Planetary Radio • Apr 20, 2022
Yuri’s Night: Join the party!
On This Episode
Chief of Space Policy for The Planetary Society
Board of Directors of The Planetary Society; Actor, Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Yuri’s Night Founder
Virgin Galactic advisory board member
Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager for The Planetary Society
Senior Communications Adviser and former Host of Planetary Radio for The Planetary Society
Additional guests include:
- Tim Russ, Actor and Amateur astronomer
- Anna Voelker, Founder and Executive Director of SciAccess Initiative and AstroAccess
- Sina Bahram, President and Founder of Prime Access Computing and AstroAccess Flight One Ambassador
- Kim Macharia, Space Prize Executive Director and Space Frontier Foundation Board Chair
Host Mat Kaplan joined the Los Angeles celebration of humanity becoming a spacefaring species. He talked with the Yuri’s Night founders and others under the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The much-anticipated Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey was issued as we finished this week’s show. Planetary Society senior space policy adviser Casey Dreier will give us a brief overview of its recommendations. We’ll close with Bruce Betts and your chance to win a r-r-r-rubber asteroid in the space trivia contest.
- Planetary Science Decadal Survey: After the Red Planet, an Ice Giant
- Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032
- Yuri’s Night
- Mission: AstroAccess – Advancing Disability Inclusion in Space
- Space Prize Global
- The Downlink
- Subscribe to the monthly Planetary Radio newsletter
This Week’s Question:
Who was the youngest person to walk on the Moon at the time he walked on the Moon?
This Week’s Prize:
A Planetary Society KickAsteroid r-r-r-rubber asteroid!
To submit your answer:
Complete the contest entry form at https://www.planetary.org/radiocontest or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, April 27 at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
Last week's question:
Where in our solar system is a mountain named Kaplan?
The winner will be revealed next week.
Question from the April 6, 2022 space trivia contest:
If you alphabetize the named moons of planets in our solar system, what moon would be listed last? Use the English alphabet.
In an alphabetized list of the named moons of planets in our solar system, the last listed moon would be Saturn’s Ypir.
Mat Kaplan: Celebrating humanity in space on Yuri's Night, this week on Planetary Radio.
Christy Fair: My name is Christy Fair. I am the event coordinator. I am actually the power behind the throne. It has been my honor, and privilege to work with some of the most inspirational people I've ever met in my life. I had this opportunity back in 2012 to start as a volunteer. And I was so inspired by Loretta Whitesides and George founding this idea that it moved my heart. Nothing could express my heart and how much love I have for the world and humanity like this global interstellar opportunity. I don't know if people know, but Mars Curiosity saying happy birthday to us at a Yuri's Night. We are an interstellar organization. Not everybody can say that and I'm really proud to be part of it.
Mat Kaplan: I'm Mat Kaplan of The Planetary Society with more of the human adventure across our solar system and beyond. Yuri's Night is back. It never left of course, but the celebration was virtual the last two years. That's why it was such a joy to be once again, under space shuttle endeavor at the California Science Center with over 1300 people dancing, laughing, exploring, and enjoying. And this was just one of the many parties around the world. Join me for conversations with a few of the great guests who turned out, including Yuri's Night founders, George and Loretta Whitesides and Star Trek: Voyager stars, Robert Picardo and Tim Russ. 584 of our human colleagues have flown in space. That number is growing fast now with many more people journeying above the von Kármán line, that fairly arbitrary threshold of space that starts 100 kilometers or 62 miles above our heads.
Mat Kaplan: I expect there will be thousands within a few years. Someday, millions. We need to remember those who went first, from Yuri Gagarin through the Apollo astronauts like Dave Scott. The April 15 edition of the down link features a beautiful image of Scott exiting the Apollo 9 Command Module. As it floats over our cloud covered planet, you can see it at planetary.org/down link where you can also read about the weird weather observed on Neptune. No one knows why it has been experiencing wild swings in temperature. I guess we'll have to go there as my recent guests, Brenda Clyde and Kirby Runyon told us also in the down link is that biggest ever comet now seen to be entering our solar system. You know that one that's coming straight at us, according to some news sources. Well, it's not, unless you count a billion miles as a near miss.
Mat Kaplan: What's not in the down link is the just released and long awaited Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey from The National Academies here in the United States. Here to give us a top level review is The Planetary Society's senior space policy advisor and chief advocate, Casey Dreier. Casey, I bet you have already read much more of this brand new report than I have. What I have read is wonderful. It's a terrific document. All what, 780 pages of it, I think. I can recommend it to other lay people, which is what I count myself as. It's a terrific read.
Casey Dreier: Yeah, it is. It's for a long document, a report from The National Academies of Sciences. It's certainly one of the more engaging ones, particular if you love this stuff like we do, it summarizes the state of the field. I think that's an important aspect of this report. It's not just making recommendations for missions. It's telling you what the big questions are that face the entire scientific community. It tells you what they've learned in the last 10 years. It gives you a summary of what we understand about all of these major bodies in the solar system. It is just a real wonderful testament to the ability of humans to understand the natural world around us. And then also make decisions about how we approach the unknown. I wish every day was Decadal Survey day, not after reading through this.
Mat Kaplan: It's also very clear that they put enormous thought into the recommendations that they make. And it's not just a list of here are the missions we'd like to see, there's much more to it than that. But with our very limited time, I'm sure what people want to hear about or are some of those missions, let's start at the top with the flagship recommendations.
Casey Dreier: The most explicit recommendation they make the top priority for NASA's Robotic program in this decade is to complete Mars Sample Return.
Mat Kaplan: Yeah.
Casey Dreier: That is the top thing that NASA must do, what does it say in as efficient manner as possible, as soon as practicable. And so this is already begun. We're in the midst of it. It's the biggest science Robotic program, what we have right now. It's budget next year will be larger than all of NASA's Heliophysics Division. They want to move it through. After that for new flagships, the top recommendation, it's actually the number three recommendation from the previous Decadal Survey, right? So we've done the first two sample return in Europa Clipper, number three, now, number one, a Uranus Orbiter and Probe. So get used to those jokes for the next 30 years, because that's where we're going. And then we have an orbiter-lander per a mission to In sell at us, would be the second flagship if it fits within the budget process of the next 10 years. So Uranus and an Ice Giant mission, dedicated Ice Giant mission for the first time is the top new flagship recommendation.
