(Here is a link to the News section of this web page.)
A 2018 Lunch & Learn in the NASA/JSC Community
Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Place: Tietronix, 1331 Gemini Avenue, Suite 300, Houston Texas USA 77058
Subject: A Photographic History of Wildlife at and around NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Speaker: Gary Seloff is an IT Manager at NASA/JSC with three decades of experience in imagery collection management and IT. For the past 10 years or so, he has been kayaking and taking photographs on Armand Bayou, Horsepen Bayou, Mud Lake, as well as on site at JSC and nearby areas.
Presentation: Wildlife on the campus of NASA/JSC includes bobcats, alligators, coyotes, snakes, lizards, and many kinds of birds, including herons, egrets, woodpeckers, owls, flycatchers, cardinals, mockingbirds, bluejays, sparrows, doves, bald eagles, and ospreys.
Links: Here is a link to the photographs of Mr. Gary Seloff on Flickr, where he published more than 10,000 photographs and he has more that 10,000 followers. A free membership might be required to see the photographs.
Here is a link to the one-page PDF publicity flyer we used. Attendance was about 24 people.
A 2017 event (Lunch & Learn at NASA/JSC Gilruth Center):
Date: Friday, January 27, 2017
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Place: NASA/JSC Gilruth Center Lone Star Room
Subject: Reproducing an Apollo Applications Program Single-Launch Human Venus Flyby Trajectory
Speaker: Daniel R. Adamo, Astrodynamics Consultant
Here is a link to the publicity flyer (PDF). Here is a link to EventBrite web page.
[2016 10 04, October 4, 2016, Sputnik launch date anniversary] [Published here October 1, 2016] Lunch & Learn featuring invited guest speaker James Oberg, Soyuz TMA-19M Launch & Ascent Observations from ISS and Ground & Airborne Observers (Launch: December 15, 2015). Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below. Here is a link for this article of October 4, 2016.
[2016 04 22, April 22, 2016] [Published here March 13, 2016, updated April 18, 2016 and April 24, 2016] Lunch & Learn Friday, April 22, 2016. Please see the image below (click to zoom). The EventBrite web page link for publicity was excellent as always. As of April 18, 2016, we have 21 attendees on our list, with 12 meals pre-ordered. The BBQ (barbecue) meal was excellent, as always, thanks to Red River BBQ and Red River Catering. I believe I forgot to order the iced tea, but we had no other troubles. Attendance was 24 (pre-event online registration, with 12 meals pre-ordered), including our invited speaker and our event host.
Presentation: Eugen Sänger, from the Silverbird to Interstellar Voyages.
[2021 08 28] Weekly Status (12 slides, PDF) from Douglas Yazell: Diversity, Climate, History, and 3 AIAA Houston Section sister sections: France, Ethiopia, and Peru. Also, Mexico, since its members join Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas in AIAA Region IV. [Douglas Yazell, August 28, 2021]
- SpaceGeekSpeak, Saturday morning Zoom calls about space exploration, hosted by its creator, Svetlana Hanson. Two images of the pelican art project at Seabrook Classic Café near NASA/JSC, where we met weekly prior to the pandemic.
- Diversity: A 2019 book by Ijeoma Oluo. An upcoming diversity presentation in work by two presenters for Annual Technical Symposium 2021 (September). STEM and diversity: A Blue Lives Matter (includes anti-Black sentiment, per Robin DiAngelo in her 2018 book) organization, the Katy Independent School District (ISD) Police Department.
- Climate: An upcoming presentation in work by three presenters for Annual Technical Symposium 2021 (September).
- France-USA sister sections: Contact information, and an image of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet on the International Space Station, August 14, 2021.
- Ethiopia-USA sister sections: Contact information, and “Ethiopia starts building local rival to Facebook, Government wants its own social media platform to replace Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Zoom.” [August 23, 2021, The Guardian]
- Peru-USA sister sections: Contact information, and “Peru minister resigns after suggesting Shining Path rebels had CIA support.” [The Guardian, August 17, 2021] Also from that article, regarding President Pedro Castillo of Peru, “Castillo is scheduled to govern Peru until 2026, although political turmoil has been so intense in recent years that he is the country’s fifth president in five years.”
- Mexico: “Supreme Court orders Biden to revive Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ policy, Justices deny president’s effort to rescind Trump program, Blow to Biden as trio of liberal justices dissent in 6-3 ruling.” [The Guardian, August 24, 2021]
- History: Art by Robert McCall from a NASA website. December 20, 2019: 100 Years Ago: Birth of Space Artist Robert McCall. The famous image for 2001: A Space Odyssey, with a PanAm jetliner leaving a dual wheel space station in Earth orbit. An image featuring Arizona. Two more full page images.
[2021 08 21] Weekly Status (10 slides, PDF) from Douglas Yazell: Diversity, Climate, History, and 3 AIAA Houston Section sister sections: France, Ethiopia, and Peru. Also, Mexico, since its members join Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas in AIAA Region IV. [Douglas Yazell, August 21, 2021]
- Diversity: Upcoming conferences from AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) and oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). With over 100 student chapters at colleges/universities and professional chapters in cities across the United States and abroad, oSTEM is the largest chapter-based organization focused on LGBTQ+ people in STEM.
- Climate: Global temperature up 2.1 F since 1880 (1.17 C). The guardrails are 1.5 C and 2 C.
- International sister sections: Email addresses for contact persons are listed.
- Mexico: [From the Guardian] Don’t call us traitors: descendants of Cortés’s allies defend role in toppling Aztec empire; On the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest, people from Mexico’s smallest state Tlaxcala say their ancestors were liberators.
- History: Svetlana Hanson is shown in a Flickr photo from 2013 as she works with children at a public library teaching the scientific method, the history of science, and how to build their own straw rockets. The children then launched their rockets and measured how far they could go.
[2021 08 16] From the NASA website, a feature article, Landsat 9: Continuing 50 Years of Eyes on Our Changing Planet. [Philippe Mairet and Douglas Yazell, August 16, 2021]
[2021 08 14] Weekly Status (10 slides, PDF) from Douglas Yazell: Diversity, Climate, History, and 3 AIAA Houston Section sister sections: France, Ethiopia, and Peru. Also, Mexico was recently added to AIAA Region IV, along with our existing territory: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. AIAA Region VII remains our international region, with Mexico still included. [Douglas Yazell, Saturday, August 14, 2021]
[2021 05 10] A four-second exposure photo of Starlink passing overhead in the night sky of Oregon, May 4, 2021, about nine hours after launch. As a retired astrodynamicist, Dan Adamo was easily able to know about the viewing opportunity. Mr. Adamo often updates his astrodynamics web page on the website of AIAA Houston Section. From his email note of May 5, 2021, “About 21:24 PDT (UTC -7 hours) on 4 May, my wife and I got to see 60 Starlink satellites fly over us after they were launched by SpaceX barely 9 hours earlier. The linear swarm of 2nd magnitude objects was about 7 degrees long at its closest approach. Attached is a 4-second trail of the swarm shortly after closest approach.” Here is a link to the photograph. [Douglas Yazell, May 10, 2021]
[2021 05 10] The late Kenneth W. Gatland (1924–1997) was a former President or Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). This link provides an introduction to the work of Kenneth W. Gatland from Rob Hansen, whose website is described in this link. Here is a link to the Wikipedia BIS article. One reason for creating this news article is the fact that one of our AIAA Houston Section members is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, Dr. Albert Allen Jackson IV. He is also an AIAA Associate Fellow and the longtime Chair of the Astrodynamics technical committee of AIAA Houston Section. [Philippe Mairet, May 10, 2021]
[2021 04 13] Noting that AIAA features its Diversity Working Group, I call attention to the 2011 book, “The Diversity Index,” by Susan E. Reed. The cost for the Kindle book is only $3.99. She is a journalist whose forums include the New York Times and the Washington Post. This book is cited in the 2020 book “White Fragility,” by Robin DiAngelo. I checked out this Robin DiAngelo eAudiobook and this Robin DiAngelo eBook from the Harris County Freeman Library. There was no wait, despite the popularity of this Robin DiAngelo book during the summer of 2020. [Douglas Yazell, April 13, 2021]
[2021 03 07] Major Earth Satellite to Track Disasters, Effects of Climate Change. “The spacecraft will use two kinds of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to measure changes in Earth’s surface, hence the name NISAR, which is short for NASA-ISRO SAR.” Here is a link to the article of March 24, 2021, on the NASA website. Satellite launch date: 2022. The article includes two short NASA videos which are very entertaining. Durations: fifty-five seconds for the first video and four minutes for the second video. [Douglas Yazell, March 7, 2021]
[2021 03 08] Starships 2021 [Douglas Yazell, March 8, 2021]
- SpaceX (their website)
- Starship 10 flight, 6 or 7 minutes duration, maximum altitude 10 km, vertical landing, 3 Falcon rocket motors firing, then 2, then 1, then zero, then 1 again for the landing. Boca Chica TX. Someone recently proposed changing the name to City of Starship TX. Video replay available.
