Colloquium Lectures 2006

SpaceShipOne Flight Test Program Results and Lessons Learned

by Doug Shane

Thursday, January 5, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The development and flight testing of SpaceShipOne illustrated how much can be accomplished by a small team when they have clearly focused goals and the proper environment. A program overview will be presented, along with technical challenges faced by the team along the way, some specific flight test results and lessons learned during this unique program.


Doug Shane is currently Vice President/Business Development and Director of Flight Operations for Scaled Composites, LLC in Mojave, California. He was the first engineer hired by Scaled when it opened for business in 1982.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas, and in 2004 was made a member of its Alumni Honor Roll.

His flight test experience includes the first flights of 8 new prototypes, including the White Knight, Adam 309, VisionAire Vantage, and Williams International V-Jet II. He has 3600 flight hours in more than 130 types of aircraft. He is a Fellow and past president of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Honors and awards include the Iven C. Kincheloe Award for outstanding professional accomplishment in flight testing by SETP in 1997; an Aviation Week Aeorspace Laureate award, and the Robert J. Collier trophy, both in 2005.

Russia – Candidate Roles in the Exploration Vision

by James Oberg

Thursday, February 2, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Expanding human presence beyond Low Earth Orbit promises to be a technological challenge as great as the Apollo program and the International Space Station, requiring all the space-related resources and experience of Earth. Oberg will explore the potential contributions of the Russian space industry, based both on its experience with long-duration space stations and its own ‘Space Race’ projects for human flight to the Moon and Mars. He will also suggest ‘lessons learned’ in recent years about the delivered values of international partnerships (none of the promised benefits of such partnerships for ISS have materialized, but some surprising other benefits have), and will present a range of scenarios for different levels of hardware and operational integration over the coming 10 to 20 years.


James Oberg, a retired ‘rocket scientist’, spent 22 years at Mission Control in Houston in support of space shuttle missions. He is also a writer with a dozen books and more than a thousand articles under his byline, and is currently the NBC News ‘space consultant’. Aside from specializing in orbital rendezvous, he is widely recognized as an expert on Russian and Chinese space programs, and on assessing future trends in space. His most recent new project is in association with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where he assists the ‘Discovery Tours’ project as tour leader of a program visiting top US and Russian space facilities. His home page address is:

NASA Capabilities for Human Exploration Beyond the Moon

by Patrick A. Troutman

Thursday, March 2, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Ongoing exploration system studies in support of the Vision for Space Exploration are currently focusing on safe robotic and human missions to the moon within a set-funding wedge. Identification and application of Constellation systems for non-lunar missions could help sustain the Vision via cost sharing and by creating a broader support base. The Constellation systems that will be needed to return humans to the Moon could also be used to deliver large commercial or Earth-sensing satellites to geosynchronous orbit; send humans to an asteroid, or service science platforms in the Earth’s neighborhood. Advanced concepts studies that assess the application of Constellation systems beyond returning to the moon will be discussed.


Patrick A. Troutman graduated in 1984 from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a BS in Aerospace & Oceanographic Engineering along with a minor in Computer Science. Since this time he has worked for NASA LaRC as a contractor and a civil servant developing and utilizing analyses capabilities in support of space system studies, leading several space station redesign and risk mitigation studies, and leading systems analysis related to future space scenarios including managing the NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) program. He also led several sensitive studies for NASA that led to recommendations for future human exploration scenarios in the 2015 era that were eventually incorporated into the Vision for Space Exploration. Mr. Troutman currently serves as the Project Manager for the Exploration Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment project in support of NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.

Hurricanes and Global Warming: The Science, Technologies, and Politics

by Dr. Judith Curry

Thursday, April 6, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active and costly season on record. Recent publications linking an increase in hurricane intensity to increasing tropical sea surface temperatures have fueled the debate on whether or not global warming is causing an increase in hurricane intensity. Because of the substantial implications of hurricane-global warming issue for society and the immediate policy relevance associated with decision making related to Hurricane Katrina, there is a clear need for balanced and thoughtful discourse on this subject. The objectives of this talk are to:

  • Clarify the debate surrounding the subject as to whether or not global warming is causing an increase in global hurricane intensity, including the outstanding sources of uncertainties
  • Observing technologies needed to support research on hurricanes and global warming
  • Mixing politics, climate science, and the media.


