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Broadcast 1002 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on August 19th, 2008
Guests: Neil Milburn, William Pomerantz, Todd Squires, Scott Zeeb
Guests: Will Pomerantz, Todd Squires, Scott Zeeb, and Neil Milburn were the guests for this show which focused on the 2008 NASA Centennial Challenge Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge with $2 million in prize money to be won. We started the discussion with Will telling us about the Challenge, the rules, how the prize money is divided up, and how members of the public can follow this year's program as Holloman AFB will not be open to the general public. We then talked with Todd and Scott concerning their entry from TrueZer0 (see for details, pictures, and more information). Todd and Scott explained their vehicle, its engine, fuel, tests, the AST process, and much more. You will definitely hear their excitement about their vehicle and being involved in this year's contest, don't miss it. Our next guest, Neil Milburn of Armadillo Aerospace, brought us current as to their difficulties in last year's Challenge and what they did differently this year to make the strongest possible showing to win. We also talked about the Holloman AFB emergency and safety crews and rules, driving rocket parts and fuel across state lines, the AST process for a continuation of an existing vehicle, altitude differences between Burns Flat in Oklahoma and New Mexico and much more. We talked about volunteering and internships with Armadillo as well as how the team self-motivates to stay up and devoted to the program even after their setbacks the last few years. Neil also talked about future plans for the company, new projects and new customers. As you will hear, the Armadillo team is energized and ready go, extremely devoted to winning this year's Lunar Lander Challenge. At the end of the show, Neil talked about future arrangements with the New Mexico spaceport which may include several hundred flights in a year or over a short term and he told us to look for this announcement soon. This year's Challenge stands to be a good one with ten entries and hopefully, a winner. As soon as the X-PRIZE Organization tells me how we can view and follow the Challenge, I will announce it on air. For more information about the X PRIZE, please visit and

About our guests...

Neil Milburn
Neil MILBURN was born in Middlesbrough England and is the British version of the Rocket Boys. His fascination with space and rocketry began with that same seminal moment, staring in to the skies of Northern England to try and spot Sputnik. His formative years were spent watching the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs from afar. Unfortunately, England was the wrong side of the “pond” to be involved in space and his hope of becoming an astronaut was further dashed when he discovered he could not join the Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot because of poor eyesight. He subsequently graduated with an Honors Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Leeds and married the love of his life Susan in 1973. Neil then spent almost thirty years in private industry in a variety of roles – engineering, international sales and marketing - before he found his niche doing small engineering company start-ups and turnarounds. In this role he moved to the USA in 1982 and forgot to go home (but legal … a US citizen since 2006.) In 2003 he “semi-retired” and fulfilled a lifelong promise to payback a childhood debt to his mentors by taking up teaching. For his “day job” he currently teaches International Baccalaureate Physics in North Texas. That’s the day job! In 2000, Neil was one of the four original founding members of the team that eventually became Armadillo Aerospace. What started as a short term project has now matured into one of the leading AltSpace companies in the world. The Armadillo eight man team has virtually unparalleled experience with rocket powered VTVPL (Vertical Take-Off, Vertical Powered Landing) vehicles and is the only company to have qualified for the NASA Centennial / Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge and flown vehicles at all three of the X-Prize Cups. Armadillo Aerospace also flew the very first flight under an FAA AST experimental permit and owns three of four permits ever issued. In the past year, Armadillo Aerospace has undertaken a project for the Airforce Research Laboratory, signed a partnership agreement with NASA JSC and has several other private sector contracts. However, Armadillo Aerospace’s original and still current goal is to change the paradigm for unmanned and manned access to sub-orbital and orbital space. A modular vehicle designed for the space tourism market is in fabrication and the initial test flights will take place this year. Armadillo anticipates making as many as 100 test flights in 2009, at both Spaceport Oklahoma and Spaceport America, with potentially the first commercial flight before the end of that same year. Neil is currently the VP & Program Manager for Armadillo Aerospace, responsible for business development, federal compliance, permitting & licensing and safety. He lives in Plano with his wife of thirty plus years, he has three sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grandchildren with another on back order for September. If Mike Griffin needs an extra pair of hands on a Shuttle mission, his number is on the Armadillo website, but regardless, Neil WILL fulfill a lifetime ambition and keep the dream alive by becoming an Armadillo Aerospace astronaut in the very, very near future.

William Pomerantz
William Pomerantz holds a BA in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University, and a Masters of Science in Space Studies from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. In addition to his work on the X PRIZE Foundation's space prizes, Pomerantz also serves as a coach for the Zero Gravity Corporation, joining passengers in weightlessness on parabolic flights. He is a graduate of the NASA Academy at Goddard Space Flight Center and has formerly worked at Harvard University, Brown University and the Futron Corporation, an aerospace consultancy based in Bethesda, Maryland. Pomerantz is a co-founder of, an online news and networking tool for young space professionals around the world, and served as Chief Editor for two years. He is currently Vice President of the ISU-USA Alumni Association. From 2006 through early 2007, Pomerantz proudly served on a National Research Council Federal Advisory Committee producing a report on "Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration."

Todd Squires
Todd has been working with computers and electronics since 1980. He found his first programming job while still in high school working weekends writing programs for small businesses. As a freshman in college, he began working for industry veteran Tod Zipnick. Mr. Zipnick was the founder of TMQ software, then a garage based software startup in the suburbs of Chicago. TMQ went on to become ICOM Simulations in 1984. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Computer Science Engineering in 1987, Todd joined ICOM full time. In addition to his capacity as senior engineer, Todd was on call to tackle many development issues faced internally by the company's programming staff. In 1993 ICOM was purchased by Viacom to expedite its entry into the interactive arena.After the Viacom acquisition, Todd moved to New York for 3 months to undertake the development of the StarSight on-screen program guide for the interactive television trial being conducted by Viacom/AT&T. As well as all programming, duties included being a technical liaison between Viacom and Bell Labs who were developing the set-top-box. Todd's key interests are new technology for entertainment, home control, and information acquisition. He has a strong hardware and software background and a history of meeting and conquering new technology challenges head on. His continuing goal is to stay at the forefront of the application of technology in consumer products.

Scott Zeeb
Scott Zeeb – Mechanical Engineer Overview • Seven years of new product design and development expertise. • Masters degree in mechanical engineering from University of Florida. • Employed at Design Integrity, Inc. since December 2000. • Focus on complex mechanical and electro-mechanical systems. • Strong project management skills. Experience • Studied and worked under Dr. George Tlusty at the University of Florida on the design and development of state-of-the-art high speed machine tools. • High-level experience with the assembly and debugging of electro-mechanical prototypes. • Skilled at managing complex projects under strict timelines and budgets from concept through production. Expertise Engineering design fields: bicycle components, medical products, hand tools, machine tools, power tools, and welding equipment. High volume manufacturing processes: machining, shaping, welding, injection molding, casting, stamping, extrusion, powder metal, and metal injection molding. Technical competencies: machine design, stress analysis, machine dynamics, mechanism synthesis, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics. Machining expertise: conventional and CNC milling, turning, high speed machining of aluminum, drilling, grinding, conventional and wire EDM. Education • MSME – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL – 2000 • BSME – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL – 1998 Distinctions  Graduated first in class with highest honors at University of Florida – BSME – May of 1998  Several United States engineering patents in process.

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