestselling author, mathematician, and public speaker, John Allen Paulos received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin. Now a professor of mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia, he is married and the father of two children. In addition to being the author of a number of scholarly papers on mathematical logic, probability, and the philosophy of science, Dr. Paulos has written Mathematics and Humor (1980), I Think, Therefore I Laugh (1985), Innumeracy – Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (1989), Beyond Numeracy – Ruminations of a Numbers Man (1991), and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (1995). An active public speaker whose talks are both illuminating and humorous, he has spoken to audiences from the Smithsonian to Harvard’s Nieman Fellows, from the National Academy of Sciences to local colleges, and from library and mathematics associations to business and financial forums.

The Human Adventure Continues

by William L. Smith

Tuesday, June 2, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) is the NASA Enterprise whose mission is to open the space frontier by exploring, using, and enabling the development of space and to expand the human experience into the far reaches of space. HEDS seeks the marriage of robotic and human capabilities to overcome the challenges of distance, time, and environment. The HEDS goals include preparing to conduct human missions of exploration to planetary and other bodies in the solar system; Use the environment of space to expand scientific knowledge; provide for safe and affordable human access to space , establish a human presence in space, and share the human experience of being in space; and enable the commercial development of space and share HEDS knowledge, technologies and assets that promise to enhance the quality of life on Earth.

The Space Shuttle and the International Space Station serve as research platforms to pave the way for sustained human presence in space through critical research on human adaptation. Lessons learned in operation and research utilizing these system capabilities represent stepping stones human exploration for return to the Moon or Martian missions. This presentation will focus on the conduct of Mars Human Exploration mission from launch to return of the explorers.


William L. Smith, Deputy Director of Space and Atmospheric Sciences Programs Group of the NASA Langley Research Center, started his NASA career in 1965 in the then named Office of Advanced Research and Technology at NASA Headquarters. He transferred into The Office of Manned Space Flight, later called the Office of Space Flight and was involved in Gemini, Apollo, ASTP, Skylab, and Space Shuttle development and initial operations before moving to industry. From 1985 to 1988 Smith worked at both TRW, Redondo Beach, CA as an Advanced Systems manager and from 1988 to 1991 at the Grumman Space Station Division, Reston, VA as the Director of Utilization in system engineering support to Space Station Freedom configuration.. Mr. Smith returned to NASA in 1991 and in September of that year became the Director of Advance Development in the Office of Exploration at NASA Headquarters where he also served as the acting Associate Administrator for that Code on many occasions. With the disestablishment of the Office of Exploration in 1993 Mr. Smith joined the Office of Space Science first as the Chief Technologist and support to the Chief engineer function and then moved to planetary flight programs management where he had management responsibility for the faster, cheaper Discovery mission efforts ; the Mars Surveyor Program missions for ’98,’01, ’03, and ’05 ; the Galileo mission; and Mulitmission Ground Support System development at JPL. Mr. Smith joined Langley Research Center in August of 1995 in his current position.

The Final Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission

by Astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz

Tuesday, July 7, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


A mission specialist on STS-91, Astronaut Chang-Diaz will describe this final scheduled Shuttle/Mir docking mission, which concludes the joint U.S./Russian Phase I Program. This Phase 1 Program is a precursor to the International Space Station. STS-91 also carried into space the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Investigation (AMS) to search for anti-matter and dark matter in space and to study astrophysics.


A veteran of six space flights, Astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz became an astronaut in 1981. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1973 and a doctorate in applied plasma physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1977. He is the recipient of many awards including the Liberty Medal from President Reagan, three NASA Exceptional Service Medals, American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award, four NASA Space Flight Medals, and Outstanding Technical Contribution Award. In 1993 Dr. Chang-Diaz was appointed Director of the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center when he continues research on plasma rockets.

Confronting the Year 2000 Computing Crisis

by Joel C. Willemssen

Tuesday, August 11, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The U. S. General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of the Congress, has been actively involved in assessing the federal government’s progress in addressing the year 2000 crisis and in offering recommendations to help address it. Mr. Willemssen, GAO’s Director of Civil Agencies Information Systems, has testified on numerous occasions before congressional committees on this issue. His presentation will focus on (1) guidance to organizations on dealing with Y2K, particularly with respect to business continuity and contingency planning and testing, (2) the current status and future outlook for federal agencies’ progress on Y2K, (3) readiness status and prospects for our nation’s key economic sectors, and (4) recommendations directed to the Chairman of the President’s Year 2000 Conversion Council.


Mr. Willemssen is Director of Civil Agencies Information Systems at GAO. In this position, he is responsible for GAO’s reviews of information technology management at many of the federal government’s major departments and agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, HUD, Interior, Labor, Transportation, Veterans Affairs; and EPA and SSA. He frequently testifies on information technology issues before congressional committees, appearing on more than 25 occasions to date during the 105th Congress. Mr. Willemssen joined GAO in 1979 and since that time has participated in and led numerous computer systems reviews at a wide array of federal agencies. His experience is predominantly in systems development, acquisition approaches, performance evaluation, systems maintenance, and Y2K. Mr. Willemssen received Bachelors and Masters degrees in business administration from the University of Iowa, and completed the executive level program in information systems at UCLA.

Technical Developments in Inflatable Space Structures

by Costa Cassapakis

Tuesday, September 1, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


A brief History of Space Inflatable Structures will be given from the vantage point of the speaker’s own knowledge and experience on the subject, starting with the space objects of the Sixties. This will be followed by description of some developments in the last two decades culminating into the sophisticated structures being built and tested today for use in space, such as the spectacular Inflatable Antenna Experiment of two years ago. Finally, the technology issues remaining to be addressed will be discussed, along with a vision for the future.


