The November 17th meeting of the Phoenix Chapters of the National Space Society and the Moon Society will be at our usual time (11 am) and location at the Humanist Community Center in Mesa (627 W. Rio Salado Blvd (formerly 8th St.), Mesa, AZ, 85201). The February meeting will Feature will featuring Mike Mackowski Designing and building spacecraft is one thing, but then you have to launch and operate them. Phoenix NSS member Mike Mackowski is an electrical engineer who recently helped prepare the ICESat-2 satellite for launch and later supported the on-orbit checkout phase of the mission. He will explain the ICESat-2 mission and describe what it’s like to sit in the mission operations center where a crew monitors and commands the satellite.
The Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, will measure the height of a changing Earth, one laser pulse at a time, 10,000 laser pulses a second. Launched on Sept. 15, 2018, ICESat-2 carries a photon-counting laser altimeter that will allow scientists to measure the elevation of ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice and more – all in unprecedented detail. Our planet’s frozen and icy areas, called the cryosphere, are a key focus of NASA’s Earth science research. ICESat-2 will help scientists investigate why, and how much, our cryosphere is changing in a warming climate. The satellite will also measure heights across Earth’s temperate and tropical regions, and take stock of the vegetation in forests worldwide.
Michael Mackowski recently retired as an electrical engineer who spent most of his career designing spacecraft electrical power systems. He was most recently employed at Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (formerly Orbital ATK) in Gilbert, Arizona. He has worked on such programs as the Landsat 8 anf 9 satellites, the Fermi and Swift gamma ray observatories, the Iridium communications satellite constellation, TOMS-EP, TIMED, Landsat 5, GRO, TOPEX, the National Aerospace Plane, and the Space Shuttle. Outside the workplace, Mr. Mackowski has been an advocate for space exploration for over forty years.
Don’t forget, Mike is inviting all his spacey friends to a movie night at his home in Gilbert next Saturday evening, November 10. We’ll watch the 2017 movie “Salyut 7”, a pseudo-documentary about the resuscitation of the Soviet space station. It’s a two-hour movie, so we’ll kick it off around 7:30 pm. Mikes lives near US60 and Stapley, and please contact him if you plan to attend. Should be a fun evening.