Dr. Mike Gruntman is professor of astronautics at the Viterbi School of Engineering of the University of Southern California (USC). He served as the founding chairman (2004-2007) of the new Department of Astronautical Engineering at USC (http://astronauticsnow.com/2014aste.pdf). He is again the department chairman for 2016-2019. The life journey took Mike from a child growing at the Tyuratam (Baikonur) launch base in the late 1950s and early 1960s to an accomplished physicist to the founding director of a major educational program in space engineering in the heart of the American space industry. Mike received his Ph.D. from the Space Research Institute (IKI) of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1984. In 1980s, he pioneered various instrumental techniques for imaging of space plasmas in energetic neutral atoms (ENA). ENA imaging had matured by mid-1990s, with several ENA experiments flown in a number of space missions (IMAGE, Cassini, TWINS, IBEX). In 1990, Mike succeeded in escaping from the socialist paradise of the Soviet Union and reached California. He is professor of astronautics and professor of aerospace engineering at USC. Mike had been Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (Co-I) in a number of government-supported theoretical and experimental programs. Presently he is Co-I on two NASA’s space missions, TWINS and IBEX. The Science magazine highlighted the first IBEX map of the interstellar boundary of the solar system in ENA fluxes on its cover in 2009. Mike’s interests include astronautics, space mission and spacecraft design, rocketry and spacecraft propulsion, space instrumentation and sensors, solar system galactic frontier, heliospheric and magnetospheric physics, space plasmas and environment, space debris, particle and photon analyzers and detector systems, space education, and space and rocket history. His graduate course at USC on spacecraft design is perhaps the largest in the country, with 1600 students enrolled from 1996-2015. He also teaches short courses on space technology for government and industry. Mike authored and co-authored 300 scholarly publications, including 4 books (http://astronauticsnow.com/books/ ). His AIAA published “Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry” received an award from the International Academy of Astronautics in 2006; more than 500 libraries worldwide hold the book in their collections. His educational video clips scored one million views on YouTube in 2007-2016. Mike’s web site is http://astronauticsnow.com.