Weekly Space Hangout: June 29, 2022: Focusing JWST with Lee Feinberg, Optical Telescope Manager [Season Finale]

Since JWST launched in December, 2022, we have been holding our collective breath as it made its way to its final home at the L2 Lagrange point. Throughout its approximate month-long journey, JWST systematically worked through a complicated series of deployment and commissioning procedures, including the all-critical focusing and alignment of the telescope’s 18 primary mirror segments using 132 different actuator motors. On April 29, 2022, it was announced that focusing and alignment had completed successfully. Tonight, we are joined by Lee Feinberg, Optical Telescope Element (OTE) Manager for JWST, who will tell us what this exacting process truly entailed. Read More

Weekly Space Hangout: June 22, 2022: Former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and Her New Memoir “Escaping Gravity”

This week we are honored to welcome former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver to the Weekly Space Hangout. Her new memoir, Escaping Gravity (Diversion Books, June 21, 2022), offers a “first-hand account of how a handful of revolutionaries managed to outmaneuver the system of political patronage and bureaucracy that threatened the space agency and the future of human spaceflight. From inside NASA, Garver drove changes to policies and programs that enabled competition that challenged the expensive and ineffective traditional systems at the exact time the capabilities and resources of the private sector began to mature.” Read More

Weekly Space Hangout: June 15, 2022: CREW HaT: An Answer to Radiation Shielding? with NIAC 2022 Awardee Dr. Elena D’Onghia

As humanity dreams of exploring destinations both within our own solar system as well as those far beyond, the greatest challenge to be overcome is how to provide effective protection against the inevitable, prolonged exposure to lethal levels of radiation. We all know that Earth’s strong magnetic field continually protects us. But can a sufficiently strong magnetic field be generated aboard a spacecraft? 2022 NIAC winner Dr. Elena D’Onghia joins us tonight to discuss a new concept that may just be the solution we need! Read More