Mat Kaplan: Something we are all so excited about. Also, great recommendations regarding the new frontiers and discovery mission classes. Not only are they recommending the [insulators 00:05:55] Orbit Lander, but another mission, I think a new frontiers mission, a flyby mission of insulators. And it says something about how important they think it is that we visit this moon.
Casey Dreier: Yeah, new frontiers. These are the mid class. They recommend a bump up to about $1.6 billion per project. And they have a predefined list of destinations that scientists can propose ideas to, right. So you can't just send anywhere. You have to use this pre-approved list and sell it. This is on that list. Io is on that list. We also have the South Pole–Aitken basin at the moon and another Venus mission. So there's a number of potential opportunities that I'll designate or represent, I should say, high priority science destinations. And again, these destinations are the things that fall out of the major questions that they defined about understanding our origins, understanding how our solar system came to be, and then also the potential for life out there in our own cosmic backyard and these types of missions, all interface in some way in a multivariate way with all of those questions.
Mat Kaplan: It's absolutely a crime that we won't be able to address much more in this brief little tease of a conversation. But one other thing we have to mention is the tremendous emphasis they put on Planetary Defense and getting that NEO Surveyor mission underway, right?
Casey Dreier: Absolutely. This is the first time that the Decadal Survey for Planetary Science has considered Planetary Defense within its purview. NASA directed them to do so when it asked for this report two years ago, and it came out very strongly saying that NEO Surveyor, our space-based infrared telescope, that we are fighting so hard for, should be the priority for Planetary Defense going forward in this decade. We need to wrap this mission up as soon as possible, and really start looking for these near earth objects that could potentially be hazardous to earth. It's a no brainer in many ways, but unfortunately this is the one mission NASA really singled out next year for a $100 million cut, that's two-thirds of its budget. So now we have the Decadal Survey also weighing and saying this is valuable. So this will really help us push back on that proposed cut next year and to keep that mission going forward.
Mat Kaplan: So much more that we could say, and we will. So stay tuned to Planetary Radio and Planetary Radio, the space policy edition. Amazingly Casey, in a record turnaround, you actually have an article up already @planetary.org. That gives a good deal, more detail. So congratulations on that.
Casey Dreier: Thank you. It's what I did instead of sleeping last night. And it was absolutely worth it. But again, I'm still reading through this. This is a long report, I'm reading through. We'll have more coverage of this in the next few weeks, including a deeper dives into this, but I already have some great budget numbers comparing the proposed program going forward to past times of Decadal periods and Planetary Science. A lot of really good stuff in the article really recommend it, been tweeting about it a lot recently and some really good discussions already among planetary scientists about what this means for the fields going forward. So this is a big deal. If you can hear the energy in my voice, this is a big deal. We will be talking about this Mat for the next 10 years.
Mat Kaplan: Is that all?
Casey Dreier: That's it? Well, maybe longer.
Mat Kaplan: I bet it will be longer. In fact, they were talking about some stuff that may not happen till the 2050s.
Casey Dreier: Eat your vegetables. Everybody eats and do your exercise, because these are long games we play.
Mat Kaplan: Wish me luck. We will, of course put a link up to that article by Casey, that I mentioned on this week's show page @planetary.org/radio, but you can find it @planetary.org pretty easily. And we will put up a link to this brand new Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal report from the national academies. Casey, thank you so much.
Casey Dreier: Delighted Matt.
Mat Kaplan: He is our chief advocate and the senior space policy advisor for The Planetary Society. Yuri's Night, 2022 in Los Angeles began with an afternoon of setup at the California Science Center. Of course, people like Christy Fair and many others have been working for months to prepare for this night. Hundreds of volunteers, many of them in costume lined up in the center's loading dock for a quick orientation and a pep talk. Among them was Geo Somoza. The Planetary Society's long time outreach coordinator in Southern California and a past president of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society. Geo is a telescope operator at the historic Mount Wilson Observatory, a telescope demonstrator at LA's Griffith Observatory and an executive team manager at Yuri's Night. He's also an old friend.
Mat Kaplan: I've met so many first timers here tonight. It's nice to see somebody who is a vet. How are you Geo?
Geo Somoza: I'm doing great. Nice to see you too.
Mat Kaplan: So what are you doing here tonight?
Geo Somoza: Well, our Planetary Society volunteers have stepped up and will be handling the registration this year, once again. This is our... I believe, 12 year going into this. Our volunteers will be greeting everyone coming in and making the event happen.
Mat Kaplan: This is so great. It's so exciting to be back here in person and know that we're going to once again be under that great spaceship, isn't it?
Geo Somoza: Oh! It's amazing. We can't wait. I'm not a dancer, but I will dance tonight.
Mat Kaplan: I like that. I laughed and then knocked my headphones off. So what else are you up to now? You're doing even more than you used to do at the observatory. Right?
Geo Somoza: Working a lot. So that's been wonderful. And all of our outreach has been a lot of online going through schools, through zoom, which has been nice, but we are really looking forward to getting back out to in-person events once again. So even at the end of the month, we're going back to a high school, which we're finally being allowed inside premises once again.
Mat Kaplan: What about those big astronomy nights up there on top of the hill?
Geo Somoza: We're working on that. The city's being a little precautious with large events at the moment. So for the time being we're still on hold, but we're hoping by the end of summer, we'll be back to those.
Mat Kaplan: It's great to see you here, Geo. I'll probably see you out there on the dance floor.
Geo Somoza: You'll see me. It'll be hard to miss me because I don't know how to dance. You'll just see me wailing my hands up in the air.
Mat Kaplan: I'll be right next to you. See you.
Geo Somoza: Thank you.
Mat Kaplan: Among the Yuri's Night volunteers were a few who had made it a family affair.
Mat Kaplan: I take it. You're all here as volunteers.
Volunteer 1: Yeah.
Volunteer2: Yes we are.
Mat Kaplan: Great. And you are?
Laura: My name is Laura.
Bart: I'm Bart.
Brenda: I'm Brenda.
Jane: And I'm Jane.
Mat Kaplan: Are you here together or did you just meet here in the loading dock?
Bart: We are together. We're following her.
