G & T Show Supplemental Log – Enterprise In Space
G & T Show Supplemental Log – Enterprise In Space is now available to download. Check it out here. This week, Nick, Mike, and Terry are joined by a gaggle of scientists, engineers, educators, business people, and Larry Nemecek to talk about Enterprise In Space. We welcome Shawn Case, Lynne Zielinski, Fred Becker, and Johnny Steverson, in addition to Larry Nemecek to talk about what they are attempting to accomplish with their project: Enterprise In Space. This interview contained so much awesome information, I could not contain it all within these show notes. Give it a listen and hear about this wonderful project for yourself.
The studio is a bit crowded this evening with our five guests and our regular crew. Mike jokes that its like a phone booth at college campus. Moving us along, Nick introduces Larry Nemecek, who quickly mentions his current projects Trekland, the Wrath of Con, and his On Speaker CDs, before revealing how he got involved with Enterprise In Space and became part of their PR department as Chief Promoter. The project has been going on for four years and their goal is for a real space mission to put an unmanned orbiter into space along with winning student experiments in four to five years, while testing aerospace processes and technologies in homage to Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek, and everything that has inspired them and people around the world to look to space as the final frontier. He quickly adds that the National Space Society has taken them under their umbrella and has sponsored them.
Larry introduces the team with us. Shawn Case is the founder, Lynne Zielinski is their superstar education director that will oversee all of the education outreach to students, teachers, and the general public, Fred Becker is a thirty-year NASA veteran and Chief Engineer for the project, and Johnny Steverson is their IT and Development guy. Larry is pleased to be involved. After three or four years, they are just now rolling out all of its various parts because of the project’s complexity. He passes us over to Shawn Case to tell us more about the project. But, first Nick asks Lynne if she’s been in space. She hasn’t, but her hair has. Lynne was involved with the first Teacher in Space program from back in the 80’s. It inspired her to become an astronaut and although she never made it up, she ended up sending experiments on the space shuttle. Lynne taught High School Physics for thirty-two years.
Shawn takes us back to the beginning of the project. He’s a huge Star Trek fan and had seen that Gene Roddenberry’s ashes into space and realized that there had never been an Enterprise in orbit. He didn’t see any technical reason why it was not possible and began to reach out to people to see how far it would go. Andy Probert and other encouraged him, until he was able to get his team together to put together this project. Shawn explains because there is a rocket involved there is a ton of paperwork required. He originally wanted to send a satellite into deep space, but the cost of it was prohibitive. As they looked at it more practically, they settled on an eight foot orbiting satellite. He wanted it to do science to pay proper justice to the name Enterprise. It would be in orbit for at least a week but could be extended to a month with more funding before it would be returned to Earth safely. Ultimately, they would like to retire it to the National Air and Space Museum. They are seeking a minimum of a $20 donation for people to be a virtual crew member aboard the first Enterprise to go into orbit. Once the Enterprise was installed at a museum, there would be a computer that would allow visitors to view the entire crew roster of the Enterprise.
Mike asked about the type of experiments they hope to conduct within an eight foot space. Lynne explains that the experiments are yet to be determined, since they will be designed by kids from K through University. She anticipates several types of experiments, such active which use power, passives that do not, free-flyer which can move around an open Enterprise, and finally a cubesat. They can be STEM-based technologies to STEAM and STREAM-based technologies. STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. With STEAM and STREAM, they add Arts and Reading to the STEM program. There are some rules, such as no vertebrates. Nick jokes about being able to send his divorce lawyer up there.
Larry says that Lynne has an outreach to teachers and the public. Nick asks how everyone got involved in the project. Nick was impressed by the caliber of the people involved with the project. Shawn said he got lucky in finding people with the same passion for science education and sci-fi. Lynne explains she’s an Apollo era kid and grew up watching it. The kids she taught grew up in the shuttle era and they are hoping to get people excited about space and about being tourists. Mike says by including the kids, they are giving them a stake in it. Terry asks if the donations will go to help spread the word about the education program. Lynne says yes it is, but continues to explain that it is a $40 million project with almost half going just toward launch costs and that is flying as secondary cargo on a Falcon rocket from Space X. The rest of the funding will go into building the craft, funding the student experiments, and educating the public. They are doing this so the kids don’t have to pay anything to have their experiments taken into space. In other similar competitions, the winners have to pay for their experiments to be flown into space, which can cost upwards of several thousand dollars.
Johnny explains that is what drew him to the project. Education is involved before, during, and after launch. He goes on to explain what drew him to the project. As he learned more about the project, he wanted to get more involved. He designed the website, helped get the business going, aided Lynne with the educational stuff, and a little bit of everything else. Larry mentions the Project Managers before stating that they don’t get to do their bits until they get the message out. The website was only launched a month ago. Shawn adds that the project’s outreach is international and is not limited to people in the United States. Nick asks if any governments are supporting the project. Shawn says no. They are a nonprofit and all donations are tax deductible.
They have several contests going on including a ship design contest allowing people to design the space craft. It doesn’t have to be a Star Trek ship design. They are looking for something sci-fi-like. They also have a mission patch coming up soon as well. Nick asks Fred about his time at NASA and some of the things he has done while working for them over the last thirty years.
The interview is filled with so much information, it’s impossible to include it all in these show notes. Don’t miss out and contribute to this great project if you can. It is a worthy endeavor.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.