Saturday, August 8, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM PDT
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Events/Program Chair, LA, AIAA Los Angeles Las Vegas section 
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Los Angeles - Las Vegas Section 
Volunteers are needed for al AIAA activities, please contact cgsonwane@gmail.com

(Online) Saturday, August 8, 2020, 10 AM

In-flight Refueling the SR-71

During the Cold War


Col. Charlie Vono
AIAA Distinguished Lecturer
AIAA Associate Fellow

(USAF & TRW - Retired)

Questioning the Surface of Mars as the 21st Century's Ultimate Pioneering Destination in Space


Daniel R. Adamo

AIAA Distinguished Lecturer
AIAA Associate Fellow

(Aerodynamics Consultant)
(NASA JSC - Retired)


Mission Status Updates on Mars 2020
Michael Staab
(The Mars 2020 Guy / Guru)
Fault Management and Autonomous Systems Principal Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation,
Former JPL Mars 2020 Engineer

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In-flight Refueling the SR-71During the Cold War

This presentation is for any audience looking for a few good stories featuring our high tech Cold War weapon systems. As a KC-135Q aircraft commander, Charlie can relate firsthand what it meant to be a Cold Warrior, how the technology worked, and what he did when it didn’t work. These were the days when we used sextants to cross the Pacific, engines blew up routinely, and no mission went entirely as planned. With most of this highly classified mission now de-classified, Charlie can spice up this Cold War stories with facts about the technologies and mission. A real crowd-pleaser, he always finds a few audience members who supported this mission and speak up with their own stories.

Col. Charles Vono

Charlie, an AIAA Associate Fellow, is a retired USAF colonel and retired defense contractor senior manager. In his 45 year career, he has been an operator, e.g., KC-135 aircraft commander. He has been an engineer, e.g., F16 structures. And he has been a sustainer, e.g., ICBMs. Charlie was born and raised in Wasco, California. He has a Bachelor of Science from the USAF Academy in Astronautical Engineering, a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University. He is a graduate of Air War College. Charlie has 13 years full time active duty in Air Force and Joint assignments and 12 years part time duty in Air Force Reserve assignments. Since retiring from a major defense contractor in 2014, Charlie has been writing and presenting extensively on the sustainment of complex systems. But his most popular presentation harks back to his first USAF assignment in 1977 as a tanker pilot supporting the world-wide SR-71 mission during the Cold War. Charlie’s Dad, Mike, was a WWII B-24 ball turret gunner in Europe and his Uncle Chuck was a Navy gunner engaged in every major combat operation in the Pacific. For more information on Charlie, his other roles, his blogs about his stories (and his Dad and Uncle’s stories), his presentations and technical papers, visit charlesvono.com.

Questioning the Surface of Mars as the 21st Century's Ultimate Pioneering Destination in Space

This 1.5-hour lecture reviews historic Earthly distinctions between exploring and pioneering before applying these distinctions to destinations in space. Although a case can be made for human and robotic exploration in space, there is as yet no compelling rationale for "putting down roots" to pioneer anywhere off Earth. Why then is the surface of Mars widely accepted as humanity's future "home away from home" to the extent some 200,000 people are willing to attempt forming a permanent colony there? There is no evidence suggesting humans can survive on the surface of Mars long term, let alone thrive there to produce viable offspring. A variety of evidence is presented to affirm the surface of Mars is a "socio-cultural" destination whose suitability for human pioneering is based on more than a century of fictional literature and poorly informed research as the Space Age dawned.

More current knowledge of the "unexplored country" in our Solar System suggests small bodies such as asteroids and the moons of Mars are humanity's best hope for pioneering off Earth this century.

Daniel R. Adamo

Mr. Dan Adamo is an astrodynamics consultant focused on space mission trajectory design, operations, and architecture. He works with clients primarily at NASA and in academia.

Until retirement in 2008, Mr. Adamo was employed by United Space Alliance as a trajectory expert, serving as a “front room” flight controller for 60 Space Shuttle missions. Along with console duties during simulations and missions, this job entailed development of trajectory designs, software tools, flight rules, console procedures, and operations concepts. Mr. Adamo began his career at the Perkin-Elmer Corporation where he developed and operated proof-of-concept software for computer-controlled polishing of optical elements. He has degrees in Physical Sciences and Optical Engineering from the University of Houston and the University of Rochester, respectively.

Mr. Adamo is an AIAA Associate Fellow and the author of many publications (ref. http://www.aiaahouston.org/adamo_astrodynamics/). He has received numerous awards, including 14 NASA Group Achievement Awards.

Michael Staab

Michael Staab is a Fault Management and Autonomous Systems Principal Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation, supporting fault management and system autonomy design for the Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper Laboratories Human Lander System entry and the NASA Gateway program. In his time with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he was a Flight System Systems Engineer for the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar Mission, a Spacecraft Systems Engineer and Flight Director for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, a flight controller, or ACE, for the Cassini spacecraft, and a Mission Systems’ Systems Engineer for the Mars 2020 rover. Michael is a PhD student in the Department of Astronautical Engineering at the University of Southern California, with research interests in autonomy, system resiliency, and fault management. Additionally, Michael is an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer in the United States Navy Reserves, supporting the NAVAIR and Navy Space Cadre communities. Michael holds a Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University and a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.