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World, “hello!”

The first CHAPEA mission is complete. ESA says the Ariane 6 is go for launch. Polaris Dawn sets a date. And more.




The first CHAPEA mission is complete. ESA says the Ariane 6 is go for launch. Polaris Dawn sets a date. And more.

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T-Minus Guests

Today’s guests join us to discuss their aerospace fellowships and emphasize the importance of mentorship and paying it forward to help others break into the competitive field of aerospace. We’ve got Hailu Daniel talking about the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship empowering black excellence in aerospace, and Raven Otero-Symphony sharing her experiences with the Brooke Owens Fellowship for exceptional undergraduate women and gender-minority students in aerospace.

Selected Reading

Crew of NASA's earthbound simulated Mars habitat emerge after a year (Phys.org)

Firefly Aerospace Successfully Launches Alpha FLTA005 Noise of Summer Mission for NASA (Firefly Aerospace)

Boeing to plead guilty to fraud in US probe of fatal 737 MAX crashes (Reuters)

ESA - Ariane 6 launch: how to watch and what to look out for (ESA)

European Space Agency makes final preparations for inaugural Ariane 6 launch (Spaceflight Now)

U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command Issues Solicitation for On Ramp to OSP-4 Launch Contract (Space Systems Command on LinkedIn)

ICEYE strengthens cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on space defense (ICEYE) 

Polaris Dawn launch announcement (X formerly Twitter) 

Space Exploration | Science (Sotheby's)

Why GPS Is Under Attack (The New York Times)

Skyrora launch operator Assessment of Environmental Effects - Civil Aviation Authority

RAYTRACER announcement about joining AROSE Team that is developing Australia's Lunar Rover - Roo-ver! (LinkedIn)

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After spending a year in a Mars simulation, it's over. And now it's your first time back in the company of humans that aren't on your crew. What would you want to say? Don't overthink it honestly. What else do you need to say but… Hello. It's actually just so wonderful to be able to say hello to you all. Today is July 8th, 2024. I'm Maria Varmausis and this is T-minus. The first Chippewa mission is complete. Issa says the Arian 6 is go for launch. Flairis Dawn sets a date. And today's guests are two extraordinary talents in aerospace, Hylou Daniel and Raven Delphina Otero Symphony, here to talk to me about the impact of space fellowships like the Patty Grace Smith Fellowship and the Brooke Owens Fellowship and how mentorship has been a powerful influence in their journeys. Stay with us for that in the second half of the show. Happy Monday everybody. We were out of the office for a brief holiday. It's nice to be back. And while we were out, the news kept rolling in, so let's do a quick review of what happened. After more than a year in their simulated Mars habitat at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, the four analog astronauts at the very first Chippewa mission emerged on July 6th at around 5 p.m. Houston time. In the official Egress event, Deputy Flight Director and astronaut Chell Lindgren quite simply knocked on the door. Hey! Congratulations! And to that applause emerged Kelly Hastin, Anka Celaryu, Ross Brockwell and Nathan Jones, out from their 1,700 square foot Martian sim and all smiles, with mission commander Kelly Hastin starting the crew's statements with that hearty hello to the world, followed by statements from all four crew. Their one-year mission gave NASA a lot of great data on what might work well and what might not work quite so well for an actual Mars habitat on an actual Mars mission. And the work isn't done. There are two more Chippewa missions planned, plenty more opportunities for NASA to kick the tires, figuratively and literally. The rocket's red glare right before the 4th of July was the noise of summer mission. Firefly Aerospace's Alpha Flight 5 launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 9.04 p.m. Pacific time on July 3rd. Firefly confirmed that after the successful launch, it also had a successful payload deployment for NASA's CubeSat launch initiative. Both the launch and payload deployment were in Firefly's contract with NASA for its Venture Class Launch Services Demo 2. And that is to validate the Alpha Rocket Class' capabilities to provide recurring small-sat launches for NASA. Some news this morning from the aero side of Aerospace that space folks definitely need to keep an eye on. Boeing today agreed to plead guilty to a criminal fraud conspiracy charge and pay a $243.6 million fine to resolve a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019. In addition, Boeing would spend at least $455 million over the next three years to enhance its safety and compliance programs. With this plea deal, if a judge approves it, Boeing, the company, will be a convicted felon which could potentially threaten its ability to secure federal contracts, including with NASA and the Department of Defense. Definitely a story we all should be watching. Now let's take a look at what's coming up soon. The European Space Agency, ESA, says the Ariane 6 is officially go for launch, so the countdown is on to the inaugural launch on July 9th at 2 p.m. Eastern time from Kourou, French Iana. This launch marks a significant milestone for ESA and especially Ariane space after delays to the rocket since 2020. Ariane 6's launch will include three phases, one lifting the rocket into orbit, of course, two reigniting the upper stage for satellite deployment and three performing tech demos while deorbiting. The rocket will carry multiple payloads, including nine satellites and NASA's Curie satellite. The launch will be broadcast live via ESA Web TV, and we've got a link in the show notes for you if you'd like to bookmark the link and watch along. Fingers crossed for good weather and a successful launch. Go Ariane 6! And speaking of launch, the US Space Force has awarded the second on-ramp to the Orbital Services Program or OSP-4 contract to Blue Origin and Stoke Space. This contract allows for rapid acquisition of launch services for payloads 400 pounds or greater, supporting missions with a 12-to-24-month turnaround, or even tighter timelines for tactically responsive space missions if necessary. With a ceiling of $986 million and ordering through October 2028, the goal of this OSP-4 contract is to enhance the small-launch industrial base by adding emerging providers, ensuring a diverse vendor pool to support national defense needs. With this contract news, Blue Origin and Stoke Space join 10 other providers, expanding the capabilities available to the Space Force and other DoD partners. ISI and Ukraine's Ministry of Defense signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to enhance Ukraine's space defense capabilities using ISI's Synthetic Aperture Radar technology. Its partnership aims to improve remote sensing, data utilization for security, and support Ukraine's integration into the global space economy. ISI will provide SAR satellite imagery specifically for Ukraine's use, ensuring data security against hostile entities. The collaboration underscores ISI's commitment to supporting Ukraine's defense and space capabilities amidst ongoing conflict. It's the first of three stepping stones for human spaceflight on Starship via Polaris. The Polaris program is moving ahead with its mission to advance human spaceflight capabilities by announcing that they are targeting no earlier than July 31 for the launch of Polaris Dawn. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will launch Polaris Dawn from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On that mission, a SpaceX Crew Dragon and the Polaris Dawn crew will spend up to five days in orbit and endeavor to reach the highest Earth orbit ever flown. The crew of Polaris Dawn will conduct a spacewalk, support scientific research designed to advance both human health on Earth and our understanding of human health during future long-duration spaceflights, and be the first to test Starlink laser-based communications in space. That just about rounds things out for this Monday. All the stories I've mentioned for you are linked in our show notes, plus some extras, including a really fantastic DataViz story on why the United States' GPS satellites and signals are vulnerable to attacks like jamming. You can check it out in our show notes or over at space.n2k.com. Hey T-Minus Crew, every Monday we produce a written intelligence roundup. It's called Signals and Space. So if you happen to miss any T-Minus episodes, this strategic intelligence product will get you up to speed in the fastest way possible. It's all signal, no noise. You can sign up for signals and space in our show notes or at space.n2k.com. Coming up, I speak with two recipients of aerospace fellowships about their experiences and the importance of mentorship in paying it forward to help others break into the competitive field of aerospace. So I'm speaking with Hylou Daniel about the Patty Grace Smith Fellowship and Raven Delfina Otero Symphony about the Brooke Owens Fellowship. Pleasure to be here. First off, my name is Elias Hylou Daniel. I go by Hylou. I am an Ethiopian American. My parents immigrated here from Ethiopia at a young age. So my brothers and I are the first people to be born here in America and go through the system, which has been a huge change because this caused me to be really a trailblazer in the airspace field. No one in my family has gone to pursue an NJ degree, much less an airspace NJ degree. So I've always been interested in space. I always had passion to be an astronaut like many people. I wanted to do airspace engineering. So coming into the college, I had a bit of a unique background because I had to actually transfer to schools. So at that time was when the fellowship program came out, the Patty Grace Smith Fellowship Program, which is a sister program to the Brooke Owens program. The Patty Grace Smith Fellowship Program is attended to give African-American students their first internship experience in the airspace field. So in that program, it gave us things like two mentors, a peer mentor and an executive mentor. I had cash grant and also a secure internship in the conference. It really was a pivotal point in my career because when I came in, it gave me a chance to give me more confidence in myself, more confidence in being able to see people who look like me, act like me, come from the same background as me, and to see people who really care about diversity and actually make a change for it. Yeah, yeah. What a journey. That's incredible. Okay. Hailu, I'm going to put you on pause for a second because we have another guest with us too, but that is an incredible story. Thank you for sharing that. But also, I want to make sure, Raven, that you get a chance to also tell us a little bit about yourself. So, Raven, could you introduce yourself to our audience, please? Yeah, thank you, Maria. And I want to thank my friend Hailu as well for doing this really awesome joint collaboration here on your podcast. My name is Raven Delfinao-Tero-Semponi. I am the first and still only New Mexican Brooke Owens Fellow. So as Hailu mentioned, the Brooke Owens Fellowship is the sister program to the Patty Grace Smith Fellowship. And I had never heard of it. I had dreams of being in the aerospace field and I had some difficulties getting to that path. And the first person in my family to go to college, and it was very windy. I actually started off in college as a music major, graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in statistics. And so I heard about the Brooke Owens Fellowship days before I graduated. And I thought, well, why not? Well, they're all in an application, and what's the worst that could happen? The Brooke Owens Fellowship is highly competitive. It's internationally competitive. I was a class of 2022 among 51 other fellows that were selected for the program. I was completely shocked when I got in. I felt like, how could it be that I got into this amazing program? And it is truly a one of a kind amazing program that I highly recommend to anybody who is remotely interested in the aerospace field. Wow. You both are really incredible. Thank you, Raven. Really, I'm not just saying this. I'm kind of in awe of both of you because being first generation students, that is a very difficult barrier to break on its own. And then going into aerospace, which is such a competitive field, I mean, just honestly, kudos to you both. I would love to hear more about your fellowship experiences because you've both mentioned how important these experiences were for you. And I feel like it's such an important part of your mission is to sort of pay it forward and let other people know who are listening if maybe they're not sure that they want to apply or that they would qualify. What's in it for them? What did it do? How did it transform your life? Let's hear a bit more about that kind of thing. Haley, why don't we start with you on that? Like, give me some of your thoughts on your experience. Yeah, I would love to. So one thing I'd like to note is that when I applied, actually, I was part of the inaugural class for the Powered by the Cosmic Fellowship program. So we were the first years and being that I actually came in completely blind because I had no clue what the program offered or what the details were like or even how competitive it was because I actually thought it was only for people in Maryland. Turns out it's actually people across the country. So when I applied being, you know, self-managed, COVID, I had very little engineering experience. I had