• spacetalks


SpaceTalks is a Google Hangouts On Air series that offers students the opportunity to learn from and interact with space industry experts as well as their fellow SEDS members.
In a typical episode, you might learn about a mentor’s career path, the system design of a particular satellite or space mission, how to create your own website from scratch, or the basics of orbital mechanics.
Past SpaceTalks speakers include Vice President for Special Projects at Virgin Galactic William Pomerantz, Vice President of Spacecraft Development at Planetary Resources Chris Voorhees, Former NASA Astronaut Clay Anderson, Yuri’s Night Executive Director Ryan Kobrick, and many more. See past talks below, or check out our YouTube Channel for even more videos.

YouTube Channel

Upcoming SpaceTalks

Ronald Jones, Gary Bickford, Jay Wittner, & Steve Jorgenson - Integrated Space Plan

When is it? October 13, 5:30pm PT
What’s it about? The Integrated Space Plan

More details to come!

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Neil Baliga - President, Verifide Technologies, Inc.

October 20, 5:30pm PT
Neil Baliga is a founder and President of Verifide, a software company that’s changing the way people think about testing. He has been dreaming of (and losing sleep over) testing for 20 years. At Space Systems/Loral, he was part of 24 successful large satellite launches. Rumor has it that, almost 20 years later, his code is still running on systems today. As a senior engineer at Agilent, he developed satellite test systems and cutting edge RF measurements. He has also worked on various industries from wafer inspection systems to cancer treatment systems. Frustrated with the lack of integrated software solutions for testing, he set off in 2004 and started Verifide to address this problem and started working with Boeing as an early adopter where the platform is running on over 500 systems and has been used in over 28 large scale satellite programs to date.Neil has a double degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Long Beach State. In this presentation, Neil will be discussing testing at a conceptual and philosophical level, and the unique challenges presented when testing space products.

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Kim Stanley Robinson - Author, The "Mars" trilogy

November 19, 5:30pm PT
Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt and 2312. In 2008, he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California.

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Andy Weir, Author of "The Martian"

January 21, 5:30pm PT
Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.

Past SpaceTalks

SpaceTalks July 23, 2015

Streamed live on Jul 23, 2015
Please join us for the Early Career Aerospace Professionals SpaceTalk, which is part two of our summer SpaceTalk series. Nipuna Jayakody and Davin Anderson from Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMCO) will be talking about their experiences in engineering and at LMCO. A question and answer session will follow, and some of your unanswered questions from the June SpaceTalk will also be discussed. Don’t miss this exciting discussion!

SpaceTalks June 30, 2015
Streamed live on Jun 30, 2015

SEDS-USA is excited to announce a two-part SpaceTalk series with some distinguished engineers at Lockheed Martin Corporation. Our June SpaceTalk will be focused on Design Leadership in Aerospace, featuring Mr. Josh Wood and Mr. Pieter Kallemeyn. Our follow-up discussion,  Early Career Aerospace Professionals SpaceTalk, will be aired in July.

SpaceTalks February 12, 2015
Streamed live on Feb 12, 2015

Derek Nelson is an Optical Navigation Engineer for the Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics (SNAFD) Practice at KinetX Aerospace, Inc.  KinetX is responsible for providing end-to-end interplanetary navigation solutions for the New Horizons mission to Pluto, OSIRIS-REx mission to Bennu, and MESSENGER mission to Mercury.  KinetX provides a wide range of navigational support from mission design to spacecraft/planetary orbit estimation to end-of-life operations.  Derek specifically supports optical navigation planning, development, and operations, while continuing development and verification of KinetX’s star-based optical navigation software suite.

During this discussion, Mr. Nelson will discuss KinetX’s participation in the New Horizons and OSIRIS-REx missions, with a particular focus on the role and purpose of optical navigation solutions within the broader context of spacecraft navigation.