Editor’s Corner: A Successful Year

Earlier this year, when Space Times was revamped, and Space Talk was launched for the first time, there were many expectations about shining light on space-related topics in new ways. To many individuals, “rocket science”-topics are truly interesting, but at least occasionally, easy-to-understand pieces of information are somewhat out of reach. When I was thinking through a new initiative at the American Astronautical Society, access to space-related information – except defense-related and classified information – was noted as a motivational factor. As a result, the idea of Space Talk was born. In light of the success, Space Talk has seen this year, with a total of nearly 3 hours (178 minutes) of recording about space-related topics, I am delighted to witness the overall Space Talk initiative being brought to life from my idea to meeting the objective of spreading space-related knowledge to anyone with Internet access, free of charge.

Space Talk guests are all experts in their respective subject areas, and they accentuate this knowledge-sharing experience – specifically since the discussions in each Space Talk are intentionally kept at a level so the general public can follow along. In 2023, four guests kindly joined me for topics such as the starry messenger, time travel, the Moon’s most important resource, and the James Webb Space Telescope. The 2023 Space Talk guests were as follows:

  • Dr. Matthew Greenhouse (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
  • Dr. Ronald L. Mallett (University of Connecticut)
  • Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (Hayden Planetarium)
  • Dr. Casey I. Honniball (University of Maryland/NASA Goddard Flight Center)

One of the strengths of Space Talk is that it touches upon multidisciplinary topics in the space domain with a general interest in mind. In each episode, there is also a specific segment that explores the views and recommendations of each guest about how someone can join the space community. Notably, all Space Talk episodes are permanently available through the American Astronautical Society’s Space Talk page and accessible to anyone with Internet access free of charge.

Considering the success of Space Talk in 2023, undoubtedly, 2024 will see more exhilarating episodes as Space Talk has caught the attention of space leaders, astronauts, academicians, and other professionals within the space community.

This year also marked additional success for Space Times. In 2023, Space Times featured three guest authors underlining crucial discussions about high-performance spaceflight computing, safety framework for commercial human space flight, and low-gravity fluid mechanics. The Space Times guest authors were as follows:

  • Dr. Álvaro Romero-Calvo (The Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Paul L. Schimel (Microchip Technology)
  • Dr. Josef Koller (Aerospace Corporation)

Moreover, Space Times contributors Cindy Schumacher and Linda Grimm also authored two articles about the 2023 AMOS conference and the Mars InSight Lander. 2024 brings many new opportunities, and the American Astronautical Society looks forward to future Space Times contributions and viewpoints across the entire space sector.

As we head towards the Holiday Season, I would like to express my gratitude to all Space Talk guests, all Space Times authors/contributors, and all American Astronautical Society colleagues who made Space Times and Space Talk possible.

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Amir S. Gohardani