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Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM PST
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11:00 am - 12:30 pm Check-in, Networking, Display
12:30 pm - 12:45 pm Introduction
12:45 pm -   3:00 pm Presentations, panel and Q & A
  3:00 pm -   4:00 pm Networking
  5:00 pm                   (Library closes)


El Segundo Public Library, Community Room 
111 W Mariposa Ave
El Segundo, CA 90245

(Free street parking and free public parking lot across the street)

(South of LAX/105 Hwy/Imperial Hwy, North of El Segundo Blvd, West of 405 Hwy & N. Sepulveda Blvd / Pacific Coast Hwy 1)

Driving Directions 


Events/Programs Chair, LA 
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Los Angeles - Las Vegas Section 

Ticket Information

$2.95 Presentation-Only: Students 6+ years old
$4.95 Presentation-Only: Regular

(No Refund within 7 days of the event or afterwards)

(Included: Pizza, coffee / hot tea, bottled water, snacks, soda)

(Lunch is separate and additional for online order in advance during the RSVP process)

Lunch (if ordered online in advance)

For additional online order in advance: Mediterranean dinner box with one of the following selection:
(a) Gyro,
(b) Chicken,
(c) Beef, or
(d) Vegetarian

Dress Code

Business Casual, Casual, No Sandals, No Barefoot

Refreshment (for all ticket types above)

(Included: Pizza, coffee / hot tea, bottled water, snacks, soda)

(This program is not sponsored by the El Segundo Public Library)

AIAA LA-LV 2/8 Saturday Event (Public Event)
(You do not need to be a member of AIAA to attend the event. Volunteers are needed for all AIAA activities)

Saturday, February 8, 2020
Spacecraft in Sci-Fi
Rod Pyle
Space Author, Writer, and Historian
Author of "From First on the Moon" and "Space 2.0"
Aldo Spadoni
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Engineer - Retired
Aerospace Artist, IAAA Board of Directors
Hollywood Consultant and Concept Designer
Rick Sternbach
Space and Science Fiction Artist,
Illustrator, Artist, Visual & Special Efforts (Star Trek, Cosmos, Star Trek: Next Generation, Solaris etc.)
Emmy & Hugo Awards Winner
Founder and Fellow, IAAA
Register Now! (***Please enable/allow JavaScript on your web browser so the payment options could show up.***)

The Topic

Rod Pyle: Rockets and Starships of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

When the production designer on the motion picture Passengers was assigned the task of designing a massive interstellar starship, he gathered images of spacecraft from Jules Verne’s era onward through today—both fictional and real—evaluated the strengths and weakness of the hundreds of designs, and implemented these ideas into his own creation. Likewise, as we look toward deep space travel in the future, we should learn from—but not be overly constrained by—what has gone before. From Verne’s Columbiad, to the visions of pulp sci-fi magazines of the 1930s, to Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Expanse, and the movies Interstellar and Ad Astra, we see a wide variety of ways that designers—including artists, engineers and scientists—have tried to tackle the physics of traveling through the void of space. Some of these visions have come rather close to hardware that was eventually used, while others are now recognized as flights of fancy. What can we learn from these past efforts as we look forward to humanity’s spacefaring future?

Aldo Spadoni: Spacecraft Design In Fact and Fiction

Public perception of what constitutes a “real” spaceship is probably driven by the fanciful creations of Hollywood as much as reality. Why are spacecraft and other technology-driven aerospace vehicles shaped the way they are, both in fiction and reality?  How can the real-world principles of aerospace vehicle design be extrapolated to envision the shape of futuristic spacecraft? How does Hollywood’s design process for the depiction of future technology differ from reality?  A successful aerospace vehicle configuration design cannot be achieved purely by algorithmic or quantitative methods. You certainly have to do the math but there’s much more to “packaging” a workable vehicle than that. It’s the perfect example of art and science working together, requiring considerable creativity and ingenuity. We will explore these questions and show how both aerospace engineers and Hollywood designers blend art and engineering to envision the future.

