GUEST BIO'S

ROBERT GOUNLEY

  

Robert Gounley is a Systems Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  He currently works on the Europa Clipper Project – a mission to study that Jovian satellite’s ice-covered ocean for signs of life.  Previously, he worked on Galileo, a mission to explore Jupiter and its satellites, as well as Mars InSight, GRACE Follow-On, GRAIL, Dawn, Mars Exploratation Rover, and Deep Space 1.  For his Galileo work, Bob received NASA's Exceptional Service and Exceptional Achievement medals.

GERALD BLACKBURN

  

Gerald Blackburn is an engineer and was a Project Manager with the Boeing Space and Communications Corporation. He was responsible for directing the Advanced Standards and Practices efforts in the Systems Safety and Product Assurance Department at the Huntington Beach Facility. Mr. Blackburn has been in the Aerospace Industry for over 40 years and retired in 2003. His career has spanned the entire manned space program from the X-15 at North American Aviation to the Apollo, Saturn SII, Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs. 

During his career on Apollo he worked in quality assurance and as a materials engineer. Thirty-five years were spent at the Downey North American/NASA site the home of the Apollo and Space Shuttle spacecrafts.

He is an educator as well as a business leader. His proactive leadership in business and education partnerships is widely known. Gerald has taught at the California State University in Los Angeles, University of Southern California and Cerritos College. He has been an active member of several business and education advisory boards and served on the California State Department of Education Advisory Committee for Career Technology Education.

He is author of “Downey’s Aerospace History” by Arcadia Publishing.

Mr. Blackburn has a MBA from Pepperdine University and is a native Californian. He enjoys spending time with his seven grandchildren and traveling with his wife Kathy. Mr. Blackburn is founder and CEO of Tinkers Corner LLC a STEM education resource company. He is a member of the advisory Board of Directors for the City of Downey Columbia Memorial Space Center. He is a Past President of the Aerospace Legacy Foundation  here in California developing historical preservation and outreach projects.

ALDO SPADONI

  

Aldo Spadoni is an MIT graduate with an aerospace engineering career spanning over 35 years. He has made significant technical contributions to numerous advanced aircraft, missile, and spacecraft programs for NASA, DARPA, and the U.S. Armed Services. He began his engineering career at Hughes Space & Communications Group as a spacecraft configuration design engineer working on the Galileo Jupiter spacecraft. Later, he joined TRW Defense & Space Systems as a navigation systems engineering specialist working on ICBMs and spacecraft programs. Aldo joined Northrop in 1985, supporting the advanced design team in the area of advanced avionics system integration and project management. He created and managed an award-winning creative simulation team at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. Aldo is a recipient of NASA’s 2004 Turning Goals Into Reality team award for Reusable Launch Vehicle Development. He is an accomplished self-taught artist and concept designer with four U.S. patents to his credit. He is a Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) and is currently serving on its Board of Trustees. Aldo’s consulting company, Aerospace Imagineering, specializes in the conceptual design, visualization and prototyping of advanced technology products and concepts. His visualizations have appeared in numerous magazines and television documentaries. He has worked closely with hard science fiction authors such as Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle to bring their technological visions to life. As an aerospace concept designer and technology consultant to the entertainment industry, he supported the production of APOLLO 13, SUPERNOVA, STEALTH, IRON MAN 1 & 2, and other movie projects. He helped produce the 2009 National Geographic Channel documentary called HITLER’S STEALTH FIGHTER. Aldo’s personal goals are to promote STEAM education and create compelling visions of humanity’s spacefaring future.  


SETH POTTER, Ph.D

  

Seth D. Potter, Ph.D. works in the in the aerospace industry, where his experience has included space-based solar power, wireless power transmission, robotic satellite servicing, lunar and planetary mission design, radar system design, and solid-state electronics. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Science from New York University, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physics from Columbia University. He is President of the OASIS – Los Angeles Chapter of the National Space Society and a member of the NSS Board of Advisors, as well as the Aerospace Legacy Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, he is a member of the Council of the Los Angeles – Las Vegas Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has worked with A-MAN, Inc., a K-12 STEM Learning Center in Southern California on a Global Learning XPRIZE entry, and is a member of the Cape Town, South Africa NSS Chapter Advisory Board. 

