Saturday, February 13, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 1:50 PM PST
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Events/Program Chair, LA, AIAA Los Angeles Las Vegas section 
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Los Angeles - Las Vegas Section 
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(February 13, 2021) e-Town Hall Meeting with Mr. Jim Cavera, Mr. Michael Staab, and Dr. Tim Crain 


AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section 
e-Town Hall Meeting
Saturday, February 13th, 2021 (online on Zoom)
10am (PST)
(Part I)
Future Propulsion: Nuclear fission, fusion, and beyond by Jim Cavera
Mr. Jim Cavera
Senior Engineer, Blue Origin
(Part II)
Mars 2020: Perseverance and the Search for Life on Mars
Mr. Michael Staab
(The Mars 2020 Guy/Guru)
Fault Management and Autonomous Systems Principal Engineer,
Northrop Grumman Corporation
(Former JPL Mars 2020 Engineer)
(Part III)
Intuitive Machines
Lunar Program Overview
Dr. Timothy P. Crain
Vice President of Research and Development
Intuitive Machines

(https://youtu.be/VI7yFA_4BW4 contains the video teaser specially made for AIAA/LA-LV viewers/attendees by Intuitive Machines about the 3rd talk by Dr. Tim Crain. Enjoy it!)

Tentative Agenda (All Time PST) (Pacific Standard Time, US and Canada)

10:05 am: Welcome
10:10 am: Mr. Jim Cavera (Blue Origin)
11:40 am: Mr. Michael Staab (Northrop Grumman Corporation)
01:10 pm: Dr. Tim P. Crain (Intuitive Machines)
01:50 pm: Adjourn
“Future Propulsion: Nuclear fission, fusion, and beyond.”
Nuclear propulsion promises performance many orders of magnitude better than chemical propulsion. Chemical propulsion can give us the moon, but nuclear propulsion can give us the solar system and even the stars. In this talk, I will discuss the theoretical underpinnings of nuclear propulsion, the historical experiments, and the prospects for the future. At the discretion of the organizers, I can focus on fission, fusion, or other future concepts.
Jim Cavera is a senior engineer with Blue Origin. He has undergraduate degrees in optical engineering and physics, and his graduate work was in nuclear engineering and aerospace engineering, during which he explored the use of dense plasma focus devices for interstellar travel. He has served for many years on AIAA's Nuclear and Future Flight technical committee and is currently its publication director. His current research is in neutronics and MHD codes for fusion device simulation. 

"Mars 2020: Perseverance and the Search for Life on Mars"

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.

“Intuitive Machines Lunar Program Overview”
IM provides cradle-to-grave services in rapid and adaptive technology development, integration and testing, and operations for autonomous and resilient robotic space systems.NASA selected IM to support its new era of Lunar exploration by delivering five payloads to the Moon on its Nova-C lander by Q42021, and to deliver the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment(PRIME-1) drill, combined with a mass spectrometer, to the Moon by Q4 2022. IM is developing a commercial LPDS program that provides transit to lunar orbit, intact payload delivery to the lunar surface, and data communications and power services to assets both in lunar orbit and on the surface.
IM's Systems Engineering approach brings a healthy balance between traditional aerospace rigor and NextGen agility to decrease development time and cost while increasing the probability of success.

 Dr. Timothy P. Crain
Vice President of Research and Development

Tim received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and Assistant Instructor. He began his professional career in 2000 at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX where he was a lead engineer in the Engineering Directorate’s Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Division. During his tenure at JSC he worked on the navigation design for Mars Science Lander and was the Orbit Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) System Manager for the Orion spacecraft. In 2009, Dr. Crain became the Flight Dynamics lead for NASA’s Project Morpheus that followed a low cost, lean project development model to build and flight test a terrestrial version of a lunar lander incorporating advanced liquid methane propulsion, precision landing, and autonomous hazard detection and avoidance. The experience on Morpheus demonstrated how small teams of motivated engineers can rapidly innovate and apply available and emerging technologies to effectively solve tough technical problems. This was a primary motivation for Dr. Crain co-founding Intuitive Machines with partners Dr. Kam Ghaffarian and Steve Altemus in 2013.
Dr. Crain is a recipient of the NASA JSC Center Director’s Commendation Award, the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award, UT Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate Award, Orion Flight Dynamics Leadership Award, and a finalist for the NASA Rotary Mid-Career Stellar Award.
He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Astronautical Society (AAS) where he is an annual national chair and planning board member at the AAS Rocky Mountain section’s Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference.