Episode 23: Michael Griffin discusses his tenure as NASA administrator and the challenges of space exploration: Mike Griffin, NASA, Ken Ford, Tom Jones, Harrison Schmitt, Strategic Defense Initiative, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, In-Q-Tel, Google Earth, NASA Advisory Council, Johnson Space Center, Hubble, Apollo 11, Wayne Hale, Commercial Space

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Episode 23: Michael Griffin discusses his tenure as NASA administrator and the challenges of space exploration: Mike Griffin, NASA, Ken Ford, Tom Jones, Harrison Schmitt, Strategic Defense Initiative, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, In-Q-Tel, Google Earth, NASA Advisory Council, Johnson Space Center, Hubble, Apollo 11, Wayne Hale, Commercial Space

De STEM-Talk

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Longueur: 20 mins=

Description

On March 11, 2005, President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate Griffin to serve as the 11th Administrator of NASA. He was confirmed by the Senate on April 13, 2005 and served until January 20, 2009. Griffin knew NASA well. He had been NASA’s associate administrator for exploration in the early 1990s, as well as its chief engineer.

Griffin holds seven academic degrees—a BA in physics from Johns Hopkins University, a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland, and a handful of Master’s degrees.

He previously served as deputy for technology at the strategic defense initiative organization (SDIO) in the Pentagon.  Griffin’s career has also included academic and corporate positions. He was an eminent scholar and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and space department head at the Applied Physics Laboratory at John Hopkins.

Griffin was also president and chief operating officer at In-Q-Tel, a private, nonprofit enterprise funded by the Central Intelligence Agency to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve national security interests.

Griffin held leadership positions in as well as the Orbital Sciences Corp and technical positions at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at Computer Sciences Corporation.

Time magazine named Griffin one of its 100 most influential people in 2008.

In his spare time, Griffin enjoys flying and is a certified flight instructor. He’s also a voracious reader and an avid golfer.

On August 14, 2012, the Schafer Corporation announced that Griffin would assume the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at the company.

Griffin has also been a guest lecturer at IHMC in Pensacola, where in 2009, he delivered a lecture entitled “What the Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us About Ourselves:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvMdORG8OyU.

In this episode, STEM-Talk host Dawn Kernagis monitors an interview conducted by co-hosts Ken Ford and Tom Jones, both of whom have a long-standing professional relationship with Griffin.

1:09: Ford calls Mike Griffin “a remarkable fellow.” Griffin’s work has spanned academia, government and industry. He holds six graduate degrees and was working on his seventh when President George W. Bush selected him to serve as the eleventh NASA administrator.

2:35: Dawn reads a five-star iTunes review from “Meatballs Mom” entitled “Thumbs up.” “I downloaded this in order to feel intellectually superior to my peers. It’s totally working.”

3:00: Dawn describes Griffin’s career and educational accomplishments.

5:13: Dawn introduces Mike Griffin, along with hosts Ford and Jones.

6:03: Griffin’ interest in science was sparked by the first book, called “A Child’s Book of Stars,” that his mother gave him for Christmas in 1954, when he was five years old.

7:50: “I was already fully committed to a career in math and science and space long before I got to high school,” Griffin recalls, also noting an influential physics teacher in high school who encouraged him on that path.

8:25: “My career has gone back and forth between and among DOD space, civil space, robotic scientific space craft and missions and human space flight.”

8:50: Griffin notes that one of the highlights of his career was being chief engineer for the first space intercept mission accomplished against a booster in powered flight as part of early missile defense program under President Ronald Reagan.

12:08: “Possibly the coolest job that I’ve ever had,” Griffin says, was as President of In-Q-Tel, which he loosely categorizes as the CIA’s venture capital company. “The CIA didn’t have access to the hi-tech of Silicon Valley, so the non-profit was chartered by Congress to allow that access. It was an extraordinarily eye-opening and exciting adventure,” he says, adding that they helped create Google Earth.

14:22: Griffin had an early hunch that he would w...
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