Brenda: Yeah. I work closely with Christy Fair, who's running all of this as you know, but yeah. So I've been working with her a little bit, just an executive assistant and they're just with me to help out. I'm in charge of the LA zone tonight.
Mat Kaplan: That's fantastic. I've known Christy for many years. So you have a great mentor there. Is this your first Yuri's Night?
Brenda: It is. Yeah.
Mat Kaplan: Wow. And what was the last time you were with the California Science Center?
Brenda: It's been a long time. My parents took me as a kid, a few times, but it's been years since I've been here.
Mat Kaplan: Have you been under Endeavour?
Brenda: If I have, I don't remember. [crosstalk 00:13:02]
Mat Kaplan: Oh! You would remember. Do I need to chastise you? Why hasn't she been back to see Endeavour, to stand under the space shuttle?
Bart: Well, we've been to Florida Space Center.
Mat Kaplan: Oh, Okay. You're off the hook.
Bart: Yeah, we've done enough for her space wise. Yeah.
Mat Kaplan: So what's brought all of you out as volunteers today. Now we've heard from you, but you dragged them along.
Volunteer: She invited us.
Mat Kaplan: Oh, that's great.
Volunteer: Yeah. So we're here to support her. Absolutely.
Mat Kaplan: I was just talking to a red shirt over there from Star Trek. You've all got Starfleet emblems on. I'm glad you're not red shirts because I'm afraid he won't make it through the night.
Bart: That was my first thought as well. Yeah. I'm in a habit. I'm not wearing red shirts.
Mat Kaplan: Yeah. It's always a wise decision at least from the original series. Well, why are you here? Why did you decide to work with Christy?
Brenda: So I met Christy while working with Mission: AstroAccess. She was helping with that. I was head of logistics on that for flight one in October.
Mat Kaplan: I think I saw you on the website.
Brenda: Probably. Yeah. So I got to know Christy and she and I worked really well together and she said, "Hey, I could love... I could use some help with Yuri's Night, if you're interested." So yeah. That's why I'm here.
Mat Kaplan: Proud parents.
Parent: Absolutely. Oh, there aren't words.
Bart: There aren't words.
Parent: Yeah. There aren't.
Mat Kaplan: Have a wonderful time. And I'll tell you what I told the red shirt. You have a better shot, live long and prosper.
Bart: Thank you very much.
Brenda: Thank you very much.
Mat Kaplan: Thank you.
Mat Kaplan: We were finally allowed into the great hall. That is the temporary home of Endeavour. The California Science Center will eventually mount the orbiter vertically on an external tank with two solid rocket boosters, all unfueled, of course. The dramatic Yuri's Night lighting heightened the sense of awe that I always feel when I stand beneath that spaceship. Off to the side, was the VIP area where I'd set up my microphones many times before the first to join me there this year were past guests on Planetary Radio. Robert Picardo is a member of The Planetary Society's board of directors, but you probably know him better as the holographic doctor on Star Trek : Voyager. To say a little of the scores of other roles, Rob was joined by his good friend and fellow Voyager cast member, Tim Russ, who played the stoic Vulcan Tuvok. As you'll hear, Tim has enjoyed a long relationship with the non-fiction version of our universe.
Mat Kaplan: Tim Russ, I don't know if you remember, I was at your house once with my daughters. They wanted to steal your Vulcan ears.
Tim Russ: Yes, I do recall that as a matter of fact, and I think I only have maybe two or three pairs of those left.
Mat Kaplan: You got to hang onto those.
Tim Russ: Yes, indeed.
Mat Kaplan: Those are priceless. Rob Picardo, do I remember correctly that it was Tim and [Andre Bremanus 00:15:46] who sort of brought you into the real space world? Well, while you were doing Voyager.
Robert Picardo: Well, I think really during the original run of Voyager, I was approached by the two then surviving co-founders of The Planetary Society, Louis Friedman and Bruce Murray to do a fundraising event. And Tim was part of that. It was to celebrate the great Ray Bradbury's 70th birthday, I believe. The end, there were some other actors you may have heard of like Charlton Heston and John Rhys-Davies and then a bunch of us, Star Trek folk. And we did a reading together and that's when I first sort of got captivated by space was my experience joining the advisory board of The Planetary Society. But Tim is inspirational because Tim is the only member of our Voyager crew who really... What came into the show, being a space fanatic and a very accomplished amateur astronomer. So he was... I think, an inspiration to the whole group.
Mat Kaplan: Tim, you are an amateur astronomer. In fact, if anybody hasn't seen it, there is a terrific Planetary Society video that's available on our YouTube channel of the two of you add a rather prominent telescope here in Los Angeles. You know, the one I'm talking about.
Tim Russ: Yes, That the grip is observatory. It's a big refractor that they have up there. And it's a classic piece of work. You couldn't duplicate it today, if you tried to. And yes, Bob and I were up there for an event or a while back. And it was really quite nice.
Mat Kaplan: It's hilarious.
Robert Picardo: But we did a joke video where... And this was our wonderful Planetary Society producer Merc Boyan's idea was that Tim would not recognize me anymore after we hadn't worked together in a few years and I had to show him a picture of the cast, so he would remember that I was in the show with him. It was quite funny and very popular as a Planetary post and also Tim's dry humor, which of course was on display often in Voyager was never shown to better effect here.
Mat Kaplan: Dry humor is best for Vulcans, I see.
Tim Russ: It's best for me in general. Yeah.
Mat Kaplan: All right. The reason we're here tonight, all these, I don't know a couple of 1000 people are here, I guess. This is not your first Yuri's Night for the review, is it?
Tim Russ: No, it is not. I've been here a couple times before.
Robert Picardo: I think this is my fifth one at the California Space Center, but I was also to one of the earlier ones.
Mat Kaplan: I'm so glad that we're here though, under this great [crosstalk 00:18:23]
Robert Picardo: OfCourse.
Mat Kaplan: [inaudible 00:18:23]
Tim Russ: Yeah. This is a great location for it. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:18:25] Perfect.
Robert Picardo: To stand under the Endeavour shuttle, it just puts everybody in a...
Tim Russ: It's wonderful.
Mat Kaplan: In this real world of doing this stuff. I mean, there are so many people who are here to party. We hope they're partying for space as well. Certainly a large percentage of them are Tim, what is it that captivates you?
