Past Events

GWSS hosts many events throughout the school year for SPI students, SEDS student participants, the GW community, and the space community. Some of our events are featured on this page.
In order to receive information about GWSS events, join the GWSS mailing list.
GWSS Fall 2013 Events:
Details Coming Soon!
GWSS Spring 2013 Events:
Wednesday, April 3rd: Tour of the Lockheed Martin Space Experience Center
GWSS members were given a tour of the Lockheed Martin Space Experience Center by David Brandt, the Center’s Manager.
The Space Experience Center is a high-tech museum of the spacecraft, missions and technologies Lockheed Martin Space Systems has contributed to over the years.
For a tour, contact David Brandt at
GWSS Fall 2012 Events:

Monday, Sept. 10th: Welcome Back GWSS Happy Hour,
Elephant & Castle – Foggy Bottom
Thursday, Oct. 18th: Speaker, John Sloan, FAA-AST
SPI Conference Room – GWU
John Sloan is Program Lead for International Outreach and Space Policy Analyst for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.  Since joining the FAA in 2001, he has provided industry and policy analysis including representing the Department of Transportation in White House-interagency deliberations on the National Space Policy and the National Space Transportation Policy. From 2001-2008, he led the annual commercial launch demand forecasts and was a contracting officer technical representative. In 2008, Mr. Sloan established an AST strategy for international outreach including promotion of FAA regulations as part of his program lead responsibilities.
See his slides here
GWSS Fall 2011 Events:

Wednesday, Sept. 7 – 6pm: Welcome Back GWSS Happy Hour,
Mad Hatter – Dupont Circle
Wednesday, October 19 – 6pm: GWSS Movie/Game Night
SPI Conference Room – GWU
Thursday, November 3 – 7:30pm: Speaker, Lynn Cline – NASA HQ
SPI Conference Room – GWU
About Lynn Cline: Lynn Cline, Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC, is responsible for oversight of a broad variety of capabilities across the NASA spectrum of space operations programs, which includes the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, space communications and navigation, launch services for NASA missions, and crew health and safety. She works closely with the Executive Branch and NASA’s international partner agencies. Ms. Cline led U.S. delegations to United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and served as NASA lead negotiator of the agreements with Canada, Europe, Japan and Russia for the International Space Station. (
Thursday, December 9 – 7pm: End of Semester Gathering
SPI Conference Room – GWU
SPI students and associates tour Lockheed Martin’s Global Vision Center (GVC)
David Brandt and colleagues provided a first class overview of the many cutting edge and compelling R&D activities Lockheed Martin is engaged in ranging from sustainable energies to advanced human space flight systems.

GWSS-SEDS students and visiting scholars of the Space Policy Institute enjoy an overview of current Lockheed Martin R&D projects. From left: Kate Becker, Laura Delgado, Jason Callahan, Alana Krolikowski, Megan Ansdell and Kalon Scott
SPI student Kirk Woellert and visiting scholar Alanna Krolikowski take a spin in the Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center CRV Simulator

AIAA-NCS and GWSS Joint Public Policy Roundtable Connecting Phenomenology to Policy: The Intensity of Tropical Cyclones

Featuring Dr. Frank Fendell, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

In over thirty years of modeling tropical cyclones, scientists have developed the ability to predict their formation and track, yet the accurate prediction of their intensity remains elusive. Alternative approaches that seek to understand the physics underlying rapid intensification offer a way, using in-situ data from platforms such as the Global Hawk, to explore the evolution of tropical cyclone intensity. Dr. Fendell will discuss the need for these alternative approaches and their policy implications.

Dr. Frank Fendell is a senior staff scientist at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, CA. He served on NOAA’s Hurricane Intensity Research Working Group in 2006, and has been a strong proponent of using Unmanned Areal Vehicles (UAVs) for the remote sensing of hurricanes to better.



Astronaut Training Overview for the International Space Station

Esther Dyson, space flight participant and alternate for Charles Simonyi who flew to the International Space Station in 2009, will talk about her experiences in training to become a private citizen  astronaut.    