MICHELLE EVANS

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 bestselling book “The X-15 Rocket

Plane, Flying the First Wings into Space” which was published by the University of Nebraska Press as part of their “Outward Odyssey, People's History of Spaceflight” series.


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. Her current work with Mach 25 Media provides education and display services for astronaut appearances and other space-related events at government facilities, science

centers, schools, and other venues across the country and overseas.


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, and New York Times. Michelle was also a technical consultant on the Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man.”

TIM CASSIDY-CURTIS

Tim Cassidy-Curtis studied aerospace engineering at Syracuse University, graduating in 1979, and went on to become part of the Space Shuttle program in 1982. He was part of the NASA team (still assigned to the US Air Force) for the final assembly of the Orbiters Discovery and Atlantis, and took part in two Shuttle launches. After a brief stint with air-breathing vehicles starting in 1989, Tim returned to the Space business in 1996, and has never left. Tim is a Space Professional, Level III, the highest level. Finally, Tim has published in a peer-reviewed journal on the subject of human spaceflight. So, yes, as a matter of fact, Tim is a Rocket Scientist. Tim is also a published science fiction writer. If…you know…that matters.

MARK PESTANA (Sunday Only)

Mark Pestana Colonel, USAF (ret) is a research pilot and spaceflight operations engineer. He is a consultant for NASA, FAA, academia, and industry as a Subject Matter Expert in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), operations research, and human factors engineering. He earned a BS in Natural Sciences (with minor studies in engineering mathematics) from Loyola University, Los Angeles, and an MS in Systems Management/Research and Development from the University of Southern California. In the USAF he served as a pilot, a research & development engineer, and Space Shuttle operations director. Mark served as a NASA Research Pilot and Flight Test Engineer for NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, CA. He flew worldwide Earth Science and Aeronautics research missions. His previous NASA assignment was at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, as a flight crew operations engineer in the NASA Astronaut Office. He developed flight crew operations concepts, interfaces, and procedures for the International Space Station Program. Mark has flown over 5000 hours in various types, from heavy transport to supersonic jet, and piloted 213 reconnaissance missions in hostile airspace. He has published several technical papers and presentations on aviation and space research topics, as a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the International Test & Evaluation Association, Society of Flight Test Engineers, Aerospace Human Factors Association, USAF, DOD, and NASA. He an adjunct faculty in aerospace engineering and safety at the University of Southern California and California State University Northridge. Mark is an award-winning artist with paintings in the USAF Pentagon, corporate, and private collections.

HILDRETH (HAL) WALKER, JR.

Hildreth (Hal) Walker, Jr. led the manufacturing, testing and operation of the Korad K1500 Multi-Stage Ruby Laser System during the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing lunar laser ranging experiment. This historic first successful interplanetary lunar laser ranging experiment was replicated in 1994 in an interactive exhibit located in the Hands on Science section of Science in American Life at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Walker himself was honored in the exhibit’s permanent section, “The New Moon.”  Mr. Walker’s space related technology involvements began in 1959 as a technical member of the RCA Corporation’s BMEWS (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System) situated in the Alaskan frontiers to detect Soviet Missile nuclear attacks.  In 1974 Hal joined the Hughes Aircraft Company where he participated in developing and placing the first Tactical Laser Target Designator System into the U.S. Army inventory. Mr. Walker retired in 1989 from the Electro-Optical & Data Systems Group (EDSG)  Management team of the Hughes Aircraft Company.

Hal then served until 2010 as president and CEO of TECH PLUS, a laser technology consultant group. The group participated in national projects such as the Laser Induced Plasma Fusion (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Hal was appointed to be a JPL/NASA Solar System Ambassador in 2000. In this role he participates as a speaker and specialist in space-related technology issues. His responsibilities are promoting public education and development of local community awareness and benefits regarding space technology and deep space future exploration. He is a Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Educator Associate. Hal is Co-Founder and President of the newest 2018 NSS Chapter, The Cape Town Space Society of South Africa. The first ever located on the Continent of Africa.

On July 20, 2019 Hal Walker along with NASA will be celebrating the 50th Year anniversary of the Historic Apollo 11 first Moon Landing of Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. This Mission represents the most significant accomplishment in human history.  For more information call 310-412-2680 or web site www.aman.org.