- Starship User’s Guide (PDF, 6 pages, version 1, 2021). Excerpt: “CREW CONFIGURATION SpaceX was founded with the goal of making life multiplanetary. The Starship program is realizing this goal with the crew configuration of Starship. Drawing on experience from the development of Dragon for the Commercial Crew Program, the Starship crew configuration can transport up to 100 people from Earth into LEO and on to the Moon and Mars. The crew configuration of Starship includes private cabins, large common areas, centralized storage, solar storm shelters and a viewing gallery.”
- 100 Year Starship (their website). The most recent news article on the website is from 2019. This project started in 2011 with support from NASA/Ames and DARPA.
[2021 03 07] Call for Papers! USAIRE Student Awards 2021, What Aviation For Tomorrow’s World? USAIRE Student Awards by USAIRE & ORAJe. USAIRE: Aerospace Business Club, Since 1959, “Connect and empower leaders of today and tomorrow.” A Paris and Toulouse-based association bringing together the aerospace community. ORAJe: Aerospace & Defense Young Professionals Network. [Philippe Mairet, March 7, 2021]
[2021 03 06] NASA: Welcome to ‘Octavia E. Butler Landing’. March 05, 2021. First paragraph of the article: “NASA has named the landing site of the agency’s Perseverance rover “Octavia E. Butler Landing,” after the science fiction author Octavia E. Butler. The landing location is marked with a star in this image from the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).” [Douglas Yazell, March 6, 2021]
[2021 03 05] Diversity in Science and Engineering, a webinar from Rice University, September 9, 2020. Host: Neal Lane. Panelists: Shirley Malcolm and Richard Tapia.
[2021 03 04] Parastronaut feasibility project of the European Space Agency (ESA). Someone called this ESA article to my attention in an AIAA meeting of Saturday, February 27, 2021. First paragraph: “In a first for ESA and human spaceflight worldwide, ESA is looking for individual(s) who are psychologically, cognitively, technically and professionally qualified to be an astronaut, but have a physical disability that would normally prevent them from being selected due to the requirements imposed by the use of current space hardware.” Last paragraph: “It is clear that for this very innovative project not all expertise is available within ESA. ESA will have to work with experts in the field. At this point, it is difficult to estimate the amount of resources required. However, in view of the need to adequately engage with multiple stakeholders and the project duration, ESA will commit an initial budget of 1M€.” The article mentions diversity, inclusion, and representation. [Douglas Yazell, March 4, 2021]
- Diversity and inclusion in AIAA. This article presents the subject on the AIAA website.
- Waldo and Magic, Inc. This Wikipedia article discusses the two 1950 novellas by Robert A. Heinlein. Waldo is a 1942 science fiction short story published using the pseudonym Anson MacDonald. From Wikipedia, “The essence of the story is the journey of a mechanical genius from his self-imposed exile from the rest of humanity to a more normal life, conquering the disease myasthenia gravis as well as his own contempt for humans in general. The key to this is that magic is loose in the world, but in a logical and scientific way.”
[2021 03 02] National Women’s History Month. Please enjoy this list of links honoring trailblazers from both the recent and distant past.
- A Proclamation on Women’s History Month, 2021, from the White House briefing room, March 1, 2021, Presidential Actions.
- Julia Clark, an airplane pilot who earned her license in 1912 from the Aero Club of America, after persuading Glenn Curtiss to allow her to enroll as the first woman in one of his pilot training classes. Her graduation date was May 19, 2012. I came across two copyright-free photos of her on Flickr in the Southern Methodist University (SMU) DeGolyer Library Early Aviation album, which contains about 312 copyright-free photos from about 1911 to 1916. Ms. Clark died on June 17, 1912 in an airplane accident as a result of a solo test flight. Wikipedia features an article about Ms. Clark. The two photos in this Flickr album are an in-airplane portrait (probably from the same photo session as the photo used in her Wikipedia article) and a 1912 pilot training class portrait. The latter portrait uses this caption: “Description: Students of the Curtiss Aviation School standing in front of a Curtiss pusher. Left to right: Floyd E. Barlow, John G. Kaminski, Smith, W.A. Davis, Manmohan Singh, John Callan, Julia Clark, G. Milton Dunlap, and Kono Takeshi.” [Douglas Yazell, March 2, 2021]
- Ijeoma Oluo, a Seattle native. Her 2018 book is, “So You Want to Talk About Race.” The Chapter 13 title is, “Why Are Our Students So Angry?” Wikipedia features an article about her, which mentions that the Seattle Metropolitan newspaper honored her in 2015 as one of the 50 most influential people in Seattle. The newspaper honored her again in a 2018 article as one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle. [Douglas Yazell, March 2, 2021]
- The Houston Chapter of Women in Aviation. From their website, “WAI Houston Chapter is the Southeast Texas chapter of Women in Aviation International. Our diverse membership is composed of men and women, both aviation professionals and enthusiasts that support and promote the furtherance of women in all areas of aviation. We host several events that promote aviation as well as provide excellent training and networking opportunities. Additionally we work with local businesses to provide opportunities and scholarships for women interested in pursuing a career in aviation. All in all we are a fun group of aviation minded individuals dedicated to supporting and encouraging one another to follow our dreams.” [Douglas Yazell, March 2, 2021]
- From the NASA website article of March 2, 2021: Kelly Latimer: Dryden’s First Female Research Test Pilot. [Philippe Mairet, March 2, 2021]
- Carol Anderson, author of the 2016 book, “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide”. Here is a quote from a Goodreads online article. “In 2004, fifty years after Brown, “not a single African American earned a Ph.D. in astronomy or astrophysics,” according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. In fact, of the 2,100 Ph.Ds. awarded in forty-three different fields in the natural sciences, not one of these doctoral degrees went to an African American. The refusal to implement Brown throughout the South even in the face of Sputnik—not only as the law or as simple humanity might have dictated but also as demanded by national interest and patriotism—compromised and undermined American strength. Now, in the twenty-first century, the sector of the U.S. economy that accounts for more than 50 percent of our sustained economic expansion, science and engineering, is relying on an ever-dwindling skilled and educated workforce.” [Douglas Yazell, March 3, 2021]
- Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006), an author. From her Wikipedia article, “Audience: Publishers and critics have labelled Butler’s work as science fiction. While Butler enjoyed the genre deeply, calling it “potentially the freest genre in existence”, she resisted being branded a genre writer. Her narratives have drawn attention of people from varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds. She claimed to have three loyal audiences: black readers, science-fiction fans, and feminists.” NASA: Welcome to ‘Octavia E. Butler Landing’. March 05, 2021. First paragraph of the article: “NASA has named the landing site of the agency’s Perseverance rover ‘Octavia E. Butler Landing,’ after the science fiction author Octavia E. Butler. The landing location is marked with a star in this image from the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).” [Douglas Yazell, March 6, 2021]
- Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), abolitionist and political activist, per her Wikipedia article, which explains that she might soon appear in the USA on the $20 bill. From her Wikipedia article: “Years later, she told an audience: ‘I was conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say – I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.’ ” Also from her Wikipedia article: “Later that year, Tubman became the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War. When Montgomery and his troops conducted an assault on a collection of plantations along the Combahee River, Tubman served as a key adviser and accompanied the raid. On the morning of June 2, 1863, Tubman guided three steamboats around Confederate mines in the waters leading to the shore. Once ashore, the Union troops set fire to the plantations, destroying infrastructure and seizing thousands of dollars worth of food and supplies.” Again, from her Wikipedia article, “During a train ride to New York in 1869, the conductor told her to move from a half-price section into the baggage car. She refused, showing the government-issued papers that entitled her to ride there. He cursed at her and grabbed her, but she resisted and he summoned two other passengers for help. While she clutched at the railing, they muscled her away, breaking her arm in the process. They threw her into the baggage car, causing more injuries. As these events transpired, other white passengers cursed Tubman and shouted for the conductor to kick her off the train. Her act of defiance became a historical symbol, later cited when Rosa Parks refused to move from a bus seat in 1955.” I look for connections between AIAA and Harriet Tubman, and I find, starting in her Wikipedia article, this poetic connection: Ms. Tubman was the 1896 keynote speaker for the first meeting of this still-existing-in-2021 National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC), then known as National Federation of Afro-American Women, and their motto was and is, “Lifting as We Climb.” This motto was created to demonstrate to “an ignorant and suspicious world that our aims and interests are identical with those of all good aspiring women.” I am reminded of the lift we study aeronautics and astronautics in AIAA, and I am reminded that a standard aviation sequence of Euler angles is yaw, pitch, and then roll, all positive angles for a climbing, right-hand turn. [Douglas Yazell, March 6, 2021, updated March 7, 2021]
- Gina McCarthy, the White House National Climate Adviser. This is an AIAA subject, as shown in this AIAA webinar of February 8, 2021, “Sustainability in Flight—Our Journey to Decarbonization.” Ms. McCarthy worked in administrations of the other major political party from about 1985 to 2005, as explained in this Vox article of March 2, 2021, “The Fauci of climate change? Gina McCarthy is in charge of Biden’s massive climate agenda. McCarthy, Obama’s EPA chief, is back with one mission: fighting climate change.” [Douglas Yazell, March 7, 2021]
[2021 02 09] AIAA Webinar: Sustainability in Flight—Our Journey to Decarbonization, 8 February 2021 1100 – 1200 (Eastern Standard Time). Here is a link to that web page. An on-demand recording is available there, open to the public and free of charge. “Leaders in aviation will share perspectives on the industry’s commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. The expert panel will discuss efforts underway and the significant cooperation, innovation, and education required among all industry stakeholders to deliver on this important goal. This timely discussion will outline the major focus areas and necessary advancements in the sector for the next five years and the long-term roadmap necessary to achieve this goal. Learn about the newest R&D technologies, key barriers to progress, and how the next generation of aerospace engineers can be part of achieving our low-carbon future. Explore how aviation executives and policy makers can work together now to be on the leading edge of such cooperation, setting the course for continued industry leadership in the new era of aviation sustainability.”
Welcome Remarks: Dan Dumbacher, AIAA Executive Director
Moderator: Ben Iannotta, Editor-in-Chief, Aerospace America
- Bruce Holmes, D.E., FAIAA, FRAeS, Chief Technology Officer, Alakai Technologies Corporation
- Arjan Hegeman, General Manager, Advanced Technologies, GE Aviation
- Amanda Simpson, Vice President Research and Technology, Airbus Americas
[2021 02 09] NASA Astronaut Millie Hughes-Fulford Dies. [From AIAA Daily Launch] The AP (2/8) reports that Millie Hughes-Fulford, “a trailblazing astronaut and scientist who became the first female payload specialist to fly in space for NASA, died following a yearslong battle with cancer, her family said. She was 75.” Hughes-Fulford “was selected by NASA for its astronaut program in 1983 and five years later, in June 1991, spent nine days in orbit on the shuttle Columbia, conducting experiments on the effect of space travel on humans as part of the agency’s first mission dedicated to biomedical studies, STS-40.”
[2021 02 09] NASA/JSC Oral History Project. Here is a link to that web page. [Philippe Mairet, February 6, 2021]
- Jean-Loup Chretien, a French astronaut. Here is the link to his oral history.
- James Calvin McLane, Jr. (1945-2015). Here is the link to his oral history. [Douglas Yazell, February 9, 2021]
[2021 01 31] Arthur Dula Recieved the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Social Sciences Award on October 20, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Here is a link to the article on the IAA website. The web page features a photo with this caption: Photo: from left to the right: Francisco Mendieta-Jimenez, Mexico, Marius-Ioan Piso, Romania, Arthur Dula, USA and Jean-Michel Contant, France. [Philippe Mairet, January 31, 2021]
- Additional notes from Douglas Yazell, January 31, 2021: Shen Ge put me in touch with Mr. Dula when we needed a report from the office of a copyright lawyer saying no copyright infringements were to be found with our AIAA Houston Section yet-to-be-started project of reprinting the 1952-1954 Collier’s Space Series, a series of articles in eight issues of Collier’s Magazine. We used eight bimonthly issues of Horizons, the newsletter of AIAA Houston Section, to complete the work, starting with the July / August 2012 issue. Our Horizons Collier’s team reprinted the entire series page by page and in high resolution, free for anyone to download and enjoy, using the PDF format. Members of the Horizons Collier’s team:
- Arthur Dula: LibertyCon is a Tennessee Literary SciFi Convention. Its 2021 website features a biography of Mr. Dula on this web page, since Mr. Dula is the 2012 Science Guest of Honor for 2021. The biography includes, “the literary executor for major science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein.” The Heinlein Society website features a 36-page 2020 annual report. It links to upcoming science fiction conventions featuring the Heinlein Society, such as LibertyCon 2021. Another is Balticon 2021, a free virtual event, Memorial Day weekend, May 28-31, 2021.
- Shirazi Jaleel-Khan in the office of Mr. Dula
- John Sisson, creator of the blog, “Dreams of Space – Books and Ephemera, Non-fiction children’s space flight stuff 1945-1975.” Glancing at the 2020 blog entries, I especially like the blog entry, “Farms of the Future (1957),” a calendar with full color illustrations by Don Bloodgood and Forrest Shaffer. That was blog entry #700 from Mr. Sisson. Also from the 2020 blog entries, I like, “Space Stations (1962).”
- Dr. Albert Allen Jackson IV, a member of AIAA Houston Section, and a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.
- Scott Lowther, creator of the website Aerospace Projects Review.
- Ron Miller, illustrator/author and creator of the website Black Cat Studios.
- Melvin Schuetz, creator the the website, The Chesley Bonestell Archives of Melvin H. Schuetz.
- The late Frederick Ira Ordway III (1927-2014). We used this CG Publishing web page link while we reprinted the Collier’s Space Series. Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about Mr. Ordway.
[2021 01 28] The On-Board Computer System (LE SYSTÈME INFORMATIQUE EMBARQUÉ) of the NASA Apollo program, a web page on the French website, From the Earth to the Moon (De la Terre à la Lune). The language of this web page is the French language, but even for readers unfamiliar with the French language, the images and the videos are valuable. Two complementary items are discussed, the DSKY (Display and Keyboard) and the AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer). After seeing this web page, AIAA Houston Section member Dr. Albert Allen Jackson IV (a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society) called attention to this public NASA technical document (60 pages) from March of 1973, NASA Technical Note NASA TN D-7112, APOLLO EXPERIENCE REPORT – SIMULATION OF MANNED SPACE FLIGHT FOR CREW TRAINING. Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas 77058. [Philippe Mairet, January 28, 2021]
[2021 01 28] “U. S. History of Manual Crew Override,” by Gary Johnson, J&P Technologies, SAIC SMA Flight Safety Office. A recording of this Zoom meeting presentation is available online via YouTube. The date of the Zoom meeting presentation was Saturday, January 9, 2021. The first chart shown uses a date of December 11, 2020, since the January presentation was not the first presentation by Mr. Johnson using these charts. The manual crew override subject is NASA and its programs such as Apollo, Mercury, Gemini, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz, Space Shuttle (Space Transportation System), and the International Space Station. The event of Saturday, January 9, 2021, was one in a series of weekly Saturday morning meetings (Space Geek Speak) from AIAA Houston Section. Since December 2018, attendees discuss space exploration topics with members, friends, and family (membership not required). Since March 2020 (Pi Day of 2020, or March 14, 2020), this has been an online Zoom meeting instead of meeting in a local restaurant (Seabrook Classic Cafe). Since going online, the weekly meeting often features invited speaker presentations. Host and Space Geek Speak creator is Svetlana Hanson, a past Chair of AIAA Houston Section. Saturday morning weekly start time is 8:30 AM Central Time. Here is the link used every week for Space Geek Speak. [Douglas Yazell, January 28, 2021]
[2021 01 19] MLK Day of 2021 (Monday, January 18, 2021) and AIAA. An excellent online public recorded webinar event is available (link from YouTube) from AIAA Los Angeles – Las Vegas Section. This link shows publicity for this AIAA LA-LV Section online, public, and recorded event. The ongoing AIAA annual SciTech event included an excellent MLK Day webinar event, too. If I find a public link for the recorded SciTech MLK Day webinar, I will post it here. This public link displays the publicity. I enjoyed the live event from home after paying SciTech registration as a professional member. Two levels of cost were available for me with SciTech 2021 registration. SciTech 2021 is a virtual event. [Douglas Yazell]
[2021 01 14] Astronaut Dr. William E. Thornton (1929 – 2021). Here is a link to a biographical article about him from astronautix.com. Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about him, including these first words, “William Edgar Thornton (M.D.) (born April 14, 1929; died January 11, 2021 in Boerne, Texas) was a NASA astronaut. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from University of North Carolina and a doctorate in medicine, also from UNC. He flew on Challenger twice, the STS-8 and STS-51B missions.” In a section with the title, “Post-NASA Career,” the article continues with this, “Thornton retired from NASA effective May 31, 1994. Thornton was later a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, and was an adjunct professor at the University of Houston–Clear Lake. He resided in Texas.” The location of UHCL is in the NASA Johnson Space Center community. [Philippe Mairet, January 14, 2021]
[2021 01 10, Douglas Yazell] AIAA SciTech Forum, 11-15 and 19-21 January 2021. AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition. Virtual Event. As a professional member, I will enjoy that, though the event is virtual and I will be working about 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day teaching math in a public high school in the Houston area. Replays will almost certainly be available. AIAA SciTech Forum 2021 publicity: “Accelerating Innovation Through Diversity,” and “The 2021 AIAA SciTech Forum will explore how the diversification of teams, industry sectors, technologies, design cycles, and perspectives can all be leveraged toward innovation.” I am a member of the AIAA Diversity Working Group (DWG). See comments from our AIAA DWG Chair Jandria Alexander in the recent (September 2020) Aerospace America Flight Path feature (“Now is the Time”) and the two AIAA 2020 ASCENDx webinars parts one and two. The two webinars are a single webinar using the title, “ASCENDxWebinar: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Aerospace Community and Workforce.” I am pleased to note that she talks about Black Lives Matter and expresses no reservations. AIAA SciTech Forum 2021 takes place less than a week after the USA Capitol invasion of January 6, 2021. My article below is relevant. Its date is January 1, 2020. Its subject is whiteness and the climate crisis.
[2020 01 01, Douglas Yazell] Whiteness and the Human-Induced Climate Crisis, featuring quotes from climate scientist Kate Marvel in her October 28, 2019, guest appearance on the Ezra Klein Show podcast
Climate scientist Kate Marvel was the guest of the Ezra Klein Show podcast of October 28, 2019. This is part 1 of in a series of 5 podcast episodes about the human-induced climate crisis. Part 5 is online now, too, featuring Mr. Klein’s guest David Roberts, a Vox (dot com) journalist for climate and energy. The Vox (dot com) website was co-founded by Ezra Klein.
See the website TED.com for Kate Marvel’s TED talk (Technology, Education, and Design). See her website, marvelclimate.com.
Her website contains a section called Day Jobs. It includes Columbia University and NASA GISS, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Stanford University, and Carnegie Institution.
Mr. Klein mentions that Ms. Marvel writes the column Hot Planet in the magazine Scientific American.
Below is a short segment I transcribed from the podcast episode featuring climate scientist Kate Marvel. I might summarize this as, “Whiteness and Human-Induced Climate Crisis.” She does a great job of adding to this discussion, even as she just scratches the surface.
…what does it mean to live morally, taking climate change seriously, and recognizing that we are in a society that is heavily contributing to the climate crisis, and on the other hand, wanting to do something about it?
And as somebody who lives in this all day every day, and obviously has probably [?] of skills yourself, by the work you do, how do you think about the question of living morally in a very high-carbon society, a high-emission society, even as you, like, walk around every day with the knowledge of what that might mean for future generations?
In a very scattered and a not very coherent way. This is something that I struggle with a lot, and it really upsets me, and I think maybe the closest I’ve every come to finding the framework for understanding that is realizing that I am a white person.
I am a white person in America, and that means I carry with me a sort of privilege. You know, we as white people, we benefit from white supremacy, even if we didn’t actively choose to participate in it. By not actively working to dismantle it, we are hurting people.
We are never going to be able, I think, in our lifetimes, to completely remove that, and, you know, it’s not necessarily a question of what we feel as individual people. It’s a question of a system that we as individuals are participating in.
And that’s not a very good answer, and it’s not an exact metaphor, but it is a way, I think, of thinking, and there is a literature about that, and there isn’t, necessarily, yet, about climate change, for, “How does one live in a world which is polluted with a bad thing that you are participating in whether you like it or not, and it is almost impossible to cut yourself off from it?”
And what do you think of some of the literature, I mean, how does that speak out in your life?
It’s ways to think about systems, it’s ways to understand the kind of false dichotomy of individual choice versus social change.
It’s, you know, it’s something that I’m just starting to explore right now, but it’s something that, I think, holds potential lessons for the climate movement, moving forward.
Notes from Douglas Yazell, January 1, 2020:
I write a column about the human-induced climate crisis in every issue (since the start of 2013) of Horizons, the newsletter of AIAA Houston Section. (I was the Editor for Horizons from 2011 through 2014, and all issues are available to the public at www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter.)
I am one of about 10 or 15 members of the AIAA Diversity Working Group. (I do not speak for the AIAA Diversity Working Group.)
The 2012 Climate of Doubt episode of PBS Frontline on television convinced me of the reality of the human-induced climate crisis. Prior to that, the subject was not on my radar. After that, I knew I could trust the NASA climate website(s), Climate Reality Project (which I discovered in 2015), national science institutes, 350.org, NOAA, etc., and I learned not to trust the Heartland Institute (which I never heard of until seeing that 2012 broadcast).
Professor Ian Haney-López appeared on the PBS television show Moyers & Company in February of 2014. He was new to me, but he convinced me that race is the number one problem in the USA, as he phrased it, as I recall. I bought and read his 2014 book, Dog Whistle Politics, and I continued with what has become a lifelong study, struggle, and focus on this subject. I often think of this topic as prejudice and discrimination, which leads to racism, misogyny, and more. The experts I trust explain that racism, as Ms. Marvel explains above, is a system.
In the podcast episode above, Ms. Marvel does not mention the denial common to whiteness and the human-induced climate crisis, but I like the quote, “In an avalanche, every snowflake pleads not guilty.” That quote is from George Lipsitz in his 2011 book, and he is quoting someone else. I have the audiobook version of that 2011 book.