Dr. Judith Curry is Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Curry received a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Chicago in 1982. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, she has held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Penn State University and Purdue University. Dr. Curry’s research interests span a variety of topics in climate; current interests include air/sea interactions, climate feedback processes associated with clouds and sea ice, and applications of satellite data to interpreting recent variations in the climate data record. Dr. Curry currently serves on the National Academies Climate Research Committee and the Space Studies Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group. Dr. Curry is author of the book Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans and is editor for the Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences. She has published over 130 refereed journal articles. Dr. Curry is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. In 1992, she received the Henry Houghton Award from the American Meteorological Society.

Mars Direct: Humans to the Red Planet within a Decade

by Dr. Robert M. Zubrin

Thursday, May 4, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


In July 1989, on the 20th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, the President called for America to renew its pioneering push into space with the establishment of a permanent Lunar base and a series of human missions to Mars. While many believe that such an endeavor would be costly and take many decades, a small team at Martin Marietta drew up a daring plan that could sharply cut costs and send a group of American astronauts to the Red Planet within ten years. The plan, known as “Mars Direct,” has attracted international attention and broad controversy. Its principal author, Robert Zubrin, has presented it to international forums as well as to various government officials, and current NASA Administrator Mike Griffin. With the revival of the call for a human space exploration initiative, the “Mars Direct” plan is at the center of the debate: Can Americans reach the Red Planet in our time?


Robert Zubrin, president of Pioneer Astronautics, holds Masters degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a doctorate in Nuclear Engineering. He is the inventor of several unique concepts for space propulsion and exploration, the author of over 200 published technical and non-technical papers in the field, as well several non-fiction books. He is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and former Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Space Society. He founded the Mars Society; an international organization dedicated to furthering the exploration and settlement of Mars by both public and private means. He personally led the construction and operation of a human Mars exploration training station on Devon Island, an uninhabited island in the Canadian Arctic 900 miles form the North Pole.

Aeronautics Research in Decline: Why the Trend Must be Reversed

by Roy V. Harris, Jr.

Thursday, June 1, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


NASA’s funding for aeronautics research has been in precipitous decline since 1998. These reductions threaten our nation’s aeronautical research infrastructure and put at risk U.S. leadership in civil aviation, our ability to meet the required growth of the national air transportation system, and quality of life for all Americans. The NASA Aeronautics Support Team (NAST) was formed in 1998 to improve national awareness of NASA’s aeronautics research program, to create strong support for it within the Congress, the Administration, and the public, and to restore the NASA aeronautics program to a position of world leadership in research and technology development. The presentation will focus on what is happening to aeronautics research in NASA, why the trend must be reversed, and what NAST is doing about it.


Mr. Roy V. Harris, Jr. joined the Langley Research Center staff in 1958, immediately after graduating from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. For fifteen years he conducted individual research in supersonic aerodynamics and published over thirty technical reports. He became a Branch Head in 1973 and was promoted to Chief of the High-Speed Aerodynamics Division in 1974. He served as the Center’s Director for Aeronautics from 1985 to 1994 when he was promoted to the position of Assistant Director for Research and Engineering in Office of the Director. In 1995 he was assigned the additional responsibilities of the Agency Facility Group Director for Wind Tunnels and Aerothermodynamic Facilities. He retired from NASA in 1998. Since then, he has worked as an aerospace consultant and has devoted much of his time to the volunteer position of Chief Technical Advisor to the NASA Aeronautics Support Team.

