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THE WORLD'S LARGEST AND MOST SPECTACULAR ASTRONOMY & SPACE EXPO

THE

SPEAKERS

NEAF  searches the world to bring you the astronomers, researchers, scientists, and personalities that are making science history today. 

No where else will you find such an extensive caliber of talent brought together in one place.

Bob Cabana

NASA Associate Administrator

 

ROBERT D. CABANA is a former NASA astronaut, currently serving as the agency’s associate administrator, its third highest-ranking executive and highest-ranking civil servant. He is the senior advisor to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. In his role, Cabana leads the agency’s 10 center directors as well as the mission directorate associate administrators at headquarters. He acts as the agency’s chief operating officer for more than 18,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $25 billion.
Before taking that position, Cabana was director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In that role, Cabana managed all NASA facilities and activities at the spaceport, including the team of civil service and contractor employees who operate and support numerous space programs and projects.

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Norm Knight
Norm Knight 
 

The Flight Operations Directorate is responsible for providing trained astronaut crew members and for overall planning, directing, managing, and implementing overall mission operations for NASA human spaceflight programs. The Directorate is also responsible for all JSC aircraft operations including aircrew training.
In 2012, Norm was selected as the Chief of the Flight Director Office and then as the Deputy Director of the Flight Operations Directorate (FOD) in 2018, after serving a temporary assignment as the Assistant Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. In 2021, Norm was selected as the Director of FOD.

Director, NASA Flight Operations Directorate

Holly Ridings

First Female Chief Flight Director, deputy program manager for NASA’s Gateway project.

 

HOLLY RIDINGS began her NASA career in 1997 at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, before becoming a flight controller at NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, where she led teams supporting the International Space Station.  Holly Ridings, the first female chief of NASA’s flight directors, will now help lead the agency’s Gateway Program, an international partnership to establish humanity’s first space station around the Moon.
In her new role, Ridings will serve as the deputy program manager, where she will lead teams to build and launch NASA’s foundational infrastructure in deep space.

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Gerry Griffin 
 

GERRY GRIFFIN served as a flight director during the Apollo program and director of Johnson Space Center, succeeding Chris Kraft in 1982.  In 1964 Griffin joined NASA in Houston as a flight controller in Mission Control, specializing in guidance, navigation and control systems during Project Gemini. In 1968 he was named a Mission Control flight director and served in that role for all of the Apollo Program manned missions including all manned missions to the Moon.

Apollo Flight Director 

David Levy

Astronomer, Author

 

DAVID H. LEVY is a Canadian astronomer and science writer who co-discovered Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 in 1993, which collided with the planet Jupiter in 1994. Levy was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1948. He developed an interest in astronomy at an early age. However, he pursued and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature.
Levy went on to discover 22 comets, either independently or with Gene and Carolyn S. Shoemaker. He has written 34 books, mostly on astronomical subjects, such as The Quest for Comets, a biography of Pluto-discoverer Clyde Tombaugh in 2006, and his tribute to Gene Shoemaker in Shoemaker by Levy. He has provided periodic articles for Sky and Telescope magazine, as well as Parade Magazine, Sky News and, most recently, Astronomy Magazine.

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Felix Schlang
 

FELIX started his career in space news reporting in 2019 with the launch with of his YouTube channel What about it!?  and in only a few short years has become one of the most prominent and respected sources of news regarding  all things in the exciting world of private space development. In his weekly videos he brings us up to date with everything concerning SpaceX, Blue Origin, Rocket Lab and all the upstart companies developing new rockets.   In this short time he has achieved 2 million views on his videos and live streams to 60,000 people on YouTube. 

Space news reporter and host of YouTube’s What about it!? 