Tim Russ: Well, I pursued the hobby of astronomy about 35 years ago. And I am just fascinated by the fact that the space is so vast and there's so many mysteries and secrets about it. And, in point of fact, we on earth would not be here if not, for what occurred in the early universe. So if you're thinking about humankind having evolved from the very beginning, we are essentially part of the universe and we have evolved to the point where we can actually look back and examine ourselves, if you will. It is endlessly fascinating. Discoveries are made all the time and revised often as well. And the theories about why we are here, how we got here, where we might be going just as a life form, to me is endlessly fascinating.
Robert Picardo: And with the incredible long awaited successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, we are about to see light from the creation almost [crosstalk 00:19:44]... From the creation of the universe, or just about... I don't, that is explained to me over and over again and my mind can wrap around the concept for a couple of seconds and then it just slips off as if the idea had been oiled. Yeah. But, but I really am looking forward to these next couple of years, when more and more images come back from the web, it's going to be a very exciting time.
Mat Kaplan: Did you see the gentleman here who's actually dressed as the James webspace telescope?
Tim Russ: Not seen that just yet.
Mat Kaplan: Well, You need to circulate because there are some wonderful cars playing here.
Tim Russ: Yeah. Just a little bit. I've noticed.
Robert Picardo: And a lot of women in dresses with a lot of bright lights under them and all that.
Mat Kaplan: Including your lovely wife.
Robert Picardo: Yeah, indeed. So yeah, there's the Nebula dress is a really cool idea.
Mat Kaplan: It's just so much fun. It's a party celebrating the first human in space. And through that, it's celebrating our all of humanities, longtime fascination with looking up at the stars and now extending our presence in space. So if you're a Star Trek fan, then you have no business not coming to Yuri's Night, if you're anywhere near a Yuri's Night celebration.
Tim Russ: And this is a worldwide celebration. I thought it was local and it's not. It's not just here. It's everywhere around the world. They're going to have that. They can celebrate the first man in space and it's quite remarkable. And here we are preparing again for a very long journey as it were a man mission to Mars and back to the moon as it were very soon. So we, as a species are going to become space faring on a fairly regular basis. I hope I'm around long enough to some of that start.
Mat Kaplan: You and me both. Thank you, gentlemen.
Tim Russ: You Got it.
Robert Picardo: My pleasure, Mat. Always.
Tim Russ: My pleasure Mat. Thank you.
Mat Kaplan: The DJs arrived and the music began under Endeavour. By the way, one of the people spinning tunes for us was Dr. Chris Boshuizen also known as Dr. Chrispy. Chris rode a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket on a sub-orbital trip with William Shatner and others, last October. I managed to get in one more interview before the decibel level completely overwhelm my microphones.
Anna Voelker: My name is Anna Voelker. My pronouns are they, them and I am the founder and executive director of SciAccessINC, a nonprofit advancing disability inclusion in stem. Part of SciAccess, we run AstroAccess or focusing on making space accessible for all astronauts.
Sina Bahram: My name is Sina Bahram. I'm the president of Prime Access Consulting. We're an inclusive design firm that works on making cultural spaces and galleries, libraries, archives, and museums accessible and welcoming to the widest possible audience. I'm a blind computer scientist, and absolutely fortunate and privileged to be an AstroAccess ambassador.
Mat Kaplan: And not only an ambassador, but you were able to fly on that very first ZERO-G AstroAccess flight, right?
Sina Bahram: That's true.
Mat Kaplan: Was that as great an adventure as I bet it was?
Sina Bahram: Even more so.
Mat Kaplan: What is AstroAccess all about?
Anna Voelker: AstroAccess is all about looking at space and humanity's future as it relates to space and thinking about who gets to be a part of that. And so what we want to do is redefine the definition of who gets to be an astronaut and make sure that we're sending the best of the best of space, not just the best of people who happen to have a certain body type or people who happen to not be have a disability. And so AstroAccess is something that we started to really connect folks who are leaders in the disability advocacy community with the leaders in the space industry to connect a bridge and say, let's start making space accessible. And the truest version of that word access. Let's mean it. Let's make actual changes so that we can ensure the future of space is equitable.
Mat Kaplan: And you had on that first flight, there was quite a spectrum. I mean, a real rainbow of disabilities, right?
Anna Voelker: Absolutely. Yes. So for our first flight, we had three primary crews, a blind crew researching variety of different technologies and demonstrations, a deaf crew who was looking at American sign language legibility as well as non-auditory communication forms and a mobility crew who are working on things like station keeping and handholds in the microgravity environment.
Mat Kaplan: How did you find out about this AstroAccess opportunity? I'll put it that way.
Sina Bahram: So this has been a dream since I've been about four years old. I grew up reading speculative fiction. I'm blind. So I would like read books on tape. Pretty much exhausted, the library of Congress in terms of Star Trek books and speculative fiction and things of that nature. When the application came out, pretty much everybody that was in my personal group in circles thought I was going to apply. And it was a really busy time in my life. I was like, it's probably a low chance I'm going to get it, that sort of thing. And then I started making the video. I started filling out the application, the incredibly well thought out and inclusive application...
Anna Voelker: Thank You.
Sina Bahram: ... due to the amazing work of the person sitting to my right. And then it really clicked for me how deeply meaningful this is because space to me is a canvas.
Sina Bahram: And it's an opportunity for us not to repeat the mistakes of our past. When we think about aviation, when we think about boats, when we think about so many of the forms of transportation that humanity has come up with for the past millennia, they're not inclusive, they're not inclusive to people with varying abilities. They're not inclusive in a variety of ways, and we cannot repeat and perpetuate those mistakes in space. So this is deeply important to me and I just absolutely privileged and honored to be a part of making sure that 25% of the world's populations that are present with disabilities, 50% of the people over age of 35 are able to experience this and also contribute because we're leaving so many amazing brains and good ideas on the table by not including the most incredible problem solvers we have, which is persons with disabilities and varying abilities.
Mat Kaplan: Beautifully expressed. I'm even wondering if we should be using the term disability in this case, because it's been pointed out to me. And I think this is something that you folks had asked who access have talked about, Anna. Some of these so-called disabilities may be new abilities in space. I don't know how well I'm expressing that.
Anna Voelker: Yes, no. And I'm glad you raised that point because I think that's one of the reasons it is important that we use this word disability, because what we want people to understand is that we're reframing the public's perception and the average perception of disability, it's something that is not a bad word. And in so many cases, an advantage. And so I think it's actually critical that we do use that terminology and we put it in this new context. And I'm glad you mentioned that when we're looking at micro gravity, legs are in the way, there's no such thing as standing, right. And when we talk about motion sickness, we have known for decades and decades, that many deaf individuals are immune to motion sickness depending on how they became deaf. And so this is something that is an actual advantage.
Anna Voelker: And as Sina very importantly pointed out, people with disabilities are by nature problem solvers because every day they're going through a world that was not built for them. And space was not built for people to live in, right. Our good friend and colleague and fellow AstroAccess leader. Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen always says, space is constantly trying to kill you. It is an environment that isn't designed for us. And so by being people in environments, not designed by and for them so often, it's an advantage when it comes to navigating the space environment and so I think it's important that we keep that word disability it in and put it in people's minds in this new context, because so often people don't understand that it's really the environment that so often is creating these barriers. And so we want to reshape and redefine what that environment looks like on earth and beyond it.
Sina Bahram: This is the social model of disability, right? It is the environment that is disabling, not the individual that is disabled. And when we take this ethos and apply it to space, we understand that it's not only a matter of inclusion and equity. It's also a matter of safety. If you think about the affordances and the tactics that we would use to facilitate access for a blind astronaut, those are exactly the kinds of life saving measures we would want when somebody is unable to see, even if they're a sighted individual. When someone is unable to move their arms, even if they are somebody who has the ability to do those things.
Sina Bahram: So not only are these actions that we're taking of these affordances that we're building important because we want to include this entire swath of humanity. It is actually necessary in order to build those exact tactical and strategic redundancies into our processes, into our spacecraft, into our missions, so as to maximize our chances of success in that incredibly harsh environment that we were just speaking about, and by not using it, where in a way you're racing or diminishing the contributions of so many people that have existed as disabled folks here on planet earth.
Sina Bahram: And we want to make sure we're honoring that experience and then benefiting from it for the benefit of all of us.
Mat Kaplan: You too are terrific spokespeople. I can't let you go until you tell us how was it, how did it feel to be in microgravity?
Sina Bahram: Blissful. It was the most perfect combination of bliss and awe and just the wow factor, but also for scientifically minded and curious folks. It's also just this incredible experiment that you get to live inside of. You really get to experience Newton's laws of motion. You get to viscerally understand some of those things that maybe you've done the math for, or that you've imagined since a very young age. And it's also freeing because you really do... To quote the poem, feel the surly bonds of earth slip away. That's a incredible feeling and it's one of freedom that honestly resides with me even six months after the experience. And I can't wait to experience it again. It is absolute bliss.
Mat Kaplan: Are you ready to go further? You want to go in orbit?
Sina Bahram: Absolutely. Yeah.
Mat Kaplan: I think, I knew that. What's next for AstroAccess? I think, I read that a second flight is in the work.
Anna Voelker: There is, yes. We have so much in store in this year and beyond it. And I'm so excited because for me, that first flight wasn't the end. It was really just the beginning. It's a jumping off point for this future that we're building together. It was a really emotional experience for me because it was something that I've really been dreaming of working on for so long. And this was such a tangible start to seeing that change. And so, yes, we do have actually multiple Zero-G flights happening this year, which I'm very excited to share and to announce to your audience. And so we'll be flying with some partners at MIT in May, and then we'll be doing our own chartered flight in November, as well as possibly one or even two additional flights with other partner organizations in 2022. And I do want to point out too, that this is actually building to that next step, to sending people to space.
Anna Voelker: And even beyond that, one of our critical AstroAccess goals right now is connecting to every single company involved in building a space station. And that next generation of space architecture is currently underway. What we have been doing is connecting with key stakeholders at all of these companies and challenging them to ensure that these space stations that they are designing are accessible. And we are offering our ambassadors like the amazing person sitting next to me and our experts and our volunteers and our organizers as a consultants, as leaders who can help shape that because we want to ensure that these are being designed by in four people with disabilities, so that when we go to space and when we put these new space stations into orbit, we don't have to worry about retrofitting something that was inaccessible. We're doing it right from the start. And that's called universal design, where from step one, you prioritize access and inclusion as an intentional choice you make, every step of that design process.
Mat Kaplan: How do people learn more?
Anna Voelker: They can visit our website @astroaccess.org. They can also contribute to the mission. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit partnered with Yuri's Night, the amazing party we're at right now. You can support also by joining our volunteer team. So all of that information is on our website, and we'd love to welcome you to join our mission and to apply it to what you do, your work and your circles. I think, the best way people can be a part of AstroAccess is thinking a little harder about access and the barriers that people experience in your own environments and thinking about what you can do to address them in your everyday life.
Mat Kaplan: Thank you both so much.
Sina Bahram: Thank You.
Mat Kaplan: I want to let you go and enjoy this loud party.
Sina Bahram: Thank you so much.
Mat Kaplan: You bet. A great pleasure.
Sina Bahram: Thank you.
Mat Kaplan: Yuri's Night LA extended far beyond the big room with Endeavor. Exhibitors, including The Planetary Society lined several of the museum galleries. It was near one of these that I struck up a conversation with Kim Macharia.
Kim Macharia: Yes, I am the executive director for Space Prize, and we're all about empowering young women to get into the space industry. So we are launching a global contest this summer, where girls from anywhere in the world, aged 15 to 80, can apply to win the chance to go to the edge of space with space perspective. Not only that, they also can get the chance to open a zero-G flight as per our finalists. So 30 finalists for our contests will going on zero-G flight together. Then they'll also get a year of mentorship as well. And on top of that in June, we'll be launching an open source space education curriculum that touches on topics like space philosophy, the new space economy, and general space science principles and it incorporates elements, design thinking. So we're doing a lot to try and build out the next generation of industry's workforce.
Mat Kaplan: Space Perspective, correct me if I'm wrong. That's the newest company that wants to take people up to the edge of space under a balloon, right?
Kim Macharia: Yes, they're doing some pretty fantastic work and they're set to start flying people in 2024. So we are really excited to be collaborating with them and to really again shape the future of the growing space economy.