Mr. Harris received the AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award (1968), the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership (1982), the Virginia Peninsula Engineer of the Year Award (1983), and the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive (1985). He was elected to the grade of Fellow of the AIAA (1987), received the AIAA Wright Brothers Lectureship in Aeronautics (1989), and the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive (1991). He was inducted into the Georgia Tech Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni (1995), received the AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award (1998), the NASA Distinguished Service Medal (1998), and the ICAS Maurice Roy Medal “for outstanding contributions to international collaboration” (1998).

Uranus and Neptune: Understanding the Ice Giants

by Dr. Heidi B. Hammel

Thursday, July 6, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


During the late 1980s, our understanding of the Ice Giants — Uranus and Neptune — was revolutionized by detailed images taken by the Voyager spacecraft. However, those images were static: brief snapshots in time of complex and dynamic systems. Recently, our knowledge of these giant planets has undergone striking new advances. In this talk, Dr. Heidi B. Hammel will bring you up to date on these planets, discussing her results from the Hubble Space Telescope program, imaging from the Keck 10-m telescope, and other observations. You will leave this talk with a new view of the most distant giant planets in our Solar System.


Dr. Heidi B. Hammel received her undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982 and her Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of Hawaii in 1988. After a post-doctoral position at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, California), she returned to MIT, where she spent nearly nine years as a Principal Research Scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. She is now a Senior Research Scientist and co-Director of Research at the Space Science Institute (Boulder, Colorado). Dr. Hammel primarily studies outer planets and their satellites, with a focus on observational techniques. She is an acknowledged expert about the planet Neptune, and was a member of the Imaging Science Team for the Voyager 2 encounter with that planet in 1989. For the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in July 1994, Dr. Hammel led the Hubble Space Telescope Team that investigated Jupiter’s atmospheric response to the collisions. Her latest research involves studies of Neptune and Uranus with HST and other Earth-based observatories. Dr. Hammel was identified as one of the 50 most important women in science by Discover Magazine in November 2002, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2000.

Advances in Nanotechnology

by Professor Mool C. Gupta

Thursday, August 3, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


A world-wide significant effort has been put in to the exciting nanotechnology area that has large potential payoffs. Total budget of over 3 billion dollars annually is targeted towards nanotechnology research. This talk will describe some of the advances made in the nanotechnology area and emerging potential applications. The nanotechnology impact is on many segments including nanomaterials, nanodevices, nanobiotechnology, and nanoinstrumentations. The talk will also discuss some of our contribution in the advancement of nanotechnology, specifically in solar energy, nanocomposites, nanostructured materials, compact sensors, negative index materials and their applications etc.


Professor Gupta is currently Langley Distinguished Professor and Director of NSF I/UCRC Center for Lasers and Plasmas at the University of Virginia. Previously, he was Director of the Applied Research Center, Program Director for Materials Science and Engineering and a Research Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Old Dominion University. He has worked at the Research Laboratories of Eastman Kodak Company for 17 years as a Senior Scientist and Group Leader. Before joining Kodak he was Senior Scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California. His educational experience includes: Senior Research Fellow at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. (78-79), Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, (76-78) and Ph.D. in Physics from Washington State University, Pullman, Wash. (1973). Other professional activities includes: Materials Research Society Short Course Instructor for Optoelectronic Materials, Processes and devices course for over six years, Adjunct Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University for over eight years, Conference Chair for 1996 SPIE Conference on Nonlinear Frequency Conversion. He is Editor-in-Chief for CRC Handbook of Photonics. He has over 85 research publications and 25 patents and was inducted in Kodak’s Inventors Gallery. He has taught courses at Cornell University, University of Rochester, MRS and SPIE meetings. His research interest includes Photon Processing of Materials, nanomaterials and devices and Sensors.

Traditional Native Scientists

by Scott Frazier

Thursday, September 7, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


There are no written records of the vast knowledge of Native scientists. The results of their work endures through oral tradition. Stories have been handed down over centuries about earth, wind, fire, and water which examine timeless observations. Time and space are held in this moment by threads of culture and tradition bound in magic and truth. Today the Native people are trying to understand what was meant by the words of their elders.

Education is as important today as it was in ancient times for the understanding of life. Native people were traditionally taught by their elders and now taught in traditional classrooms. Unfortunately, modern teaching methods of do not awaken the Native youth to discovery like the teachers of the past. Observations of today has been replaced by books and computers, power point and the internet. An example is: knowing where the water is beneficial for life has been replaced by broad band, dial up connections and cell phones.

Traditional Native science is bound in the belief that all things are related and is grounded in Native religious beliefs. Mr. Frazier will discuss with blending Native cultural science with western academic science and the challenge of understanding the balance of nature and man.


Mr. Frazier is an enrolled Crow Tribal member, and Santee Sioux of Nebraska. His family has been involved with Indian health and education for many generations. Native culture and tribal issues were discussed with Scott’s father and grandfather by tribal leaders and elders while Scott listened during his youth. He has lectured about these discussions and points of view nationally and internationally for the past thirty years. Recently he was invited to Israel by the Native American Leadership Conference to be one of ten Native representatives for peace in the Middle East. Mr. Frazier conducted the opening blessing for the Native American Exhibit at the Hampton University Museum in Hampton Virginia.

Mr. Frazier has had diverse work experiences since leaving a Quaker boarding school he attended in Pennsylvania. He has worked for the Forest Service as a fire fighter, Exxon Corporation USA as a process operator and pipe fitter, adobe worker, Native artist, hair designer and business owner. He has a degree in communication and Native Studies from Montana State University in Billings Montana. He also holds a boiler operators qualification, hair dressing license , and has been recognized as an award winning Native American doll maker, with a piece in the Hampton Museum. Over the past five years he has worked for Native Waters, part of Project WET (water education for teachers) as Program Coordinator and is currently Executive Director and Indigenous Liaison for Project WET. While working for the Exxon Corporation USA, Mr. Frazier trained and held positions in the water treatment facility in the Billings Montana Oil Refinery. In his ten years with Exxon he learned the many capabilities of water and our responsibility to return the water to its source in a clean, useful manner. While being the Program Coordinator for Native Waters Mr. Frazier was challenged with blending Native cultural science with western academic science. He found the challenge of understanding the balance of nature and man, rewarding and useful. As the Executive Director of Native Waters he has delivered papers in New Zealand during the World Indigenous Conference on Education, Buffalo Bill Historical Society in Cody Wyoming for the plain Indian Forum, and addressed the World Water Forum in Mexico City about the sacredness of water. He is currently establishing a water network for Indigenous people world wide.

It is Mr. Frazier’s goal for the future is to stay in the model of his elders and do great things for the people.

MISSEs- Experiments to Mitigate Risks in Future Space Exploration Missions

by Bill Kinard

Thursday, October 5, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Materials International Space Station Experiments, MISSEs, are technology experiments performed on the exterior of the International Space Station to maturate new technologies required to implement the President’s Exploration Program. This lecture will describe the need for such experiments as demonstrated by LDEF and MEEP experiments, the low cost generic approach used for the MISSEs, the benefits derived from completed MISSE experiments, and plans for future MISSEs.


A native of Ninety Six South Carolina, Bill Kinard graduated from Clemson College in 1954. He served a two-year tour of duty (1955-1956) in the Air Force attached to the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics (NACA) at the Langley Research Center in Hampton. After being discharged from the Air Force, remained at the NACA, which shortly thereafter (1957) became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and after 50 years still remains a NASA employee.

His career with the NACA and later with NASA has focused on research to define the meteoroid and the man-made debris environments in space and the effects these and other space environments can have on operational spacecraft.

During his half century of employment at NACA and NASA, Bill Kinard –

– conceived and was Principle Investigator for the Interplanetary Micrometeoroid Experiments on the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft that first measured the populations of micrometeoroids in the asteroid belt and near Jupiter and Saturn and that also first established that micrometeoroids in the asteroid belt and near the outer planets would present no significant hazard to follow-on spacecraft exploring these and the other outer planets.