Dr. Cassapakis received his PhD in Experimental Particle and Nuclear Physics in 1975 from the University of New Mexico while doing research work at the Los Alamos Meson Physics Accelerator. In 1976 he joined SAIC at La Jolla, CA, where as a senior scientist he worked on the development of nuclear particle and photon radiation gauges for Non-Destructive Testing and Evaluation of Materials. While working the issues for the Neutral Particle Beam Experiment during the Star Wars years, he joined L’Garde to manage the Firefly Advanced Space Target Program. He later became Director and Vice President for Advanced Programs at L’Garde, Inc. At present, he is the President of the Company amd a Member of L’Garde’s Board of Directors.

Hyper-X: Flying at 7 to 10 Times the Speed of Sound

by Vincent L. Rausch

Tuesday, October 6, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


To reduce the cost of putting payloads in orbit, NASA is developing technology for an air-breathing engine that could be used in reusable space launchers. The speaker will give a brief history of hypersonic flight and mission applications, followed by an overview of the Hyper-X program goals, objectives, approach, participants, and five-year schedule. He will also discuss technology challenges in the areas of aerodynamics, stage separation, and propulsion. Finally, he will address the flight experiments and program status. The joint Langley Research Center – Dryden Flight Research Center Hyper-X program will, for the first time ever, conduct Mach 7 and 10 flights of three airframe-integrated dual-mode scramjet-powered research vehicles.


Colonel Vincent L. Rausch, USAF (Ret.) was named Hyper-X Program Manager at NASA Langley Research Center in July 1996. From 1991-96, he was the Assistant Director for Aeronautics (High-Performance Aircraft) at NASA Headquarters. Previously, Colonel Rausch was the first Director of the NASP Inter-Agency Office in the Pentagon. Colonel Rausch is the recipient of the Air Force Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the NASA Outstanding Service Award. He has a BA from Coe College and an MBA from Inter-American University. He is also a graduate of Air War College, Armed Forces Staff College, Air Command and Staff College, and Squadron Officer School.

Status Report on Project Phoenix – A Privately Funded Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

by Jill Tarter

Tuesday, November 3, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Since 1995, Project Phoenix has been using pairs of large radio telescopes around the world to conduct comprehensive searches for evidence of signals from other technological civilizations. We have now examined about half our initial list of target stars with a sensitivity adequate to detect signals as strong as our terrestrial radars (10^12 W EIRP) coming from the most distant targets (155 light years). Results to date are negative. We have just embarked on a five year observing program utilizing Arecibo Observatory and the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, which enables even greater sensitivity.

We are also conducting a series of internal workshops designed to provide guidance for the next few decades. In the near future, we shall be building new signal detection systems at a number of wavelengths and constructing novel new arrays of antennas to permit continuous observing. One of these arrays will also serve as a prototype to demonstrate the breakthrough technologies necessary to construct a collaborative, international astronomical array with extremely wide bandwidth and 10^6 square meters of collecting area, at an affordable cost. Such an instrument could simultaneously conduct SETI, radio astronomy, and spacecraft tracking. We are beginning to bet on Moore’s Law (i.e., that the power of computer processors will roughly double every 18 months). This talk will explain what we’ve done, and how we are planning for future success.


Dr. Tarter is an astronomer and one of the world’s leading researchers in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). She is a founder of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, where she is the Director of Project Phoenix, a privately funded search for extraterrestrial life using radio telescopes. Dr. Tarter received a Bachelor of Engineering Physics with Distinction from Cornell University, and a Master’s Degree and Ph. D. in Astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley. Her major field of study was theoretical high energy physics. She was a NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the NASA Ames Research Center. She has made major scientific advances in astronomy, including her pioneering research on so-called “brown” dwarf stars.

Dr. Tarter recalls that for many years while filling out forms that asked for her mother’s occupation, her young daughter would write “looks for little green men.” Dr. Tarter was a long-time colleague and close friend of the late Carl Sagan, author of the novel and movie, “Contact,” and many believe that she was the real-life inspiration for the story’s lead character, radio astronomer Ellie Arroway, played by actress Jodie Foster. For her pioneering research in SETI, Dr. Tarter has received two NASA Public Service Awards.

Russian Flight Test Exchange: Flying the Mig-29 and SU-27

by Rogers E. Smith

Tuesday, December 1, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Smith is Acting Director for Flight Operations at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. He will speak about his experiences earlier this year participating in a test pilot exchange program in Russia. While visiting Russia he flew the Mig-29 and SU-27 aircraft. As a part of the exchange, he also hosted a Russian pilot at NASA Dryden and will discuss that part of the experience as well. His talk will cover design philosophy and pilot training differences, as well as the performance of the aircraft he flew.


Smith is a co-project pilot on two major aeronautical programs at Dryden. They are the integrated thrust vectoring, F-15 “ACTIVE” and the SR-71 High Speed Research programs. Smith was associated with NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia in 1967 as a research pilot, and has specialized in the areas of advanced flight control systems, stability and control, and flying qualities. In addition to his assignment on the SR-71 and ACTIVE projects, Smith has been a project pilot on the X-31 Enhanced Fighter Maneuverability Demonstrator project, and the F-104 aeronautical research aircraft. Since beginning his NASA career, Smith has also been a project pilot on the X-29 Forward Swept Wing, the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration F-16 (AFTI F-16), and the AFTI F-111 Mission Adaptive Wing research programs. Currently President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Smith has authored more than 30 technical papers.