Mat Kaplan: I'll tell you is exciting as those real life experiences are going to be the value of the mentorship sounds especially great.
Kim Macharia: Absolutely. We actually just did a pilot program in New York city where we're giving away a zero-G fight to one girl in every borough, which is pretty amazing. Not only that, but all the girls going to get mentorship. And I just took via 24 finalists for the competition. I took them on a field trip to the New York City Challenger Center. And all of the finalists got to be featured in a billboard that was in Times Square for a whole week. It was a pretty incredible experience. And so during our field trip, I spoke to the girls and asked them what they found so unique and compelling about our competition. And these young women were just so happy to be able to connect with women... Other or as more established women who are really making incredible strides for women in general, in the space industry. And they're beyond happy to be connected to their mentors. And I can't wait to see the ways in which these mentorship opportunities transform their lives, not just in the near term, but 10-15 years down the road.
Mat Kaplan: Who I know, would've been absolutely thrilled to see this program coming together is somebody who used to be a contributor to our show, a regular contributor Sally ride.
Kim Macharia: Oh, absolutely. I mean, those level of women really set the stage for these kinds of opportunities to exist. And I frequently let the young women, I work with know that, yes, right now only about 12% or so of all astronauts have been women, but thanks to the commercialization of space, that is quickly changing.
Mat Kaplan: And I'm thinking that 12% women, quite a bit lower for women of color.
Kim Macharia: Oh, absolutely. I mean, we're here at the Yuri's in LA and Sian Proctor spoke. She is the fourth black women to ever go to space and the first black woman, a pilot of spacecraft. So when you think about those demographics in regards to women of color, they are pretty stark, but it's going to take a lot of intentional work in order to shift these numbers at a pace that's appropriate.
Mat Kaplan: So again, Space Price, new to me. Space Frontier Foundation, not so new. I've been working with folks from Space Frontier Foundation for a long time. I guess there have been some changes lately.
Kim Macharia: There certainly have. We have been around since 1988. And I think a lot of people across the industry would credit us, was helping to shape the commercial space sector into what it is today. Now that the commercial space sector is vibrant, it's thriving. What we now are trying to do is ensure what the industry's workforce is representative of the global population because this industry, it's growing beyond industry. It's becoming a global economy. The global space economy in order, I think to get to help humanity reach its fullest potential, when it comes to activities and endeavors and space, we have to make sure all of us are involved and right now, that's not the case.
Mat Kaplan: I look forward to the day when it won't be useful to bring this up, but it is still somewhat remarkable to see you a woman of color now heading an organization that has the kind of history that Space Frontier Foundation has. Looks like progress.
Kim Macharia: Absolutely. I mean, Rick Tumlinson, one of the co-founders of the Space Frontier Foundation.
Mat Kaplan: Know him well.
Kim Macharia: He is one of my favorites. Favorite humans in the industry. He actually had asked me to take on his position or recommended me to take this on. And I remember at the time I did feel a bit nervous in doing so because I really do greatly respect the legacy, but he and the other co-founders established through their work and their efforts. But thankfully things have been going pretty well for us. We've launched a number of initiatives, set to promote workforce development, sustainability, and space, and diversity and inclusion in the space industry. Not only that, we're also bringing back our annual conference new space this summer, August 24th to 26th. It's great to be a spectacular event.
Mat Kaplan: How do people learn more about both of these organizations?
Kim Macharia: Well, they can go to spaceprize.org to learn more about Space Prize, and you can also go to spacefrontier.org to learn more about the Space Frontier Foundation.
Mat Kaplan: Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure. Great work.
Kim Macharia: Thank you.
Mat Kaplan: I'll be back with Yuri's Night founders, George and Loretta Whitesides in less than a minute.
Sarah Al-Ahmed: There's so much going on in the world to space science and exploration, and we are here to share it with you. Hi, I'm Sarah, digital community manager for The Planetary Society. Are you looking for a place to get more space, catch the latest space exploration news, pretty planetary pictures and Planetary Society publications on our social media channels? You can find The Planetary Society at Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Make sure you like and subscribe, so you never miss the next exciting update from the world of planetary science.
Mat Kaplan: I couldn't leave the party without saying hello to the couple who started it all. They were just a couple of grad students back in 2001. When I joined them and a handful of other Yuri's Night founders in a Caltech classroom. George Whitesides would go on to become the leader of the National Space Society, chief of staff for the NASA administrator and CEO of Virgin Galactic. Biologist, Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides became a flight director for the zero-G corporation would appear in James Cameron's IMAX documentary Aliens of the Deep and create space kind as in humankind, her program for future leaders. Before we talk with George and Loretta, here's a brief sample of her appearance on the Yuri's Night stage. This was minutes before Dr. Sian Proctor, astronaut on the three day inspiration for orbital mission presented Loretta with a JEDI Award. That's justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Oh! I'm in my element. Are you kidding me? I was born to be under a space shuttle. This is where I shine. This is my happy place. Not just in this room, but with you all, because who I am is about people. And I love people, especially space people, who hears space person. Yeah, those are my people. I mean, I love everyone. Don't get me wrong. I love all people, but I really love space people. So my husband, George and I created Yuri's Night. 20 years ago, 2001 space a year, you cannot throw a space party in 2001. And we're so excited that it's still going on.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: When we created Yuri's Night, we said it was a holiday that would still be celebrated 10,000 years in the future. When humanity is scattered among 12 different star systems, what will we still celebrate? What will matter to us? We won't even be around the same star to celebrate new years because your year will change to another. Yeah, you're getting it. Okay, good. It's making sure. But the day, the first human left our home world and ventured out will be something that we all can carry with us and unite us.
Mat Kaplan: Founders, fellow founders. 21 years in, still going strong, still a hell of a party. I've lost my voice as usual.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Yeah. As a amazing night. And I'm just couldn't be more happy with how it all went. And there were so many people came out and they got to feel the Yuri's Night magic. So I hope that keeps spreading and more people come, because it's a really unique event.
Mat Kaplan: There are so many new facets to what's going on here. Some of which I hope we can talk about in the couple of minutes we've got Cosmic Odyssey being one of them. AstroAccess, George, I told you that I already talked to your executive director. You're the chairman, right?