[Updates to the above news article, Douglas Yazell, Friday, January 3, 2020] I listened to the following two YouTube videos today, and they fit well with the above article, and of course, there are many more, some of which I discovered already:
- Guest appearance (audio, no video except for one still image) by author Debby Irving (author of Waking Up White – and Finding Myself in the Story of Race) on NEXT Economy Now, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e91sKH0fQVE , Next Economy Now #127 – Debby Irving: How White People Can Advocate For Racial Justice, Debby Irving is a racial justice educator, author, and public speaker. A community organizer and classroom teacher for 25 years, Debby Irving grappled with racial injustice without understanding racism as a systemic issue or her own whiteness as an obstacle to it. As general manager of Boston’s Dance Umbrella and First Night, and later as an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she struggled to make sense of racial tensions she could feel but could not explain. In 2009, Debby took a graduate school course, Racial and Cultural Identities, which gave her the answers she’d been looking for and launched her on a journey of discovery. Now, speaking and leading workshops around the country, Debby devotes herself to exploring the impact white skin can have on perception, problem solving, and creating culturally inclusive communities. A graduate of the Winsor School in Boston, she holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MBA from Simmons College. Her first book, Waking Up White, tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing. 148 views, Sep 18, 2018.
- Guest appearance by journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates (author of the Beautiful Struggle, and author of Between the World and Me) at the Brennan Institute of New York University (NYU). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg7fskiOBKU, A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Melissa Murray, 10,871 views, Aug 14, 2019. NYU School of Law, 10.1K subscribers, January 31, 2019, Brennan Center for Justice
[2019 05 12] Victor Rhoder, A 1962 NASA Johnson Space Center (then Manned Spacecraft Center) Photographer, A 1961 Texas Southern University Graduate. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below. A related link: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/news/releases/1963_1965/. And I found a 1979 NASA/JSC Mars Penetrator report (online, available to anyone) written by five people, four of whom are from Houston Texas USA. Three of them are from NASA/JSC, and one of them is Victor Rhoder. Here is a link to that report. Here is a link to a photo in that report of a man from the test team, and the photo was probably taken by Victor Rhoder.
[2019 01 20] Sunday, January 20, 2019. George Nield and Wanda Sigur are two of three current candidates for AIAA President, and they both have ties to our NASA/JSC Community. As noted in his candidate document, George Nield was Chair of AIAA Houston Section not once but twice. Here is a link to an AIAA document (membership might be required) listing the three current candidates for AIAA President, Basil Hassan, George Nield, and Wanda Sigur. As noted in this document, George Nield was Chair of AIAA Houston Section for 1994-95 and 1997-98. (That document is not quite up to date, since it does not include 2018-2019. In a break with tradition, Svetlana Hanson is AIAA Houston Section Chair for both 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. Our tradition has been a service record for each Chair spending one year as Chair Elect and one year as Past Chair, in addition to one year as Chair. For 2018-2019, our Section suffered from too few candidates for our roles, so we are lucky that Svetlana Hanson volunteered to serve in this role.) Only George Nield and Svetlana Hanson have served more than one year as AIAA Houston Section Chair. As noted here, AIAA Houston Section recently started an informal weekly breakfast meeting from about 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM every Saturday at Seabrook Classic Café, where I enjoyed meeting Wanda Sigur twice in recent weeks. Membership is not required for these weekly breakfast meetings. Friends and family are welcome to attend. [Douglas Yazell, Chair, AIAA Houston Section History Technical Committee, douglas.yazell [at] me [dot] com.]
[2017 12 2] Published here December 3, 2017. Order of Magnitude, A History of the NACA and NASA, 1915-1990, a 1989 NASA History Series book by Roger E. Bilstein of the University of Houston. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 11 26] Published here November 26, 2017. The 2012 video greeting from Dr. George Nield on the occasion of the 50th anniversary celebration of AIAA Houston Section. This 30-second (4 MB) video file is a great souvenir whose file information dates it as June 6, 2017. As he mentions in this video recording, he served twice in the role of Chair of AIAA Houston Section. Since our Section started in 1962, only Dr. Nield served twice in that role. Here is the link to that file.
[2017 07 15] Published here July 15, 2017. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport, an AIAA Historic Aerospace Site. Recent & Upcoming Events. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 06 30] Published here June 30, 2017. NASA Climate Science Plans CLARREO Pathfinder on the International Space Station. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below. (Click to zoom.) )
[2017 06 28] Published here June 28, 2017. A 3-minute video featuring the history of Horizons, newsletter of AIAA Houston Section. This provides a better history lesson than I (Douglas Yazell) remembered. Shen Ge and I created this video (and this YouTube channel for AIAA Houston Section) for a 2012 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Horizons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8NSex0RhAk.
[2017 06 28] Published here June 28, 2017. A few links of interest to our history technical committee were emailed to us recently from Philippe Mairet of our French sister section 3AF MP.
- From Air & Cosmos, June 27, 2017, Il y a 40 ans disparaissait Wernher von Braun, 40 Years Since the Death of Wernher von Braun. [In French] http://www.air-cosmos.com/il-y-a-40-ans-disparaissait-wernher-von-braun-96943.
- From the French website Capcom Espace (in French), a web page about the history of NASA Johnson Space Center, https://www.capcomespace.net/dossiers/espace_US/apollo/installations/centre_MSC.htm.
[2017 06 24] Published here June 24, 2017. John B. Charles publicized this event in JSC Today (email news for NASA/JSC civil servants): Honoring First African-American Astronaut Trainee. The event will recognize Major Robert H. Lawrence, United States Air Force (USAF), on the 50th anniversary of his selection as the first African-American astronaut trainee on June 30, 1967. Lawrence was in the third group of pilots selected for the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program, a secret piloted reconnaissance platform in low-Earth orbit. That program was cancelled in June 1969. Tragically, he died in the crash of a training jet aircraft in December 1967; but, had he survived, Major Lawrence would almost certainly have been transferred to NASA in August 1969, along with seven other MOL pilots who flew the early shuttle missions and later led NASA. Local elected officials, NASA astronauts current and past and others will offer tributes to Maj. Lawrence. In addition, a new portrait of Major Robert H. Lawrence will be unveiled. Event Date: Saturday, June 24, 2017 Event Start Time:2:00 PM Event End Time:5:00 PM. Event Location: Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, 3816 Caroline Street. [No PDF version of the JPEG image below is provided, since the only links are in the website of AIAA Houston Section, www.aiaahouston.org.] We have some event photos from Douglas Yazell (iPhone 5 camera) and Michael Oelke (Canon DSLR camera).
[2017 05 29] Published here May 29, 2017. Two Recent Climate Change Events in the NASA/JSC Community. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 05 07] Published here May 7, 2017. AIAA Houston Section Annual Technical Symposium (ATS 2017). Here is a link to the ATS 2017 web page. Some presentatoins (charts, slides) will be available there. This year AIAA Houston Section is joined the by Human Systems Integration (HSI) Employee Resource Group (ERG) of NASA Johnson Space Center to present ATS 2017. The first ATS was probably ATS 1975. It was led by Norman Chaffee and Chester Vaughan. ATS 2017 morning keynote: Overview of the Orion Cockpit. Speaker: STS-110 astronaut Lee Morin. Luncheon keynote: Human-Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action. That sentence is the title of the 2-page position statement of the American Geophysical Union. Speakers for the luncheon keynote:
- Dr. André Droxler, Rice University Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science, and Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy Scholar.
- Dr. Stephanie Thomas, Public Citizen. PhD, Southern Methodist University Department of Earth Science. A lead organizer for People’s Climate March in Houston, Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Clinton Park at the Port of Houston, with a crowd of about 700 people (news article below). [A week earlier, March for Science – Houston attracted a crowd of about 15,000 people in and around City Hall on Saturday, April 22, 2017 (news article below).]
