Ariane Cornell, Executive Director, Space Generation Advisory Council, United Nations
Clayton Mowry, President, Arianespace
Mark Sirangelo, Executive Vice President, Sierra Nevada Corporation
Doug Comstock, Director of the Innovative Partnerships Program, NASA
Moderator: Ira Flatow, Science Friday, NPR
Compass Summit, a forum for true interaction and exchange, examines some of today’s most pressing problems through the lens of global citizenship, recognizing that human ingenuity is an unlimited resource. Guided by NPR’s Ira Flatow, an intimate group of some of the world's best thinkers and doers convened along the rugged Palos Verdes coastline on Oct 23-26, 2011 at Terranea Resort to engage in meaningful conversation, ask questions, and challenge ideas -- we invite you to join in the conversation.
Douglas A. Comstock is the Director of the Innovative Partnerships Office (IPO) in the Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). In this role, Comstock is responsible for NASA’s technology transfer program, creating partnerships to commercialize NASA technology that will create jobs, increase U.S. economic competitiveness, and save and improve lives every day. A key element is managing NASA’s intellectual property process and licensing NASA technology for commercial application. He leads partnership activities for the Office of the Chief Technologist seeking technology development partnerships with other Government agencies, commercial industry and international partners. Comstock also leads efforts in innovation, exploring new innovation methods and conducting pilot projects to nurture and accelerate innovation inside and outside of NASA. He seeks to energize new and emerging commercial space industries through partnerships, modeled after the way that NASA’s predecessor – the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) – sparked the growth and success of the early aviation industry.
Comstock previously served as the NASA comptroller, responsible for the preparation, tracking, presentation and defense of NASA's budget to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congress. As the founding director of NASA's Strategic Investments Division, he was responsible for integrating NASA's strategic planning and program analysis supporting budget decisions into a single organization. Under his leadership, NASA was the first agency to achieve ‘green’ status for Budget and Performance Integration as part of the President's Management Agenda, resulting in NASA’s first honorable mention for the President's Quality Award. Before coming to NASA, Comstock spent four years as a program examiner in OMB, with responsibility for NASA's human space flight activities, biological and physical research and personnel.
Prior to his government service, he was Director of Engineering with the Futron Corporation, a Bethesda, Md.-based technology consulting firm, and began his career with General Dynamics Space Systems Division, conducting preliminary design and systems analysis for numerous aerospace systems, from strategic defense to advanced space transportation. Comstock has undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington in mechanical engineering and architecture. He did his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received masters degrees in aeronautics and astronautics, and technology and policy.
Ms. Cornell is Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications (SGAC). SGAC is a non-governmental organization of 4,000 members in 90 countries representing advanced students and young space professionals (18-35 year olds) to the United Nations, space agencies, industry and academia. Previously, Cornell worked in international management consulting, first with Accenture, based in San Francisco, and then with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C. Cornell earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in science, technology, and society, with a focus in management science and engineering, from Stanford University.
Ira Flatow: Radio and television journalist and host of National Public Radio's Science Friday.
Veteran National Public Radio (NPR) science correspondent and award-winning TV journalist Ira Flatow is the host of Talk Of The Nation: Science Friday. He anchors the show each Friday, bringing radio and Internet listeners world wide a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space and the environment. Ira is also founder and president of The Science Friday Initiative, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit company dedicated to supporting the Science Friday show, as well as engaging and creating scientific discussion among adolescents and young adults. Flatow's interest in things scientific began in boyhood - he almost burned down his mother's bathroom trying to recreate a biology class experiment. "I was the proverbial kid who spent hours in the basement experimenting with electronic gizmos, and then entering them in high school science fairs," Flatow says. Mixing his passion for science with a tendency toward being "a bit of a ham," Flatow describes his work as the challenge "to make science and technology a topic for discussion around the dinner table."
He has shared that enthusiasm with public radio listeners for more than 35 years. As a reporter and then News Director at WBFO-FM/Buffalo, New York, Flatow began reporting at the station while studying for his engineering degree at State University of New York in Buffalo. As NPR's science correspondent from 1971 to 1986, Flatow found himself reporting from the Kennedy Space Center, Three Mile Island, Antarctica and the South Pole. In one memorable NPR report, Flatow took former All Things Considered host Susan Stamberg into a closet to crunch Wint-O-Green Lifesavers, proving they spark in the dark.
His most recent book is entitled Present At The Future : From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science And Nature. It follows on the heels of They All Laughed ... From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives.
On television, Flatow has discussed the latest cutting edge science stories on a variety of programs, including the new digital Cablevision program Maximum Science . He is also host of the four-part PBS series Big Ideas produced by WNET in New York. His numerous TV credits include six years as host and writer for the Emmy-award-winning Newton's Apple on PBS, science reporter for CBS This Morning, Westinghouse, and cable's CNBC. He wrote, produced and hosted Transistorized!, an hour-long documentary about the history of the transistor, which aired on PBS. He has talked science on many TV talk shows including Merv Griffin, Today, Charlie Rose, and Oprah. He is currently exploring new and better ways of bringing science news to radio, TV and the Internet.