Rick Sternbach: Star Trek & NASA: Fifty+ Years of Inventing the Future Together

Even before NASA and Star Trek existed, filmmakers looked to the aeronautical industry, organizations involved in rocket experiments, and astronomers to aid them in depicting flights to other worlds. The Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials treated audiences to journeys in rocketships to meet up with those “new civilizations” we’re so familiar with today, with both good and bad results. Movies such as Frau im Mond and Things to Come primed us for more adventures beyond the Earth with productions like Captain Video, Tom Corbett, Destination Moon, Forbidden Planet, and countless others. Art departments (with wildly varying budgets) designed sets and props and spaceship models. The practice continued with Star Trek, which first aired over fifty years ago, and barely eight years after NASA itself was formed. This presentation will examine many of the concepts developed for Star Trek, both human and alien, with particular emphasis on their scientific and technological plausibility, even in the 24 century. Developments in real launch vehicles, space stations, and distant planetary spacecraft have all inspired the look of their future versions. Research into new materials and processes, medicines, sensors, computers, and energy systems have likewise driven the look of future handheld equipment. While the real world has been quickly catching up to what we have designed in the Star Trek universe, we continue to learn and ask questions. And imagine.

The Speakers: 


Rod Pyle
(Space Author and Historian)

Rod Pyle is a space author, jounalist and historian. He has authored eleven books on space history, exploration and development for major publishers that have been published in seven languagaes. His frequent articles have appeared in, LiveScience, Futurity, Huffington Post and WIRED. He has written extensively for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech, and authored the Apollo Executive Leadership Program for the Johnson Space Center with The Conference Board. His most recent book release is "Mars: Making Contatct." Rod is currently writing Space 2.0: The New Space Age" in association with the National Space Society, and "Technology Highlights" for NASA/JPL. He appears frequently on national radio and television, with regular slots on KFI/Los Angeles, and WGN/Chicago. He was recently featured on PBS's "Between the Lines" and C-SPAN's "Book TV." Rod holds an MA from Stanford University and a BFA from the Art Center College of Design, and lives in Pasadena, CA.

Aldo Spadoni
(Northrop Grumman - Retired), IAAA

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

Rick Sternbach
Space and Science Fiction Artist,
Illustrator, Artist, Visual & Special Efforts (Star Trek, Cosmos, Star Trek: Next Generation, Solaris etc.)
Emmy & Hugo Awards Winner
Founder and Fellow, IAAA

Rick Sternbach has been a space and science fiction artist since the early 1970s, often combining both interests in a project. His clients include NASA, Sky & Telescope, Data Products, Random House, Smithsonian, Analog, Astronomy, The Planetary Society, and Time-Life Books. He is a founding member and Fellow of the International Associationof Astronomical Artists (IAAA), which was formed in 1981. He has written and illustrated articles on orbital transfer vehicles and interstellar flight for Science Digest. Beginning in the late 1970s Rick added film and television illustration and special effects to his repertoire, with productions like Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Last Starfighter, Future Flight, and Cosmos, for which he and other members of the astronomical art team received an Emmy award, the first for visual effects. Rick also twice received the coveted Hugo award for best professional science fiction artist, in 1977 and 1978. In 2006, after fifteen years with the Star Trek franchise, Rick produced physical terrains and globes of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Saturn’s moon Iapetus for the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, for their Gunther Depths of Space exhibit. Digital renderings of the Cosmos 1 solar sail were done for the Planetary Society, along with composited images of a sixteen square foot scale model of their revised Lightsail 1. He has also built a scale model of a proposed asteroid retrieval spacecraft for the Keck Institute for Space Studies. Most recently, Rick was included as a member of the special committee overseeing the restoration of the original U.S.S. Enterprise eleven foot filming miniature by the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.