The Diaries of Space Explorers
The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 15: Hard Work, Good Planning, And A Sprinkle of Good Fortune

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 15: Hard Work, Good Planning, And A Sprinkle of Good Fortune

April 13, 2021

In this episode, we speak with fellow Western Space alumni Dr. Raymond Francis. Raymond holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa, a Master’s in Physics (Space Science) from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Western University in collaboration with the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration. Raymond has worn many hats, from testing autonomous instruments in the Canadian high artic and deserts in California, supporting airbourne science operations for the Airbourne Snow Observatory, and getting his pilot’s license. Raymond talks about how his journey involved many obstacles and challenges along the way and difficult decisions that would have impacted the entire start of his career in space exploration. From working as a graduate trainee at the European Space Agency working on micro-gravity payloads to now being the Science Team Training Coordinator for the Project Science Office on the Mars 2020 rover mission, Raymond has shown with hard-work, good planning, and a sprinkle of luck, you can achieve greatness in the space sector.

 

If you would like to learn more about Raymond’s work, you can find him on the NASA Science Mars Exploration Program website (https://mars.nasa.gov/people/profile/?id=22826).

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Host and creator: Gavin Tolometti

Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 14: How and Why Finances Should Not Limit Your Potential in the Space Sector

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 14: How and Why Finances Should Not Limit Your Potential in the Space Sector

April 6, 2021

In this episode, we speak with Kelsey Doerksen who is a Space Systems engineer at Planet on the Mission Operations team, operating the world’s largest Earth Observation satellite constellation. She holds a Masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Western Ontario where she researched machine learning applications to space weather, in partnership with l’Observatoire de Paris, and a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering: Space Systems Design, from Carleton University. Kelsey has previously worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in the Machine Learning and Instrument Autonomy group working on future Mars rover technology, and is an incoming DPhil student to the University of Oxford’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems starting Fall 2021, where she will be developing machine learning tools to research the impacts of climate change.

 

If you would like to contact Kelsey and learn more work and her journey you can connect with her on LinkedIn or on Twitter @spacecadet_kels

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Host and creator : Gavin Tolometti
Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com
The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 13: Connecting Young Professionals to Space

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 13: Connecting Young Professionals to Space

March 29, 2021

In this episode, we are going to be taking a trip to the UK, my home country.

We speak with Myles Johnson who is a Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin UK, with a background in spacecraft systems engineering, having supported multiple European Space Agency (ESA) programmes including SpaceRider and Mars Sample Return. Myles is passionate about outreach and is currently leading an outreach-focused team at his local workplace; supporting multiple Royal Aeronautical Society committees focusing on bringing space-related education to the next generation; and also has recently co-founded an organization called ‘Astroverse’ to reduce barriers to the UK Space Industry by networking and sharing events.

 

If you would like to learn more about Astroverse you can visit the organization website, www.ukastroverse.com. To learn more about Myle's work you can reach out to him on LinkedIn.

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Host and creator: Gavin Tolometti

Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 12: Transitioning from Academic to Commercial Space

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 12: Transitioning from Academic to Commercial Space

March 16, 2021
The academic and commercial side of the space sector have their own pros and cons, and finding out which is the right fit for you can be challenging. I wanted to help bring more light to both sides of the space sector by speaking with this weeks guest, "The Professional Martian", Dr Tanya Harrison.
 
Tanya is a respected Mars expert who worked as a geoscientist and mission operations specialist on multiple NASA Mars missions over the past 13 years, including the Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance rovers, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. A respected thought leader in the commercial space sector from her previous role as Director of Research for Arizona State University’s NewSpace Initiative, she currently works as the Director of Science Strategy for the federal arm of the Earth observing satellite company Planet Labs. She holds a Ph.D. in Geology with a Specialization in Planetary Science and Exploration from the University of Western Ontario.
 
If you would like to reach out to Tanya to ask about her journey or connect to the space sector you can find her on Twitter and Instagram @tanyaofmars or you can connect with her on LinkedIn.
 
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Host and creator : Gavin Tolometti
Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com
The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 11: Bringing Medicine and the Life Sciences to Space

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 11: Bringing Medicine and the Life Sciences to Space

March 9, 2021

Dr. Michael Gallagher is the President and CEO of Association of Spaceflight Professionals Inc., an organization developing early-stage human-in-the-loop space experiments and technologies.  Michael currently practices family medicine and dive medicine at the Canadian Forces Base in Esquimalt, British Columbia.  He also provides medical care in rural emergency departments, hospitals and clinics in Alberta and Canada’s north.  He completed a Canadian Space Agency-sponsored aerospace medicine elective at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in April 2010.  His preliminary investigations into lower body negative pressure as a possible countermeasure for bone loss earned him a spot as a finalist for the Aerospace Medical Association’s Jeff Myers Young Investigator Award.  He believes profoundly in human spaceflight’s capacity to spur meaningful technological innovation and unify humanity in pursuit of a common goal.

If you would like to learn more about the Association of Spaceflight Professionals you can check out their website, Association of Spaceflight Professionals - Home. To learn more about Michael's work and his involvement in space you can connect to him on LinkedIn.