– conceived and was Principle Investigator for the Meteoroid Technology Satellite which first proved that the “Meteor Bumper Shield” is an effective concept to shield against impacting meteoroids and orbiting debris. It a shielding concept now used on all large spacecraft including the International Space Station.

– conceived, managed the design and development, and later was Chief Scientist for the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) which obtained a treasure trove of information on the environments in near Earth space and the effects of these environments on spacecraft. The LDEF data set is now regarded as the “benchmark” for environmental effects on spacecraft in LEO.

Mr. Kinard has written more than 200 technical publications; has 8 Patents for space related inventions; numerous awards including the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and a Honorary Doctors degree from Clemson University.

Special 35th Anniversary Lecture

Space Exploration: Filling Up The Canvas

by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin

TUESDAY, October 24, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


In 1805, President Thomas Jefferson observed: “The work we are now doing is, I trust, done for posterity, in such a way that they need not repeat it. We shall delineate with correctness the great arteries of this great country: those who come after us will extend the ramifications as they become acquainted with them, and fill up the canvas we begin.” Recognizing that the American culture retains a frontier mindset even now, President George W. Bush announced a new Vision for Space Exploration in January 2004. In announcing this plan to extend human presence across the solar system, by completing the International Space Station, returning to the Moon, and embarking on new journeys to Mars, NASA was given a mandate to learn the potential of this vast new territory and chart ways for others to follow. Administrator Mike Griffin will speak on how he envisions NASA will “fill up the canvas” of our nation’s future in space exploration.


Nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate, Michael Griffin began his duties as the 11th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on April 14, 2005. As Administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration.

Prior to being nominated as NASA Administrator, Griffin was serving as Space Department Head at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. He was previously President and Chief Operating Officer of In-Q-Tel, Inc., and also served in several positions within Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Va., including Chief Executive Officer of Orbital’s Magellan Systems division and General Manager of the Space Systems Group.

Earlier in his career, Griffin served as chief engineer and as associate administrator for Exploration at NASA, and as deputy for technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University, where he taught courses in spacecraft design, applied mathematics, guidance and navigation, compressible flow, computational fluid dynamics, spacecraft attitude control, astrodynamics and introductory aerospace engineering. He is the lead author of more than two dozen technical papers, as well as the textbook, “Space Vehicle Design.”

A registered professional engineer in Maryland and California, Griffin is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics, an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a fellow of the American Astronautical Society, and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the AIAA Space Systems Medal, and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given to a non-government employee.

Griffin received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master’s degree in aerospace science from Catholic University of America; a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland; a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California; a master’s degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola College; and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from George Washington University. He is a certified flight instructor with instrument and multiengine ratings.

Hypersonics: Flying Higher and Faster in the Air and Beyond

by Dr. Mark J. Lewis

December 7, 2006 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.


Hypersonic flight, in excess of about five times the speed of sound, holds the promise for major advancements in our ability to travel around and off planet Earth. Developments in hypersonic propulsion may lead to high-speed cruise missiles that offer rapid response, and are virtually invulnerable. The same propulsion technology may ultimately offer a more effective means of reaching earth orbit, flying into space with an airplane-like vehicle as opposed to using a conventional launcher. Some of the technical challenges of hypersonic flight will be reviewed, as well as recent accomplishments and ongoing programs with a focus on U. S. Air Force interests in this area.


Dr. Mark J. Lewis is Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force. He serves as the chief scientific adviser to the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force and provides assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the Air Force mission. He is currently on leave from his position as Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland, and as Director of the Space Vehicles Technology Institute, College Park, Md. For the past 19 years, Dr. Lewis has conducted basic and applied research in and taught many aspects of hypersonic aerodynamics, advanced propulsion, space vehicle design and optimization. His work has spanned the aerospace flight spectrum from the analysis of conventional jet engines to entry into planetary atmospheres at hypervelocity speeds. Dr. Lewis received his professional education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of more than 220 technical publications, adviser to more than 50 graduate students and is active in numerous national and international professional societies.