On April 10, 1912, The Titanic left Southampton, England on its maiden voyage, bound for New York City. At 11:40pm April 14, 1912, the Titanic hit an ice berg and disappeared from the oceans surface at 2:20am April 15, 1912, taking with it over 1,500 souls.
A little less than 100 years later, Reda Anderson, dove in a Russian submersible 12,500 feet to the bottom of the ocean, to see for herself what remains of the disintegrating Titanic. She is one of less than 100 paying passengers and less than 12 women who have ever done so.
Flying from Los Angeles to St. Johns, Newfoundland, Reda along with Melody, her 11-year-old granddaughter, boarded the largest ocean going research vessel in the world, the Keldysh, The Keldysh is the mother ship to MIR1 and MIR 2,two of five submersibles in the world capable of making such a dive. A mere six feet wide on the inside and holding a pilot and two passengers, Reda says, “It was a bit cramped in there.” But, even so, she says the MIR submersible was roomier than in the Rocketplane XP, a modified Lear 24 jet, will be when she flies into space as Rocketplane-Kistler's first paying customer. In the 1960s she purposefully immersed herself into an active anti-Vietnam riot in San Francisco and a tidal wave at the beach just to see what these experiences would be like. Reda has traveled to the seven continents and 47 countries preferring to rough it on her travels such as fishing for piranha in the Piranha River in Brazil and leading four-wheel-drive trips both domestically to the Mojave Desert and internationally to remote Mongolia and Peru. More recently, in South Africa she survived an incursion with a boulder following aborted takeoff in a small aircraft.
Reda has undergraduate and master's degrees in business, and an additional forty-plus university classes of various subjects. She's is a real estate investor in residential rental properties in Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.
Dr. Haym Benaroya, Rutgers University
Dr. Haym Benaroya is a professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers University. He is also a noted lecturer at national and international space conferences and a space advocate. He received both his Ph.D. and Masters in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Benaroya's space interests include the modeling of space and lunar base structures, space business and technology transfer, as well as the economic and political factors affecting space commerce. Dr. Benaroya has published many space related articles in peer review publications, especially concerning lunar structures and engineering.
Dr. Sean Casey
Dr. Casey is the co-founder of the Silicon Valley Space Center, a non- profit business accelerator focused on connecting entrepreneurs with the NewSpace Industry. For the last 15-years, Dr. Casey served as a senior scientist with the Universities Space Research Association for NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The SOFIA program is a joint mission between NASA and the DLR. On SOFIA, Dr. Casey's responsibilities included coordination of the design and development of the first-light science instruments and leadership of science instrument integration for early SOFIA science. Dr. Casey did his undergraduate work at Knox College in Galesburg, IL and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Dr. Casey's personal research interests include the study of interstellar dust grain composition and their resultant optical absorption and emission properties. As a research scientist, Dr. Casey has worked at both NASA Goddard, Ames, and the Dryden Flight Research Center. While at Chicago and Goddard, he did a considerable amount of observing aboard the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, a predecessor to SOFIA. Dr. Casey also holds dual MBAs from the Berkeley Haas and Columbia Schools of business and serves as an adviser and co-founder for several NewSpace start-ups in Silicon Valley.
David G. Faulkner is the Rocketplane Global Program Manager / CTO.
Mr. Faulkner leads the development of the Rocketplane Global suborbital space vehicle. Prior to joining Rocketplane he worked with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics since 1998. His last post with Lockheed Martin “Skunk Works” was leading the configuration development on DARPA’s FALCON program. There he co-developed a unique hypersonic vehicle configuration which was instrumental in winning the sole $100+ Million FALCON Phase II award for the company. Mr. Faulkner’s experience as a conceptual and preliminary designer extends to DARPA’s Quiet Supersonic Platform (QSP), Navy’s RATTLRS programs and other Lockheed Martin efforts. Mr. Faulkner started his career in the flight testing realm as test conductor on the F-16 and F-22 programs leading tests that often qualified as “High Risk”. Before transferring from flight test he successfully planned and conducted the first AIM-9 missile shot from the F-22 at the Navy’s China Lake test range. With this experience David brings a wealth of applicable knowledge and skill to the RPGobal team. Mr. Faulkner holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering both from the University of Oklahoma.
Robert Zimmerman is a well known and respected space historian and author. He posts regularly at his website, http://behindtheblack.com, on space, science, and other matters relating to cultural and political issues. Mr. Zimmerman is also an award winning author. His most recent book, THE UNIVERSE IN A MIRROR: THE SAGA OF THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE AND THE VISIONARIES WHO BUILT IT (Princeton University Press) tells the poignant tale of the men and women behind the telescope, and how many had to sacrifice careers and family to get it built. It also describes in detail the importance of Hubble both scientifically and culturally. More than any other instrument sent into space, the Hubble Space Telescope reshaped the human perception of our place in the universe. Robert's previous book, LEAVING EARTH: SPACE STATIONS, RIVAL SUPERPOWERS, AND THE QUEST FOR INTERPLANETARY TRAVEL, is a must read! It describes in detail the history of manned space flight, post Apollo. Thus, it includes a lot of information about the Soviet/Russian space program that is unknown to most Americans. In 2003 American Astronautical Society awarded LEAVING EARTH the Eugene Emme Award as that year's the best space history for the general public. Mr. Zimmerman has also authored GENESIS, THE STORY OF APOLLO 8 (first published in 1998 and now available as an ebook from amazon.com and all other ebook distributors), telling the family and political tale behind the first human journey to another world, and THE CHRONOLOGICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DISCOVERIES IN SPACE (published by Oryx Press, now ABC-CLIO, 2000), a detailed reference book describing what was accomplished on every space mission beginning in October 1957 with Sputnik and continuing through December 1999. His work is published regularly in such magazines as SCIENCE, SKY & TELESCOPE, ASTRONOMY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FORTUNE, AD ASTRA, AMERICAN HISTORY, STARDATE, and many other major magazines. In 2000 he was co-winner of the David N. Schramm Award, given by the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society for Science Journalism. He can be reached at zimmerman at nasw dot org.