Frank Centinello is currently a first-year PhD student in geophysics and planetary science at MIT. His research includes geodesy using GPS measurements and orbit determination using the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Cameras (LROC). His research interests include geodesy and gravimetry using air- and space-born technology, and what insights might be gained as a result (i.e.: How does Earth's center of mass move, and how does its rotation rate change as the sea level rises? does the Moon have a molten core?). In 2009, Frank worked on the operations team for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera at Arizona State University, and will present some raw images of the Moon from LROC and a topographical map from LOLA at NECOS. From 2004 - 2007, Frank studied GPS/INS navigation for his masters research at the University at Buffalo under Dr. John Crassidis. While a student at UB, he participated in research at the Technical University of Darmstadt, NASA, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. In his spare time, Frank enjoys talking to grade schoolers about space exploration, traveling, and SLAM poetry among any other adventures that might sneak up.
Richard Nakka has extensive experience in amateur experimental rocketry and is a very activate member of the amateur rocketry community. Richard Nakka received a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1984 from the University of Manitoba. He wrote his graduation thesis on Solid Propellant Rocket Motor Design and Testing, which was inspired by his rocket experimentation. He lives in Toronto, where he is employed at Bombardier Aerospace, and currently positioned as an Engineering Specialist in aero-structures, working on the splendid Global Express Cprporate Jet Project. He is authorized by Transport Canada as Design Approval Designee for airframe and systems stress disciplines.
Richard Nakka is the author of nakka-rocketry.net, a website devoted to Experimental Rocketry, and is the Program Director of the Sugar Shot to Space Project. This project seeks to launch a rocket powered by "Sugar Propellant" to the 100 km altitude Karman line.
Dr. Dejan Stojkovic is an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo in the Department of Physics. He received his Phd from the Case Western Reserve University. He research interest includes cosmology, general relativity, field theory, black holes and extra dimensions.
Dr. Stojkovic's research on Black Holes has been featured in the USA Today, and Astronomy Now. He has also sought to allay fears that the Large Hadron Collider will create a black hole, destroying Earth. His research has helped to create the BlackMax program, which simulates the experimental signature of microscopic black-hole production and evolution at the LHC.
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides has degrees in biology from Caltech and Stanford and has traveled 2 miles down to the bottom of the ocean with director James Cameron to film the 3D IMAX movie "Aliens of the Deep." Loretta floats weightless as crew for ZERO-G's 727 aircraft, blogs daily about space exploration for Wired Science and leads workshops on Launching Your Career in Space for undergrads. Loretta and her husband George are the co-creators of Yuri's Night, the annual world wide space party celebrated every April 12th. They also have tickets for the first ever space honeymoon on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. A leader and pioneer in the Space Generation community, Loretta is passionate about bringing together people who want to use space to make a difference for the planet.
When I first came upon Frank's book in the school library in the early 1990's I felt like someone had finally put to words the part of space that I was most excited about. I read it cover to cover and took it up as an explanation of the huge promise of space, its ability to transform our current level of thinking from the level of nation states to the level of planets. I am still inspired about it to this day.
-- Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides