Dr. Mike Gruntman

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. 

Broadcast 2559 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Mike Gruntman. Topics: Dr. Gruntman's new book, "Intercept 1961: The Birth Of Soviet Missile Defense" plus missile defense issues. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use.

Broadcast 1458 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Mike Gruntman. Topics: USC Department of Astronautics and a Soviet spy at USC pre and during WWII. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. You can also obtain all of Dr. Gruntman's book, including "Enemy Amongst Trojans" from the One Giant Leap Foundation Amazon partners book page. Remember, if you buy his books or any books from this site, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show.

Broadcast 1144 (Special Edition)

Guests: Dr. Michael Gruntman; Karsan McGillicuddy. Topics: History of rockets, astronautics, Grand Forks, ND, Space Aliens Grill and Bar. Dr. Mike Gruntman, Professor of Astronautics at the University of Southern California (USC) was our guest for the first segment of this special Space Show program. Dr. Gruntman delivered a colloquium talk to the Space Studies department of UND on April 6, 2009 on the history of rockets. With both his permission and the permission of Dr. David Whalen, Space Studies Chairman, this talk is being presented here as a Space Show program.

Broadcast 779 (Special Edition)

This is the first of two AIAA Space 2007 conference interview programs. This set of interviews includes discussion by Debra Facktor Lepore, President of Air Launch, LLC, Dr. Eligar Sadeh and his wife Chris, and Dr. Mike Gruntman, professor at USC. Debra updates us with Air Launch LCC news, Eligar is now a professor at the USAF Academy and has also started a private consulting business, and Dr. Gruntman talks about his educational ideas for space engineering improvements at the college level. Each guest provides an email or contact method if you have questions or comments for them.

Broadcast 751 (Special Edition)

Dr. Mike Gruntman was the guest for this Space Show program. First, please be aware that this interview had substantial phone line noise which could not be cleared up during the call or show processing. We do apologize for any inconvenience this "noisy" conversation causes you. We began the program by discussing his award winning book published by AIAA, "Blazing the Trail: The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry." AIAA has just completed a second printing of the book with a substantial price reduction.

Broadcast 403 (Special Edition)

Dr. Michael Gruntman, Chair of Astronautics at the Viterbi School Engineering of USC was the special guest for this Space Show program. As author of the superb book, "Blazing the Trail: The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry," we started our discussion with questions pertaining to the history of rockets starting with Asia and moving to Greece and Egypt. We talked about rockets and their development by military's and wars throughout the centuries up to the current period. I asked Dr. Gruntman where we would be in the development of rocketry if we did not have wars and armies.

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