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Host and creator: Gavin Tolometti

Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com

 

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 10: Communicating Space and Its History

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 10: Communicating Space and Its History

February 28, 2021

Oh boy do I have a treat for you! You have heard guests talk about space business, space economy, space technology and space art, but you haven't yet heard about the history of space technology! Strap yourselves in for an episode full of history, space facts, wit and science communication!

In this episode, I speak with Amy Shira Tietel. Amy holds a Bachelor's degree with combined honours in History of Science and Technology and Classics (U. of King's College and Dalhousie University) and a Master's degree in Science and Technology Studies (York University). She has had a lifelong passion for spaceflight, which started when she was researching for a second-grade project on Venus. She was captivated by a cartoon image of two astronauts on the Moon and had to know everything about the Apollo program. She produces space technology videos for her YouTube channel The Vintage Space, and is the author of three books: Fighting For Space, Apollo Pilot, and Breaking the Chains of Gravity.

Amy combined her passion for space and writing into one, and has since then transitioned from space blogger to space YouTuber and now to space author. She is an example of how you can become involved in space exploration with a science or engineering heavy background. 

If you would like to learn more about Amy's work, learn about Space Technology History from her YouTube channel The Vintage Space, and find her books you can check out her website,  https://www.amyshirateitel.com 

Alternatively, you can follow her on Instagram @amyshiratietel or on Twitter @AmyShiraTietel

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Host and Creator: Gavin Tolometti

Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 9: Why Space is Cool as F**K

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 9: Why Space is Cool as F**K

February 21, 2021

Although this title is controversial, it represents the theme of this episode quite well! We get to dive into another non-science and non-engineering journey to the field of space with Kate Howells. 

Kate Howells is a communications strategist for The Planetary Society, an organization that aims to empower people around the world to become involved in advancing space exploration. She also serves as a member of the Government of Canada's Space Advisory Board, and is the author of Space is Cool as F**k.

If you would like to learn more about Kate's work you can follow her on Twitter @SpaceKateH

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Host and creator: Gavin Tolometti

Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 8: How Mars Can Help Us Understand Climate Change

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 8: How Mars Can Help Us Understand Climate Change

February 15, 2021

We return with an another amazing Mars scientist, science communicator, and space lego collector!

We speak with Dr. Cecilia Leung, a planetary scientist specializing in the present-day water cycle on Mars. Her research combines the use of 3D numerical atmospheric models and spacecraft observations to study seasonal changes in the Martian weather and climate. Her work also supports the Entry-Descent-and-Landing (EDL) of recent Mars Missions such as the InSight Mars Lander and the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover.

Dr. Leung received her PhD from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, and is currently a NASA postdoctoral fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. One of the greatest privileges of her job is the opportunities to communicate the joys of planetary exploration with students and space enthusiasts, as well as connecting the relevance of research and technology development to the benefits in our daily lives.

If you would like to learn more about Cecilia's work you can find her NASA bio at https://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/Leung/ or you can follow her on Twitter @CelestialCess 

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Host and creator: Gavin Tolometti

Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 7: Using Space Robots to See the Surface of Planets

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 7: Using Space Robots to See the Surface of Planets

February 15, 2021

Did you know you can download data and images of planetary bodies taken by spacecrafts!? On your own home laptop!? Well if you did not and want to learn how you can, this is the episode for you!

We speak with Dr. Ali Bramson, a planetary scientist and professor at Purdue University. Her research uses NASA spacecraft mission data to learn about the geology of other planets in our Solar System, and her work on Martian ice is helping to shape the future of human exploration of Mars. She is originally from Wisconsin, USA and got her bachelor's degree in physics and astrophysics from UW-Madison. She got her PhD in planetary sciences at the University of Arizona and moved to Indiana just this past fall to start her new job at Purdue. She tells us how her childhood dream of wanting to become an astronaut led her to internships and experiences working with real space mission data collected by NASA spacecrafts. We also learn from her the soft skills she developed as a student, theatre performer in middle school, and now professor.

 

If you would like to learn more about Ali and her work you can follow her on Twitter @AliBramson.

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Host and creator: Gavin Tolometti

Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 6: Turning Poop Into Material for 3D Printing!?

The Diaries of Space Explorers | Episode 6: Turning Poop Into Material for 3D Printing!?

February 11, 2021

I am going to let the title do the talking for you this time :D

In this episode, we speak with Alina Kunitskaya who holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Calgary and is currently a PhD student in biomedical engineering at the University of British Columbia. Her passion for solving space exploration challenges led to her involvement in developing a process to recycle astronauts’ fecal waste into 3D-printable bioplastics, developing and flying a scientific payload in microgravity, developing an oxygen production process on Mars, and completing a simulated sub-orbital spaceflight to help scientists examine the physiological and psychological impacts of g-forces associated with spaceflight. Alina currently volunteers as a Director at Large at SEDS-Canada (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space).

If you would like to learn more about Alina's work and follow her journey you an find her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Host and creator: Gavin Tolometti

Music Credit: https://www.purple-planet.com

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