things for my engineering classes that I could talk about, but really my main focus of my main pitch was just my passion to be in the FCS field and my initiatives I took to get there. So really my resume, my application is all more focused on my leadership skills, my self-skills, kind of who I am and where I want to be and how I'm trying to get there. And to be frank with you, being competing as people from like Georgia Tech or MIT or other top schools who had all these fine, tune-in-the-air space programs, it was pretty tough to think like, "Okay, how can I stick out and how can I be me?" Yeah, how did you get over that mental, that's like a mental block, right? To be like, "How can I compete against people like that?" Yeah. That's a great question. And I think for me, the thing I try to focus on is my why. Why am I applying? Why do I want this? What am I going to do with this opportunity? And how is that differentiating me versus other applicants? It really was trying to be my own self-applicant, be my own cheerleader and just have belief that, "Hey, you know, I'm going to go out there. I'm going to do the best I can. And if I don't get it, I'm just going to try again." Right? So, the next step in the road is just another step in the journey. So, thankfully, through the MBPROCESS, I end up selecting a company called ABL Space Systems. And on that roll, they actually had me do test engineering stuff, which is a field that you don't really get a chance to get exposure to in college. It's the kind of field that you learn on the feet, you learn the job, you go to go see the test sites in person, see the rock engines being fired, and help really kind of be a sponge on the job. And that program was my... It definitely was a big thing for me. Going from zero to 100 really quick, being thrown to deep end, having to learn really fast at a small company. I had like 100 employees at a time, I came in. So, it offered a lot. I just wanted to note, there's such a benefit, having worked at smaller companies. I mean, a hundred is not tiny, but it's smaller. You can also make a huge impact because you're not lost in a crowd of thousands, right? It can really give you a chance to stand out. That's such a cool... Thank you, Hylou. That's such a cool story right there. Raven, how about you? Tell me a bit about the impact of the fellowship, being a Brookie. What was that like? It completely changed my career outlook. I had to be very flexible and very adaptable as a first generation student, exploring all these different options, coming from a background like music of all things, right? So when I got into the Brookoans fellowship, I want to echo what Hylou said, "I really put a lot of effort into putting my best foot out there when it came to the interviews and when it came to looking for different companies that you work with." So one of the things about the Brookoans fellowship is that fellows are paired with an internship, but you also get a professional mentor that is somebody who works in the space sector. And so, I kept an open mind, was one of the things that I did, and that's how I learned that because I'm not an engineer, right? I don't come from an engineering background, and that was my initial impression of what space was. It was thanks to the Brookoans fellowship that opened the possibilities to me that spaces is that and more, right? I got to work at a financial firm. I got a really high level financial consultant as my executive mentor. Now, whereas for Hylou, it sounds like I went from zero to 100, I can agree, my path went from zero to 100, kind of back to zero. I thought, you know, when I get in the fellowship, this is it, like I'm in, I had childhood dreams of being an astronaut, this is how it's going to happen. I worked for my firm, it was a great experience, and then my company got acquired. And so then I was like, oh, and so I moved back to New Mexico. I actually worked for the state legislature for a while while I was still trying to figure out what to do. And it was actually, get this, my professional mentor hosted the book release party for one of the executive leadership members of the Brookoans fellowship. And at that party, I met somebody who was actually the executive on the Patty Gray Smith fellowship. And he reached out to me months later and was like, hey, we're looking for somebody with a statistics background. And now I work full time in the space industry as a data science consultant at the company Quilty Space, which is incredible that I get to use my background in statistics in space industry, you know, which is absolutely, I just cannot say enough how much, you know, I really am grateful to my company and the fellowships for that. So it was almost like a circular sort of thing, right? And thanks to that, I've been able to continue these efforts in space and inclusion here at home in New Mexico. I think that attitude is so... That's awesome. It's awesome. Yeah, I was going to say, from both of you truly, because neither of you have taken these opportunities for granted, and you both understand how much hard work it takes, and you've clearly put that and more into it. And it's just, it's really amazing that... I'm sorry, I sound very cliche. I'm just like, wow, you both are just really amazing people, but you are. So I'm just like, here you go, you go boost for the day. But seriously, I mean, it can be easy for people sometimes to take for granted, especially if it's like they're... Take opportunities for granted. And it's really refreshing to speak to people who understand that how important it is what you receive, but also that you want to give it back and you want to pay it forward. I think that's just really wonderful. Sorry, I'll stop being in my soapbox now. Raven, I'll start with you. I would love to hear a bit more about scope. And then, Hailu, I'll go to you next after that, and I'll ask you a bit about your plans next. So I promise I'll get to you too. But Raven, can you tell me a bit more about scope? Yeah, absolutely. So Scope New Mexico started off as a grassroots project. It's my labor love and the way that I give back. Scope New Mexico is a website for anybody that is interested or curious about space development and activity to learn about what's going on in New Mexico and beyond. It's been its pilot year. It started off in January, and we're looking to recruit some students across New Mexico who are curious about space to join our Scope New Mexico cohort. And then also any mentors that are interested in dedicating one hour per month to our student delegates, as they're called, to help inform those important career decisions when it comes to a day in the life in space. So Scope New Mexico is one of the ways that I'm hoping to address accessibility in the space workforce, as well as continue the efforts of the space ecosystem that's being built here in the state. That's awesome. Haley, so you're at Blue Origin now, if I remember correctly. I mean, you're doing some really incredible things. What are your thoughts on where you're going to go in your career? Is mentorship part of your plan? I'm just so curious to hear what your thoughts are. So actually, I'll be starting at Blue Origin in August, so I'm not there yet. I'm on summer break right now, for sure. You take that break. Honestly, that's good. Enjoy it. And I'm trying. I said I had to do like one more summer class when I'm about to finish up in a week. But after that, I'll be a free man. But yeah, so in terms of my plans, I honestly, I have a lot of ambitions to make for my own good. I'm trying to balance as well. Similar to Raven, mentorship is a big thing for me. And I've been an alumni mentor for the Paddington Smith Fellowship Program for the past few years since I first came in. I also want to continue to help them in many ways. There's a lot of unique opportunities that come up, and I always try to take those opportunities as much as I can because how, inside of your day, you get to go on to a plane and do a pair of barge flight and experience micro-grabbing and the other things like that. So taking those opportunities, and I want to be able to help out at the rocket space museum down there, do things like help build rockets, help teach the community. So really, my focus is to become a mentor, to become an engineer, but also become a leader. That's awesome. Well, you are well on your way. That's wonderful. I am so grateful for you both for taking the time to talk to me. I don't often say this, but I wish I had known folks like yourself when I was in college because I feel like it would have really changed the trajectory of my life because I also am not an engineer. I thought I needed to be one. I failed out of engineering school basically, and I was like, "I really am interested in this stuff, but I guess since I'm not an engineer, I can't do it." So you might be really changing a lot of people's lives who are hearing you. So thank you for sharing your experiences, honestly. Thank you to both Hailu and Raven for joining me in that discussion. You can find links in our show notes for more on the programs that they participated in. . We'll be right back. Welcome back. Attention, Space Aficionados! Sotheby's is launching its eighth annual space exploration sale, and it's a galaxy of treasures. I have to read the whole thing like this. This is going to get tiring. Bear with me. Get ready to bid on legendary artifacts from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, and beyond. Ever dreamt of owning an Apollo Block II Command Module parachute? How about a lunar surface flown American flag, signed by Apollo 15 mission commander Dave Scott? Or maybe a flown color-casheted cover, signed by the iconic trio Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins? Well, buckle up, buckaroos, because you can bid on all these and a whole lot more. Some bids already reaching a stellar $15,000. But that's not all. As of May 20th, 2024, Sotheby's has made it even sweeter by lowering its buyers' premium rates and completely removing the overhead premium for all categories except wine and spirits, so no luck there. I do not know what that means, but it sounds like savings, so I am not being paid by Sotheby's. So light this candle's end set of course for Sotheby's, where you can snag a piece of history, and if it costs a small fortune. After all, owning a slice of human space exploration is priceless and worth every penny. And the sky is definitely not the limit for the prices on these gems. That's it for T-minus for July 8th, 2024, brought to you by N2K Cyberwire. For additional resources from today's report, check out our show notes at space.n2k.com. We'd love to know what you think of this podcast. Your feedback ensures we deliver the insights that keep you a step ahead in the rapidly changing space industry. If you like the show, please share a rating and review in your podcast app. Also please fill out the survey in the show notes or send an email to space@n2k.com and let us know what you think. We're privileged that N2K Cyberwire is part of the daily routine of the most influential leaders and operators in the public and private sector, from the Fortune 500 to many of the world's preeminent intelligence and law enforcement agencies. N2K makes it easy for companies to optimize your biggest investment, or people. We make you smarter about your teams, while making your teams smarter. Learn how at N2K.com. This episode was produced by Alice Caruth, our associate producer is Liz Stokes. We are mixed by Elliot Peltzman and Trey Hester, with original music by Elliot Peltzman. Our executive producer is Jennifer Iben. Our executive editor is Brandon Karp. Simone Petrella is our president. Peter Kilpie is our publisher. And I'm your host, Maria Varmazes. Thank you for listening. Sorry about that Sotheby story. And we'll see you tomorrow. [MUSIC]

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