- Doug Peterson, Exploration Green Conservancy. Downtown Houston has an excellent park, Discovery Green. Now the NASA Johnson Space Center community has Exploration Green. A huge 1960s-era golf course has now been converted into this park. Flood control, recreation, hiking, biking, walking, environmental protection, wetlands, islands, and more. The first Clear Lake City homes were built here with the NASA/JSC community in mind. This area is now called the Houston Clear Lake area. Exploration Green: 200 acres. 80 acres of lakes, open water, wetlands, and islands. Exploration Green is open already with 20 or 30 entry points. Phase 1 of 5 will be complete in 2017. Exploration Green is divided into 5 sections.
Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
AIAA Houston Section International Activities Committee (IAC) mirrors the AIAA IAC. ATS 2017 included a presentation from Peru via Skype by Saul Perez and Ruth Quispe, thanks to our since-2017 Peru-USA sister section creation. Our sister section in Peru is the Arequipa chapter of SCAP, an astrobiology science society. Our Houston contact person for this sister section activity is Jackelynne Silva-Martinez, an ATS 2017 presenter in Houston. Another ATS 2017 presenter is Chris Y. Taylor. While in Shanghai China for his work, he once enjoyed dinner with several people from our since-1987 Chinese sister section, the Shanghai Astronautical Society (SAS) of the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA). ATS 2017 included a display of items from the NASA/JSC collections of the late James C. McLane, Jr. He led the lunar receiving laboratory and, earlier, the vacuum chamber test facility of NASA/JSC during and after the Apollo era. We thank Julie Barnes of NASA/JSC for the display at ATS 2017. The collection was delivered to NASA/JSC in 3 large (?) pickup trucks. A news article below summarizes some of those details. The late James C. McLane, Jr. co-founded our AIAA Houston Section Chinese sister section relationship in 1987. If we find people to continue that tradition in 2017, we can celebrate its 30th anniversary. [We are now celebrating in 2017 the 10th anniversary of our since-2007 French sister section relationship with 3AF MP, www.3af-mp.fr, which includes Toulouse France. Since 2017, we also enjoy an Ethiopia-USA sister section relationship with the Addis Ababa Ethiopia branch of the Ethiopian Space Science Society, ESSS.]
As the ATS 2017 poster below shows, Dr. Edgar Bering led the Engineers as Educators workshop from 9:00 AM to noon in the NASA/JSC Gilruth Center Lone Star Room.
[2017 04 30] Published here April 30, 2017. People’s Climate March in Houston, Clinton Park, Port of Houston, Saturday, April 29, 2017. Here is a link to the PDF version (6 MB) of the image file below.
[2017 04 29] Published here April 29, 2017. Earth Day at Exploration Green, a new Houston Clear Lake Area Park, Saturday, April 22, 2017, in the NASA/JSC Community. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 04 23] Published here April 23, 2017. Yuri’s Night Houston 2017. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 04 23] Published here April 23, 2017. March for Science – Houston, In Solidarity with the March for Science in Washington DC, Saturday, April 22, 2017. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 04 16] Published here April 16, 2017. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport; An AIAA Historic Aerospace Site; Recent & Upcoming Events. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 03 18] Published here March 18, 2017. Please see the news article using this link or, to avoid scrolling down later, this link. Those links go to the news article published on the AIAA Houston Section International Activities Committee (IAC) web page. The title of this news article is Toulouse Nuts (the restored 1944 TF-51 Mustang) in Houston in 2017; The 2016 Oshkosh AirVenture Grand Champion.
[2017 02 25] Published here February 25, 2017. Famous Figures: Carl Huss. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 02 22] Published here February 22, 2017. AIAA Houston Section Movie Event: Hidden Figures. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 02 04] Published here February 4, 2017. Congratulations to the New AIAA Region IV Associate Fellows Including Former AIAA Houston Section Chair Michael Oelke. Congratulations to new AIAA Fellow John Valasek of Texas A&M University. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 01 21] Published here January 21, 2017. Pi as a Continued Fraction thanks to Ramanujan? Here is the link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 01 02] Published here January 2, 2017. Affirmative Diversity: Goals & Timetables. First in a series by Douglas Yazell, former AIAA Houston Section Editor (2008, 2011-2014) on the subject of diversity, inspired by the AIAA Diversity Working Group. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 18] Published here December 18, 2016. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport, Monthly Wings & Wheels Events Continued for All of 2016, A 2009 AIAA Historic Aerospace Site. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 16] Published here December 16, 2016. Beyond Time: French Caver Michel Siffre and NASA: Born in 1939, Notable Cave Endurance Stays (Science Experiments): 1962, 1972 (in Texas), 2000. Here is a link for the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 12] Published here December 12, 2016. McLane Collections Accepted by NASA/JSC. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 11 27] Published here November 27, 2016. Selected 2009-2016 Aerospace Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 10 29] Published here October 29, 2016. Gone But Not Forgotten. Robert Anderson “Bob” Hoover, Pilot, 1922 – 2016. AIAA Houston Section member Dr. Patrick Rodi told us about this great loss. Robert “Bob” Hoover, one of the greatest “stick-and-rudder” pilots of all time, has died at 94. See story at,
I was able to witness Bob’s routine in his Shrike Commander on a number of occasions. His mastery of energy management was amazing to watch. The integral of all the world’s piloting skill dropped a few percentage points with his passing. See,
Here is a link to the PDF version of the image below.
[2016 07 04] Published here July 4, 2016. Horizons newsletter archive adds years 1977 – 2004. This AIAA Houston Section Horizons newsletter archive web page is www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter.
[2016 06 27] Published here June 27, 2016. Suddenly Tomorrow Came, the Audiobook. A Ted Kenny project for AIAA Houston Section. From the 1993 book by Henry C. Dethloff, Suddenly Tomorrow Came, a History of the Johnson Space Center. The entire book and one page per chapter of artwork is already published by NASA. How can we add tables, figures, photographs, and captions?
[2016 06 27] Published here June 27, 2016. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum. An AIAA Historic Aerospace Site. The monthly Wings & Wheels event. Here is the link for the website of the museum.
[2016 06 10] Published here June 10, 2016. Joseph Guy Thibodaux, Jr. (November 27, 1921 – April 26, 2016). An AIAA Fellow. AIAA Houston Section Chair 1969 – 1970. A NASA Watch article brought this sad news to us and provided two links, one link for an obituary and one link for an oral history and a biography.
Glenn Jenkinson was Vice Chair Technical when Dr. Garland Bauch was our Section Chair for 2000 – 2001. Glenn supervised starting up a Propulsion technical committee for our Section led by Guy. Our newsletter Horizons will shows Guy in that role on the organization chart, for about two years starting about July 1, 2002. I (Douglas Yazell) attended the initial meeting (in a NASA/JSC building near the back gate) thanks to an invitation from Glenn. Norman Chaffee attended. Quite a few of Guy’s retired engineers attended, including Hubert (Hugh) Brasseaux, my great tennis friend from the Bay Area Racquet Club. Glenn arrived late with cookies he ordered from a grocery store. The cooks were late with that task. Astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz attended, too. For the 2003 – 2004 AIAA year, I was our Section’s Vice Chair Technical, and Guy resigned from that role as Chair of that technical committee. His many members were more interested in hunting and other hobbies once they retired.