Biography: Esther Dyson

Esther Dyson





Esther Dyson is chairman of EDventure Holdings, the name with which she does business. Her primary activity is investing in and nurturing start-ups, with a recent focus on health care and aerospace. Ms. Dyson accepted a position on the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) as the Chair for the Technology and Innovation Committee. She recently (October 2008 to March 2009) spent most of six months training as a backup cosmonaut in Star City outside Moscow Russia. While there she had the pleasure of spending time not only with the cosmonauts, but also with some of the US’s finest astronauts.  Apart from this brief sabbatical, she is an active board member for a variety of startups, including 23andMe, Airship Ventures, Boxbe, Eventful, Evernote, IBS Group, Meetup, NewspaperDirect, Voxiva, WPP Group (not a start-up!) and Yandex. Her past investments have included Medstory (sold to Microsoft), Flickr and (sold to Yahoo!), Brightmail (sold to Symantec). Her current investments include Icon Aircraft (light sport aircraft), Space Adventures (which organizes programs such as hers for space tourists), and XCOR Aerospace. She also sits on the boards of several nonprofits, including the National Endowment for Democracy, the Eurasia Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation.           She began her career as a fact-checker for Forbes Magazine, and spent five years on Wall Street as a securities analyst. From 1983 to 2006, at EDventure Holdings, she produced the newsletter Release 1.0 and ran PC Forum, the computer industry’s leading annual conference. She sold EDventure to CNET in 2005, and left in 2007. In 1997 she published her first book, Release 2.0, about the impact of the internet on individuals’ lives. She speaks English and Russian and a little French and German, and has a degree in economics from Harvard.


The International Space Station: perspectives on early US-Russian negotiations

The GWSS hosts an evening with Professor Leon Fuerth, the former National Security Advisor to Vice President Al Gore, and Director of the Project on Forward Engagement. Professor Fuerth will discuss the origins of US-Russian cooperation in civilian space during the Clinton Administration, his prior activities as then-Senator Gore’s staff link to the Senate Committee on Science and Technology (Space sub-committee), and the role he played in helping to bring about the International Space Station.

Biography: Leon Fuerth, Research Professor of International Affairs at The George Washington University, and former National Security Advisor to Vice President Al Gore.

Leon Fuerth





Leon Fuerth is the former National Security Advisor to Vice President Al Gore. Following eleven years as a Foreign Service Officer, Fuerth joined then- Congressman Gore’s staff as senior legislative assistant for national security, focusing on issues of arms control and strategic stability. As the Vice President’s National Security Advisor, Fuerth served simultaneously on the Deputies’ and Principals’ Committees of the National Security Council, alongside the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the President’s own National Security Advisor. He created and managed five bi-national commissions, and led efforts to: develop the International Space Station; to marshal international support for sanctions against Slobodan Milosevic’s regime; to raise awareness and take action to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa; to denuclearize former Soviet states; to win China’s cooperation in protecting the environment and reducing pollution; and to spur foreign investment in Egypt as part of the Middle East peace process. After retiring from government service at the conclusion of the Clinton Administration, Professor Fuerth came to The George Washington University to serve as the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of International Affairs from January 2001 to January 2003. He currently serves as a research professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs and leads the Project on Forward Engagement, which incorporates three components: (1) a graduate seminar on long-range policy analysis; (2) expert seminars on unpacking Forward Engagement concepts; and (3) public outreach to US citizens in an effort to create a constituency for apolitical long-range analysis and anticipatory governance. In addition, Professor Fuerth is also currently: a consultant for SCITOR, exploring use of space-based sensors in the design of a monitorable climate agreement; a member of the National Academy of Science Committee on Climate, Energy and National Security; a member of the Guiding Coalition to the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR); a consultant to The Alliance on Climate Change; and a consultant to former vice president Al Gore. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in history from New York University, as well as a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.