On the Internet, Flatow has hosted numerous science related Web Casts for Discovery Online and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. His Science Friday Kids' Connection web pages won the award for one of the top 500 web sites in the country given out by Home PC Magazine. His Podcasts are among the most listened to on the Internet, frequently in the top-ten of all downloads on the iTunes web site.
In print, Ira has authored articles for various magazines ranging from Woman's Day to ESPN Magazine to American Lawyer. His commentary has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, and Current newspapers.
Public speaking and moderating discussions are a regular part of his schedule. As a host, he has "emceed" many public events, including the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Science Museum of Minnesota (2007). He has spoken at Rockefeller University, the World Economic Forum, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, Calvin Academy, Cal Tech, MIT, Harvard, University of Wisconsin, OSHU, National Inventor's Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Author Forum. In 2004, Ira was resident scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
His recent honors include: National Science Teachers Association Faraday Science Communicator Award (2007), National Science Board Public Service Award (2005), World Economic Forum Media Fellowshipo (2005), Elizabeth Wood Writing (2002), AAAS Journalism award (2000), Brady Washburn Award (2000), the Carl Sagan Award (1999).
Clayton Mowry is President of Arianespace, Inc. Clayton Mowry has worked for over 18 years in the commercial launch and satellite sectors serving in government, as the leader of an industry trade association and as an executive for the world's leading launch services company. Mr. Mowry joined Washington, D.C.-based Arianespace, Inc. as its President and Chairman in 2001. As the head of the Arianespace's U.S. subsidiary, he is responsible for managing the company's sales, marketing, strategy, government relations and corporate communications activities. Before joining Arianespace, Mr. Mowry served for six years as executive director at the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), a non-profit alliance of U.S. satellite operators, manufacturers and ground equipment suppliers.
Prior to his role at SIA, he worked as a satellite/launch industry analyst and senior international trade specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. Clayton Mowry received a Master of Business of Administration (MBA) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in politics and government from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. In addition to his work at Arianespace, Mr. Mowry currently serves on the board of directors and as chairman of the Society of Satellite Professionals International. He also serves on the board of directors of the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and on the advisory board of the Space Generation Advisory Council based in Vienna, Austria. In 2010 Mr. Mowry received the AAS Industrial Leadership Award and was named as an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 2008 he was inducted as a corresponding member in the International Academy of Astronautics.
Mr. Sirangelo leads Sierra Nevada Space Systems, a producer of satellites, space transportation vehicles, propulsion systems and space subsystems. He also is the Chairman of SNC Space Systems Board. Sierra Nevada has been involved during its 20+ years of combined activity in over 400 space missions and has produced over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components for a wide variety of earth orbit and planetary missions. SNC is also the owner and prime developer of the Dream Chaser, an orbital vehicle transportation system currently being funded in partnership with NASA as a replacement vehicle for the Space Shuttle.
Mr. Sirangelo was formerly the Chairman & CEO of SpaceDev, Inc., prior to its merging with SNC and has all of his career leading aeronautics, space and technology companies. Mr. Sirangelo's industry board memberships include being the Chairman Emeritus of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the founding and current Chairman of eSpace, The Center for Space Entrepreneurship. His charity boards include being a board member and trustee of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and a founder, Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the International Centre for Children. Corporate and personal awards include NASA/Space Foundation's Technology Hall of Fame, the Defense Industry's Fast Track 50, Deloitte's Fast Track 500, being a finalist in Ernst &Young's Entrepreneur of the Year and on Inc. Magazine's top 200 companies. Mr. Sirangelo holds Doctorate, MBA and Bachelor of Science degrees, has been scientifically published, has served as an officer in the US Military and is a licensed pilot.
Investigation of the universe beyond Earth's atmosphere by means of manned and unmanned spacecraft. Study of the use of rockets for spaceflight began early in the 20th century. Germany's research on rocket propulsion in the 1930s led to development of the V-2 missile. After World War II, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, with the aid of relocated German scientists, competed in the space race, making substantial progress in high-altitude rocket technology (seestaged rocket). Both launched their first satellites (seeSputnik; Explorer) in the late 1950s (followed by other satellites and unmanned lunar probes) and their first manned space vehicles (seeVostok; Mercury) in 1961. A succession of longer and more complex manned space missions followed, most notably the U.S. Apollo program, including the first manned lunar landing in 1969, and the Soviet Soyuz and Salyut missions. Beginning in the 1960s, U.S. and Soviet scientists also launched unmanned deep-space probes for studies of the planets and other solar system objects (seePioneer; Venera; Viking; Voyager; Galileo), and Earth-orbiting astronomical observatories (see, for example, Hubble Space Telescope), which permitted observation of cosmic objects from above the filtering and distorting effects of Earth's atmosphere. In the 1970s and '80s the Soviet Union concentrated on the development of space stations for scientific research and military reconnaissance (seeSalyut; Mir). After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia continued its space program, but on a reduced basis owing to economic constraints. In 1973 the U.S. launched its own space station (seeSkylab), and since the mid 1970s it has devoted much of its manned space efforts to the space shuttle program and, more recently, to developing the International Space Station in collaboration with Russia and other countries.