I was Vice Chair Technical for 2003-2004, so one of my jobs was being the General Chair of our Section’s Annual Technical Symposium (ATS). We held the event on Friday, April 16, 2004, at NASA/JSC. I called our first in-person planning meeting for Halloween day 2003, October 31, 2003. All of our meetings took place at Mediterraneo Cafe on Upper Bay Road. We met every two weeks for a while, then every week. Ellen Gillespie, Tsutsumi Sophia Bright, Murugan Subramaniam, and more. Others joined our planning group, but a big boost for me was having Norman Chaffee and Guy Thibodaux join our planning meetings. I was a clumsy leader, but I learned some things. That was my introduction to Guy. Chester Vaughan later joined our planning meetings, too. We aimed to find 54 presentations (54 presenters for our 3 concurrent sessions). Only a few weeks before the event, we needed 18 more. Ellen Gillespie at United Space Alliance found Bob Smith (?), a manager who liked AIAA. He ordered all of his team to make presentations, so we found our last 18 presentations. That was ATS 2004. Looking back, we had no ATS the 3 years before ATS 2004, and if I counted correctly (www.aiaahouston.org/history_technical_committee), ATS 2004 was the 25th occurrence of ATS, an anniversary we did not know about at the time. The archive.org website saved related information from our former website, www.aiaa-houston.org. For example, even some presentations (PowerPoint or PDF) can still be found using this link.
ATS 2 took place in 1976. We have no record for now of ATS 1. Our Section started in 1962. Horizons (our Section’s newsletter) probably started in late 1971 or early 1972, and our first archived issue is now a 1977 issue. The name Horizons was not used initially. The only other year to omit ATS was 1997, the year before Dr. George Nield was our Section Chair for a second time; only he has been Section Chair twice.
Two issues of Horizons featuring Guy Thibodaux are mentioned below, so here are those two links. The first link is for the April / May 2013 issue. Here is the link for the high-resolution version of that issue. In fact, that issue refers to the mention of Guy in the July 2010 issue, too, so that link is here. That link fails to use our Horizons directory, so I should update it, but I will probably postpone that. The second link is for the May / June 2014 issue.
Guy Thibodaux will be missed and never forgotten. As I told him once, probably at a 2011 NAL-JSC-hosted climate change meeting at NASA/JSC Gilruth Center, I glanced at his NASA biography and noted that he NASA Exceptional Service Medal (TWICE in 1969!). I told him that was insanely great, or something like that. He modestly replied that NASA handed out a lot of those at the time. I replied that I was so impressed that he won that medal TWICE in the year that people first walked on the Moon! Guy will be missed and and never forgotten.
[NASA Alumni League – Johnson Space Center Chapter (NAL-JSC) organized two climate change meetings; September 2011 and October 2011. See the NAL-JSC website for their link to those charts and a description of the meetings. By 2012, I learned that human-induced climate change requires urgent action, as IPCC’s first Chair Bert Bolin wrote in the conclusion of his 2007 book (A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change: The Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and as the AGU stated in their updated position statement title in August of 2013.]
[2016 04 18] Published here April 18, 2016. Philippe Mairet and I (Douglas Yazell) just now discovered this NASA history website for the Mercury program. The link leads to a gallery of photographs and much more.
[2016 01 06] AIAA Houston Section dinner meeting of December 3, 2015.
Ethiopian Delegation Visits AIAA Houston Section
[2016 01 02] January 2016. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport, Houston Texas USA. An AIAA Historic Aerospace Site. This web page’s monthly news article about this museum.
[2016 01 02] Published January 2, 2016.
March and June 2015: The 50-Year Anniversary of the First Spacewalks
[2015 12 16] December 16, 2015. Upcoming monthly event (Saturday, December 19, 2015) at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport, an AIAA Historic Aerospace Site.
[2015 12 12] December 12, 2015. News about the causes of the 2011 Texas drought:
[2015 12 02] December 2, 2015 A NASA Alumni League JSC Chapter event: Gemini 7/6 Remembered; A 50th Anniversary Celebration of Gemini 7/6
Gulfgate and the start of NASA in Houston Texas USA
[2015 11 23] November 23, 2015: The 1962 start of the NASA Manned Spaceflight Center (MSC) in Houston, now the Johnson Space Center. It is easy to forget that this is where NASA in Houston started. It was not in the Houston Clear Lake area. Gulfgate. Here is an exact address from a Texas state government document:
Farnsworth & Chambers Building, 2999 S. Wayside, Houston, Harris County, Texas 77023
Below are a few images:
The bottom left image above is the Hal Beck group. See the back cover of the May 2011 issue of Horizons, newsletter of AIAA Houston Section. One of two archives can be found here using this link for www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter. That issue is sometimes called our March / April 2011 issue. The image was published in the NASA JSC Roundup newsletter, but our AIAA caption might have a more complete list of the names of those people.
The upper right image is from a Texas state government FTP website, so to speak. A link is provided here. That is Robert Rowe Gilruth with 6 of the 7 Mercury astronauts.
Michael Oelke provided the other photo this week. A friend of his visited this place recently. The statue on the right is a statue of Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space. A tribute to John Glenn appears in the left side of that photo.
[2015 11 21] November 21, 2015. Mark Boslough, PhD, in the recent issue of The Flight Plan, the newsletter of AIAA Albuquerque Section. See the November 2012 climate change TEDxABQ talk (Mankind can Bet on Global Warming, and Win) by Dr. Mark Boslough using this link.
[2015 11 03] Tuesday, November 3, 2015 dinner meeting presentations (3):
Dr. Bruce A. McCarl of Texas A&M University, a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize laureate (charts, 46 slides, 3 MB, converted by us to PDF from PowerPoint)
Ian Mills, NASA/JSC International Space Station (ISS) Robotics Operations Group. He is a team leader for the group which installed climate science instruments RapidScat and CATS (Cloud Aerosol Transport System) on ISS, moving them from the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule. His PowerPoint charts, his charts converted by us to PDF format, and his movie file are below:
- PowerPoint charts, 9 MB, 23 charts
- PowerPoint charts converted by us to PDF format, 3 MB, 23 charts (slides)
- Movie file, .mov format, 12 seconds, 2 MB
Douglas Yazell, event organizer, Councilor 2015-2017, AIAA Houston Section. Introductory charts (14 slides, 2.3 MB, PDF).
Dinner meeting title used in our publicity; “Climate Change Engineering, Science, & Public Policy.”
Experiment: With a standard YouTube license, we try the embed code here:
Flooding Houston,Texas flood video 26.05.2015, and we can search for the URL using that title. Slides above from Douglas Yazell show scenes like this (Texas flooding of May 27, 2015). See charts from Dr. McCarl (above) to know if he made a connection between the climate crisis and those slides from Douglas Yazell. We sent those charts to Dr. McCarl before our dinner meeting of November 3, 2015.
Newsletter article in work December 27, 2015
Draft newsletter article (incomplete, revision 4) about this dinner meeting event of November 3, 2015: Climate Change Engineering, Science & Public Policy. (PDF, 3 MB).
AIAA Houston Section used to place such charts on our opening web page in a section called Kickin’ Up Some Dust, as I recall. We could use a page on our current website to place such charts now. For our Section’s Annual Technical Symposium, we already have pages on this website. For dinner meetings, Lunch & Learns, etc., what better place than our Section’s history technical committee’s web page? So I put them here for now. [Douglas Yazell, November 5, 2015]
[2015 11 06] Friday, November 6, 2015: A NASA/JPL Cal Tech press release:
Just in time to publish with the dinner meeting presentation above from Mr. Ian Mills, today we find a NASA/JPL California Institute of Technology press release, NASA’s RapidScat Celebrates One-Year Anniversary.
[2015 11 06] Friday, November 6, 2015: Photographs from the AIAA Houston Section delegation’s visit to China in 1992 (Shanghai, Beijing, etc.):
Delegation member Tuyen Hua rescanned 376 of his photographs from this 1992 visit to China. He then Photoshopped the images to sharper and larger resolutions. Here is the link to his Flickr album which he made available for anyone to enjoy, view, download, etc.
[2015 11 08] November 8, 2015: A project for our technical committee: polish that plaque?
Photos of three Rocket Park plaques are available in the list below. These are iPhone 5 snapshots by Douglas Yazell (November 2015):
- Plaque: AIAA Historic Aerospace Site Johnson Space Center 2005, outdoors in Rocket Park. That is from November 2015. Here is a link to an image showing that plaque when it was new!
- Plaque: Little Joe rocket, outdoors in Rocket Park
- Plaque: ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) indoors in Rocket Park (under the Saturn V crew vehicle, or capsule).
[2015 12 03] Tuesday, December 3, 2015: Dinner meeting:
See www.aiaahouston.org for details about this upcoming meeting, featuring the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS).
Members of our AIAA Houston Section History technical committee, updated August 17, 2021:
- Chair 2015-present: Douglas Yazell, Honeywell aerospace engineering, 1981-2011 (in the NASA/JSC community since 1992), Horizons newsletter editor April 2011- June 2014
- Note: Ted Kenny, NASA/JSC (Chair of this history technical committee, 2013-2014).
- Note: Chester A. Vaughan, retired from Boeing and NASA/JSC, was Chair of this history technical committee prior to Ted Kenny.
We are always looking for new professional members. See the organization chart for contact information. Additional contact information is douglas [dot] yazell [at] me [dot] com.
The Audiobook for the 1993 NASA-Commissioned book, Suddenly Tomorrow Came… A History of the Johnson Space Center, by Henry C. Dethloff
- Ted Kenny initiated this audiobook project. Good progress has been made as of August 7, 2013, but an entire single chapter has not yet been recorded. Among other examples of progress, he set up a sound recording studio and two people worked on sample readings with help from documented instructions and advice.
- A few readers are lined up already: the author Henry C. Dethloff, Ted Kenny, Norman Chaffee (NASA, retired), Ellen Gillespie (formerly with United Space Alliance), Dr. Steven E. Everett (The Boeing Company), and Douglas Yazell.
- We are rounding up readers and proofers as of August 2013, and we restarted the audiobook project as of August 2015.
- Henry C. Dethloff is the author of quite a few excellent books. His vita is presented here.
- A PDF version of the book is available here from a NASA website: Suddenly Tomorrow Came… A History of the Johnson Space Center.
Norman Chaffee of the NASA Alumni League (NAL) JSC Chapter (NAL JSC) asked Ted Kenny for help with the NAL JSC oral history project, since Ted Kenny had an audio recording studio set up in his office area at NASA/JSC. Ted Kenny said yes.
Douglas Yazell suggested an oral history for Dr. Albert Allen Jackson IV, also. Al Jackson has been the AIAA Houston Section astrodynamics technical committee Chair since 2007 or even long before 2007. Douglas Yazell will just use his smartphone to record the conversations about Al Jackson’s career, then transcribe those recordings. Only Word and PDF documents will be kept. They can be stored on this web page.
A few notes about Al Jackson’s career are noted here. He was a NASA/JSC civil servant for almost five years, including Apollo 11-13. He led the team working on the backup lunar module simulator. He left NASA to earn his PhD in physics at the University of Texas in Austin. He dabbled in academia (University of Saint Thomas in Houston), then returned to the NASA/JSC community to work for Lockheed (later called Lockheed Martin), including work on orbital debris. He later worked for Jacobs in the JSC community. He is retired as of September 2014. He continues to publish conference papers about subjects such as detecting starships.
Al Jackson wrote in Horizons (the AIAA Houston Section newsletter, starting with a first article in the April 2002 issue) about the importance of the Collier’s space series in his youth. Wernher von Braun led a team of editors, writers and artists (Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, and Rolf Klep) for that 1952-1954 series of articles in the weekly magazine Collier’s. That series appeared in 8 issues of Collier’s. Al Jackson wrote about that in Horizons for the 50th anniversary of the Collier’s series. Around the time of the 60th anniversary, Al Jackson was part of our Horizons Collier’s team, and Horizons became the first to reprint the Collier’s series page by page in high resolution. We used 8 issues of Horizons. That started in the July / August 2012 issue of Horizons.
Al Jackson was our presenter in 2007 for a lunch-and-learn, Wernher von Braun’s Long Road to Mars. We used the conference room in the NASA/JSC Mission Control Center’s building, and attendance was about 130 people. Most of his charts from that presentation are available on our Section’s web page for his technical committee: http://www.aiaahouston.org/astrodynamics_technical_committee/
Al Jackson is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, an AIAA Associate Fellow, and a Visiting Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Al Jackson recently nominated the late Frederick Ira Ordway to be an AIAA Fellow, and (before Ordway died) the nomination succeeded. Mr. Ordway was the science and technical adviser for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- AIAA Houston Section newsletters (now called Horizons) archived on a national AIAA SharePoint website with no membership required
- The primary web site for the AIAA Houston Section Horizons newsletter as of July 1, 2012, is http://www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter/. We aim to keep ten years of an archive here. Since the newsletter started (called “Newsletter” before it was called “Horizons”) in 1971, we are building a full archive on the national AIAA Sharepoint website as we find the old issues and convert them to PDF files.
- Document the history of AIAA Houston Section, which started in 1962 as the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences (IAS) Houston Section. AIAA did not exist until 1963, but claims 1931 as its initial year, since AIAA was formed by joining IAS (created in 1932) with The American Rocket Society (ARS), which started in 1930 as The American Interplanetary Society (AIS). AIAA splits the difference between 1930 and 1932 to celebrate 1931 as its starting year.
- Scan historic section documents and make them available on this web page.
- Invite speakers with expertise in our profession for occasional lunch-and-learns and dinner meetings.
- Support our section’s Annual Technical Symposium in May of each year.
- Celebrate the history of our profession: aeronautics and astronautics.
- Conduct one to four lunch-and-learns per year.
- Meet in person three to four times per year.
- Keep in touch with and support the national AIAA History technical committee.
- Contribute to historical documentation of the history of NASA/JSC.
- Contribute articles to Horizons, newsletter of AIAA Houston Section.
The 1940 Air Terminal Building at Hobby Airport was selected as a national AIAA Historic Aerospace Site in Janaury 2008, thanks to work by the museum volunteers and members of AIAA Houston Section. Drew Coats at the museum suggested this status to Douglas Yazell, and Douglas Yazell wrote the nominating report with help from Chester Vaughan and the excellent museum web site. Emily Springer traveled to Houston for a ceremony at the museum to award a large, bronze plaque. A similar AIAA Historic Aerospace Site plaque is on display honoring NASA Johnson Space Center (2005) in the same way. That plaque is on a granite base donated by NASA. It stands outdoors between the Saturn V building and the main gate.
Documents and Previous Events
- AIAA Houston Section officers since our first year (1962-1963). Updated 2017 06 17. Excel. PDF. Numbers.
- Documents from our section’s 25th anniversary in 1987, celebrating its history from 1962-1987 (from the annual report by the 1987 AIAA Houston Section Chair Karen Godek):
- Organization Chart for 2016 – 2017. Downloaded June 17, 2017. PDF.
- Organization Chart for 2015 – 2016
- Organization Chart for 2014 – 2015 (See www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter for archived organization charts near the end of each issue.)
- On June 8, 2016, I (Douglas Yazell) noticed that www.jsc.nasa.gov/aiaa is archived at archive.org. I found Horizons issues (www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter) from 1998, 1999, and 2000. Some of those were not yet archived at www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter. I am starting that process now, and I will do that for the SharePoint archive web page (AIAA), too. Some of those issues at archive.org are HTML only, and others are both HTML and PDF. New issues for our AIAA Houston Section archive are 1999 01 (HTML), 1999 06 (HTML), 1999 09 (HTML and PDF), 1999 10 (HTML and PDF), 2000 01 (HTML), 2000 03 (HTML and PDF), and 2000 05 and 06 (HTML and PDF). When we have both HTML and PDF, we prefer the PDF, but both have advantages. Note that 1999 06 contains a report of the International Space Station Service Vehicles Conference, a successful event created by our Section. It also contains a nice news story from the Los Angeles Times about Apollo 8. Frank Borman told President Nixon’s office that they had better prepare a speech in case the two Apollo 11 astronauts died on the Moon. William Safire prepared the never-used speech, and the entire text of that speech is published here.