Jean Wright 

NASA Seamstress, Author

 

JEAN WRIGHT was the last "Sew Sister" hired during the space shuttle program.  The white material on the outside of space shuttles was not metal or composite but actually fabric.  Wright was one of eighteen “Sew Sisters” who hand crafted these thermal blankets which covered the space shuttles and protected the astronauts from deadly heat and radiation.
Capturing both the grandeur of space flight and the intimacy of a needle and thread, her new book “Sew Sister” tells the story of Jean’s childhood passion for space and sewing, and her fascinating work for NASA’s shuttle program.

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Christina Koch

Artemis II Astronaut 

 

CHRISTINA HAMMOCK KOCH was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2013. In 2018, she was assigned to her first space flight, a long duration mission on the ISS. She served as flight engineer on the International Space Station (ISS) for Expedition 59, 60 and 61. Koch set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days in space. Koch conducted six spacewalks, including the first three all women spacewalks, totaling 42 hours and 15 minutes.  She has been assigned as Mission Specialist I of NASA’s Artemis II mission.

Alyssa Pagan

Webb Imagery, The Art and Science in Translating Cosmic Infrared Light 

 

Alyssa Pagan is a Science Visuals Developer in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in art and design from Towson University and a second bachelor’s in Astronomy from the 

University of Maryland, College Park. Leveraging art and science, Alyssa applies an in-depth technical understanding of image formats, image quality, resolution, color management, metadata, and photo printing, along with the principles of photography and design to the presentation of astronomical data.
The amazing visions from the Webb Space Telescope have captivated the world. However, there is a long and involved process by which the scientist's black and white observational data are transformed into dynamic color imagery for the public. Join image specialist Alyssa Pagan as she discusses the art and science of translating infrared light into amazing images.

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Robert Reeves
 

Robert Reeves has been exploring the cosmos since 1958 and took his first lunar photograph in 1959. In 1984 Reeves began publishing articles
about astrophotography in Astronomy magazine. Since then, Robert has published over 250 magazine articles and 250 newspaper columns

Astrophotographer / Author

about astronomy. His articles have appeared in Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, Deep Sky, Deep Sky Journal, Amateur Astronomy, and The Astrograph. In 1994 Reeves published his first book, The Superpower Space Race, followed by The Conquest of Space, co-authored with Fritz Bronner. In 2000, Robert published Wide-Field Astrophotography, followed by Introduction to Digital Astrophophotography in 2005 and Introduction to Webcam Astrophotography in 2006.
The Moon presents delightful apparitions throughout the month, ranging from the fanciful Cheshire Cat smile of a crescent moon above the sunset horizon to the friendly face of the Man-in-the-Moon rising in the east at full moon. But how much does the average observer really understand about Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor? Robert Reeves unravels the mystery of the Moon’s face and shows it to be a geologic wonderland, seemingly frozen in time, yet changing night by night, Reeves visits the sentimental favorite features enjoyed by both novice and seasoned lovers of the Moon and explains in non-technical terms the Moon’s geology and topography and how the Moon’s face evolved over billions of years. Robert Reeves strips the mystery from the Moon and reveals it as a world waiting
to be explored and understood through a telescope.

 

JOE RAO is the eight-time Emmy nominated meteorologist and on air personality.  In addition to his on-air fame, Joe is also an avid amateur astronomer.  He has co-lead several eclipse expeditions and served as an on-board meteorologist for three eclipse cruises. He is also an Associate and Guest Lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium, a Contributing Editor for S&T magazine and also writes for Space.com, Natural History magazine, and the Farmers’ Almanac.

Hosted by Joe Rao

 

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and Vince Coulehan
 

VINCE COULEHAN takes center stage as your NEAF Talks Master of Ceremonies.  Vince is an avid astro-imager and has been chasing the world for over five decades as an amateur astronomer to witness, now nine total solar eclipses.   He is  an active member with the AAVSO as well as a key NEAF organizer and a primary board member at Rockland Astronomy.    He has been active with outreach to bring astronomy and observing to students at high schools and elementary schools for over 20 years.  Vincent has an ME in Mechanical Engineering from Manhattan College.

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