George Whitesides: Yeah. Or something like that. I don't know. I'm trying to be supportive of Anna and help start it with her.
Mat Kaplan: Why is this something that you're putting your time into?
George Whitesides: I really do believe that we should aspire to have space be accessible to all people. Right. And that's what I think our time is all about, is opening up space to more people.
Mat Kaplan: Right.
George Whitesides: And one key part of that is folks who might have a disability or some other something. And the fact of the matter is that space should be open to those people. And, more to the point designing space vehicles for those people, I think will make those space vehicles safer and better and more usable for everybody.
Mat Kaplan: Just like they have down here on earth with curb cuts and things like that.
George Whitesides: Exactly. And so now is the perfect time to be thinking about this with the new generation of space stations being designed and all these new space vehicles that are starting to come to fruition. So it's a great time to be thinking about this and to sort of inculcate that idea into the space industry.
Mat Kaplan: More flights are planned, right?
George Whitesides: We have plans for multiple flights, this year. Some in partnership with other great partners and some dedicated. So that'll be really exciting.
Mat Kaplan: Cosmic Odyssey, does that mesh with this somehow it's a separate organization, but is this sort of where Yuri's Night is evolving into?
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Absolutely. We're taking on a lot of new projects and [Niko Blanks 00:44:14] is the space kind alumni who is undergraduate Embry-Riddle. And he came to me with this idea and he's like, when I got cancer, I had an inoperable brain tumor when I was a kid. And the Austin Hatcher Foundation sent me to space camp and it changed my life. It taught me that just having this happening doesn't mean that I can't do great things. And now he just got hired at Blue Origin and so after graduation. So it's just been amazing to get to... As he says, pay it forward.
Mat Kaplan: It does represent an evolution of what Yuri's Night, from what it was when we got this started 21 years ago. I love telling people [crosstalk 00:44:55]
George Whitesides: Help start Matt.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Yeah.
Mat Kaplan: I am extremely proud of that. I was going to wear my dancing Snoopy, but I couldn't find him. That was the award you guys gave me that year. But again, it represents an evolution of what this is about, but it's always been for the people, right?
George Whitesides: Yeah. Absolutely. It's always been connecting all great people that Loretta's managed to connect and art and science and space and music and all these great things. It's such a wonderful connection point.
Mat Kaplan: And a lot of these people, I don't know if she's going to make it in here or not, but Christy Fair, who is what in charge of the LA operational, the party tonight.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Yeah.
Mat Kaplan: But she's involved with other stuff like AstroAccess, right? I mean it's really blossomed.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Yeah. And Cosmic Odyssey. So it takes a village, we had 400 volunteers here tonight, making this party happen and we have incredible teams, volunteer teams that put together a Cosmic Odyssey program as well. Like I said, we like to power everything with love.
Mat Kaplan: And I'm very proud that our Planetary Society volunteers have been, I guess, on the registration desk, once again.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Yes. Oh, we couldn't do it without Planetary Society over there. They are rock stars. It's so fun working with you all.
Mat Kaplan: Where do we go from here? Where do you see? Well, any of the things that we've talked about, AstroAccess, Cosmic Odyssey Yuri's Night itself?
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Well, the other program we launched with Yuri's Night is called Space Kind. My Space Kind training. It's like JEDI training for the space professionals. We're going to be continue to do that. So people should check that out, space kind of to work. But what I'm really excited about right now is there's going to be another total eclipse of the sun coming to the United States, April 8th, 2024. So we're like, oh, well Yuri's Night. That's a slam dunk we got to do. So I'm already envisioning like a three day music festival in Hill Country of Texas. We bring all the space actors from [Voktika 00:46:55] and all the Blue Origin folks from Van Horn. And we invite the whole space community to come and take four minutes of the most majestic, powerful experience of the overview effect you can have on earth.
Mat Kaplan: That is thrilling. And I'll probably miss it if it's in Texas, because I think I'm going to be back at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale will be the only place where the paths crossed. Right. I was on stage in the football stadium.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Oh that's awesome.
Mat Kaplan: It was. It really was. It was great fun. So that's something to look forward to a couple of years from now you set on stage today that you think people will be celebrating Yuri's Night, 10,000 years from now.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Yeah, absolutely. And we're also really excited because Disney Junior has a animated series for kids called Miles From Tomorrow Land. And they've got an episode called Yuri's Night, all about Yuri's Night celebrated. I don't know how many years that is in the future, but they're out in space zooming around and having parties and helping rock stars, get to their gigs when their spaceships break down. And it does inspire me. With the Renaissance we're seeing in space exploration right now, things are just going exponential into so many flights last year. We had the Axiom 1 flight yesterday and Inspiration4 flight last year. We had Bezos flight and Bransons flight and it's so exciting. It's an exciting time to be in space. I love it.
Mat Kaplan: George, National Space Society, NASA, Virgin Galactic, where you're still active. Right. What's next for you?
George Whitesides: I'm trying to figure it out. But I do think that the problem of our time is taking care of spaceship earth. You know, we have 20 or 30 years to figure out how we're going to get carbon emissions down to net zero. And so I think that'll probably be something that I spend a fair amount of time on.
Mat Kaplan: I'm not surprised. Thank you both for all that you've done. And for helping us in the evening here at Yuri's Night, 2022. Isn't it?
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: Yep. 22. Yeah, that's where we're at.
George Whitesides: And Mat, just one of the memories that I have of your involvement is editing the initial Yuri's Night video on like a weird MPEG thing in your living room in 2001 or whatever it was. And so really grateful to you and everybody at Planetary for everything you've done to help support this outreach event over the years.
Mat Kaplan: Thank you for letting me and us be a part of it for all these years guys. Great evening. Thanks for the party.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides: You're welcome. That's good to have you back.
Mat Kaplan: George Whitesides and Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, closing our coverage of the 2022 Yuri's Night LA celebration. I'm grateful to them and the hundreds of other volunteers who made it a great night. Time for What's Up on Planetary Radio. Bruce Betts, the chief scientist of The Planetary Society is here. He's ready and waiting to deliver the night sky to us. A happy post Yuri's Night, Bruce.
Bruce Betts: Happy that to you as well. Mat Kaplan, is that you?
Mat Kaplan: Yeah, every week at just about this time.
Bruce Betts: Hi, there's cool stuff in that morning sky. Have you seen it, Mat? Do you get up early? Do you go out and look to the east?
Mat Kaplan: If you [inaudible 00:50:13] specify the early morning? No, I have not lately. No.
Bruce Betts: Well for those who do, it is super cool right now in low in the morning east. We've got a bunch of bright planets all lined up from lower left to upper right. We have very bright Jupiter, super bright Venus and then dimmer Mars, but reddish and dimmer Saturn yellowish, all in a line pretty evenly spaced right about the time we're putting this out. But Jupiter and Venus are going to go snuggling. They're going to snuggle close together. Very close together. Yeah. They're closer than the diameter of a full moon. They'll be doing that on April 30th. So check out the two brightest planets and the night sky.
Bruce Betts: Before that the moon will join the lineup of planets. Crescent moon 25th, 26th, 27th will be moving its way through the lineup of planets. Finally, on April 30th, there's also a partial solar eclipse visible from the South-Eastern Pacific ocean and Southern South America. And a couple weeks later, some of us are getting a total inner eclipse, but we'll check back on that. Let us move on to this week in space history as 1972, that Apollo 16 landed took off again, came back, landed on earth. So after visiting humans to the moon, and we may just come back to that in just a moment. But first 32 years, if I'm doing the math right, which I am Hubble space telescope was deployed.
Mat Kaplan: Good Lord. Here's a request from a regular listener, [Laura Dodd 00:51:50] in California, might Bruce be able to announce random space facts with a Mid-Atlantic accent like a 1940 era news flash?
Bruce Betts: I don't know if I can, but let's try. News flash, random space pack in San Diego, California, the Apollo 16 Command Module today on May 5th, 1972 was involved in an explosion in a hanger. That's right. The Apollo 16 Command Module that took astronauts to and from the moon just days ago was next to a cart that was taking fuel off the Command Module and then flushing the system. Something got over pressurized and boom! But don't worry, people. Everyone will heal. There were however, 40 windows blown out. More importantly, there were 40... What was that? Let me get just second. Yes. Okay. It's 46 people were sent to the hospital for observation and one person had a broken kneecap, but fortunately they're all recovered. However, there was a whole blown in the hangar roof, 250 feet above and some small damage done to the Apollo 16 capsule. That's it for our news flashback to our regular programming.
Mat Kaplan: Wow. That was a terrific bulletin. I had no idea. I'd never heard of. Did you say this happened in San Diego?
Bruce Betts: North island. So technically, Coronado.
Mat Kaplan: News to me and therefore a terrific news bulletin. Thank you for the suggestion, Laura. Well timed, well played.
Bruce Betts: All right. We'll do the trivia contest this time in a south Atlantic accent. No, I don't know the difference. We asked alphabetically what moon of a planet is last using the official names and in English, how do we do Mat?
Mat Kaplan: We got a huge response to this one. The biggest we've had in [inaudible 00:53:50] yeah. [crosstalk 00:53:52] Here is an answer. I won't say the correct one. From Dave Fairchild, our poet laureate in Kansas embryo was on the list. The final in the line since 1851, it sat and said, the end is mine. And then 2000 came along with YMIR. Y-M-I-R, in its wake when sorting alphabetically, it takes the bottom cake. So YMIR. I hope I'm pronouncing it correctly. And, it's correct.
Bruce Betts: Yes, it is indeed correct. YMIR. However, it's properly pronounced as an 18 kilometer object, little moon around Saturn. One of it's more than 80 that we've discovered so far.
Mat Kaplan: Congratulations, Anthony Lewis, first time winner, longtime listener is going to get that beautiful Planetary Society kick asteroid set, including the 18 by 24 inch poster, a pin and four stickers from chop shop that you can find @chopshopstore.com where all of The Planetary Society merchandise is. Congratulations. Anthony who adds happy belated birthday, Mat. Apparently, I share the same birthday as his dad. So happy birthday Anthony's dad, as well.
Bruce Betts: I did not know that.
Mat Kaplan: I got more. Edwin King in the UK says let's ignore the wonderfully named Vanth, [Wayart 00:55:15] and [Shiangliu 00:55:17] with an X. Those were interesting moons from [Arton 00:55:22], [Uzac 00:55:23] and Arizona. Jupiter's moon on dress stay would be first on the list. If you had been asking for the first on the list, I guess there goes another possible quiz question for you, Bruce.
Bruce Betts: Man, I'll try to come up with another one. You keep talking.
Mat Kaplan: Gene Lewin, here are just a couple of stances from the poem that he sent us, not Uranus or our Neptune blue, it's earth, we're talking here. Take flesh and bones and teeth for stones from the first giant named [Inyr 00:55:54] not a scrap was wasted. His hair became the tree's eyelashes formed defense for man and his blood did fill the seas because YMIR was the first of the frost giants. And apparently when he died, that's how we got earth. So thanks, YMIR.
Bruce Betts: Wow. Thank you. Feel like we should have given him something bigger than 18 kilometers, but oh!
Mat Kaplan: It'll do. We're ready to move on though.
Bruce Betts: All right. Here's your question for the next time. Who was the youngest person to walk on the moon at the time of walking on the moon, go to planetary.org/radio contest. I will give you a hint. It is one of 12 people.
Mat Kaplan: Boy, that really narrows it down. Doesn't it? You've got until the 27th, that it be Wednesday, April 27th at 8:00 A.M. Pacific time to get us this answer. And you've been asking about it. We're going to offer the winner this time a Planetary Society kick asteroid, rubber asteroid. So let the enthusiastic submissions begin. We're done.
Bruce Betts: All right, everybody go out there a couple of nights sky and think about news flash. Mat Kaplan gives away rubber asteroid. Back to you, Jim.
Mat Kaplan: Film it 11. I don't say that anymore. He's Bruce Betts. He's here with us every week. He's the chief scientist of The Planetary Society and he brings us what's Up. Planetary Radio is produced by The Planetary Society in Pasadena, California, and is made possible by its members who know how to party for space, wherever they are. Join the dance at planetary.org/join. Mark Hilverda and Rae Paoletta are our associate producers. Josh Doyle composed our theme, which is arranged and performed by Pieter Schlosser. Ad astra.