House Aerospace Caucus Celebrates Human Space Flight Progress

On June 25, the House Aerospace Caucus hosted a reception tied to the release of AIA’s latest report, “The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Space Flight.” The event also featured a lively panel of young aerospace professionals who told how their career choices and professional development were influenced by their interest in America’s space program.

Before a standing-room only audience, Frank Slazer, AIA’s Vice President of Space Systems, presented  an overview of AIA’s report, which details the exploration objectives NASA can achieve with a new generation of spacecraft and launch vehicles. Slazer then introduced the panelists, who all work on programs featured in the report—including the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System, Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Lockheed Martin’s Heather McKay, Brian Ippolitto from Marotta Controls, Zachary Krevor of Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing’s Juan (Tony) Castilleja, Jr. shared personal perspectives which demonstrated the degree to which young professionals can have a major impact today in carrying the space program forward.

House Aerospace Caucus Co-Chairs, Representatives Pete Olson (R-TX) and Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) sponsored the event. Congressman Olson, who early in his career was a U.S. Navy Pilot, and Congressman Edwards, who worked as a Lockheed engineer right after college, celebrated the contributions of young professionals in their remarks. The final speaker, two-time Space Shuttle  astronaut Gregory H. Johnson (Colonel, USAF, Ret.), now the leader of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), addressed the tremendous research opportunities that now exist on the International Space Station.