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Hello World

Hello World

By Astiles  on August 19, 2009

Hi everyone!

First of all, many thanks to Will for the kind introduction. As he announced yesterday, I will be taking over Mike’s role here at X PRIZE. He has certainly set a precedent and left some big shoes to fill, but I am really looking forward to diving in and continuing to build the community and the excitement that surrounds the Google Lunar X PRIZE.

I feel quite fortunate for the opportunity to work with the fun and interactive online community that has been established around the Google Lunar X PRIZE. I've met some of you already through various space organizations or via the web channels, but there are many others I have yet to meet -- so allow me tell you a little about my background.

The View from 385,000 km

The view.
Broadly speaking, I am interested in a variety of space topics ranging from rocket engines to space policy to public outreach. My formal educational background is in aerospace engineering, and I also hold a Masters degree in Space Management from ISU. I’ve worked on both the Shuttle and ISS programs at NASA Johnson Space Center, and also on a small lunar spacecraft project ("LADEE") at NASA Ames Research Center. On the side, I am very interested in the concept of participatory exploration at NASA and in the use of collaborative web technologies. This ties into one of my pastimes as a website developer, where I have worked on projects such as, California Space Education and Workforce Institute, Yuri’s Night, and the Conrad Foundation.

If curiosity compels you (and also because I have an affinity for random facts, as you'll soon discover), here is a quick list of 7 things about me:
  1. Favorite space/sci-fi book: “The Moon is Harsh Mistress” by Heinlein. But that is closely followed by The Foundation series by Asimov.
  2. Odd facts: I have a license to drive a forklift, and played in a bagpipe band for a few years. How I will apply these experiences to the GLXP job, only time will tell.
  3. A favorite quote: "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." (Albert Einstein)
  4. Websites that I check ritually: The Space Review. Space Politics. Six Revisions (website design). Jeremiah Owyang: Web Strategist. And of course, The Launch Pad ;)
  5. Favorite space vehicle: The Space Shuttle. It’s got great engines.
  6. Outside of space, a few of my other loves in life include: The great outdoors, esp. hiking, snowboarding, and scuba diving. Live music and Guitar Hero. Big cities and night skies. Happy hour and space discussions.
  7. And perhaps most importantly: Yes, I like Moonpies -- preferably chocolate or banana (although a hybrid of the two might be interesting?). And in the competitive spirit of the GLXP, I won't shy away from any competition involving said tasty treats.

  8. Because every good top 7 list actually has 8 items, you should also know that:

  9. I am passionate about space exploration, and am a proponent for lowering the cost of access to space. I am excited to be a part of an organization that encourages advancement toward that goal. I look forward to sharing this excitement with all of you as each of the teams progress toward their journey to the moon!
It goes without saying that I am really looking forward to my new position at X PRIZE, working with talented co-workers and the teams, and of course interacting with you all via the internet channels.

Any questions for me? Feel free to post them here. I also had a request today for my answers to some of the crowdsourced questions that you provided several weeks ago, so I will provide those answers in a forthcoming post.

I'll be just a tweet/email/comment away if you have any feedback or ideas that you would like to share. Please feel free to drop me a line whenever -- I don’t bite (virtually)!

Ad luna!

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