A Tour of the Solar System



NASA illustration of major space science missions

Dr. Colleen Hartman will provided a virtual tour of NASA space science across the solar system. An engineering model of the Sojourner rover was on hand giving attendees a sense of the complexities involved with robotic exploration.

Dr. Hartman discusses the balance of matter and energy in the cosmos.


Biography: Colleen Hartman

Dr. Coleen Hartman





Colleen N. Hartman is Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Until January 2008, she was the Deputy Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA. She has also served as Acting Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate. In her role as Deputy Associate Administrator, she provided science advice to the Administrator and helped run programs that ranged from earth observing platforms, to balloon investigations, to deep space planetary missions, to Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope. Previously, Dr. Hartman oversaw operations ranging from collecting space-based weather and climate data to managing global scientific databases as Deputy Assistant Administrator at NOAA. Prior to her NOAA position, her duties have been wide-ranging, including responsibilities for NASA’s solar system science investigations and planetary missions and scientific endeavors for NASA’s nuclear-powered missions. She was instrumental in obtaining approval for exploring a number of innovative approaches to space flight, including in-space propulsion. She was also instrumental in spearheading the process leading to the New Horizons mission to Pluto as well as gaining OMB and Congressional approval for a new class of outer planets missions called “New Frontiers.” After beginning her government career as a Presidential Management Intern, she worked on Capitol Hill, as an engineer at the Goddard Space Flight Center, and as a senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Dr. Hartman’s awards include the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Executive, the NASA Outstanding Performance Award, the Claire Booth Luce Fellowship in Science and Engineering, and the Hugh L. Dryden Memorial Space Club Award. She has a bachelors degree in Zoology from Pomona College, Claremont, CA, a masters degree in public administration from the University of Southern California, a masters degree in Physics, and a doctorate in Physics from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.



The GWSS hosts an insightful conversation with Dr. John Logsdon on his latest book

Dr. John Logsdon
Dr. Logsdon is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He is the founder and former Director of the Space Policy Institute.
There have been, of course, very many biographies and other analyses of President John F. Kennedy. There have also been a large number of accounts of the formative years of the U.S. space program. Somewhat unexpectedly, however, there has never been an indepth examination of the interactions between President Kennedy and those he brought with him to the White House, on one hand, and on the other, the national space effort during the transformational 1961‐1963 period. We know why JFK decided to send Americans to the Moon, but have less knowledge of what he did to turn his decision into reality.

Dr Logsdon stated, “I have been working on a study off and on for almost a decade that both expands on my 1970 book The Decision to Go to the Moon and depicts Kennedy’s space‐related efforts in the 2.5 years after he announced his decision. During my time as Lindbergh Chair at the National Air and Space Museum in 2008‐2009 I made significant progress in drafting a book‐length study, based on primary documents and oral history interviews with key individuals. I have continued to work on the manuscript since returning to GW last September. Depending on decisions to be made by a publisher (two major presses have expressed interest), the study is either 90% or 75% complete. Although the main outlines of this narrative are fairly well known, this talk will present some of the new findings from my research and raise questions regarding the Kennedy legacy in space.”

Space Policy Students visit the Space Science Telescope Institute

Space Policy Institute graduate students who attended Dr. Coleen Hartman’s class, “NASA Program Management”, toured the Space Telescope Science Institute on November 15, 2010. SPI students viewed presentations by STScI Director Matt Mountain, Deputy Director and former astronaut John Grunsfeld. Students were also briefed on some preliminary data on the nature of galactic halos derived from Hubble Space Telescope observations and were given the opportunity to see 3D visualizations developed for the IMAX film Hubble 3D

An Introduction to Aerospace Medicine

Aerospace Medicine is a discipline that deals mainly with the effects of an abnormal environment on normal human physiology. This lecture will be an introduction to this relatively new but exciting field of medicine. It included a discussion of key concepts in this field of study in addition to some great space-related stories and photos. The speaker was Dr. Kris Lehnhardt, an Emergency Physician at George Washington University Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at George Washington University. He has studied aerospace medicine with flight surgeons at both the Kennedy Space Center and Defense Research and Development Canada.

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