David Gingerich, Senior Staff Engineer with Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Affiliate Faculty Member at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Help Wanted: Researchers, social scientists and engineers to transform terrestrial-bound human beings into a space-faring species
Long ago, the first life on Earth evolved from living exclusively in ancient, primordial oceans to thriving on dry land. The next major evolutionary step of homo sapiens will be consciously transporting ourselves from our ancient home on Earth to our future home in the galaxy. In his keynote address, Mr. Gingerich will discuss how successfully establishing human society in outer space will require a great deal of non-technical, human-centered research. As humans change from a terrestrial-only species we must expect that the cultures and social organizations we’ve built on Earth will be transformed. How that transformation takes place, how quickly and successfully we send humans into long space voyages and off-Earth colonies, and how well these pioneers become self-sufficient and thrive depends on how successfully we transform our human bodies, cultures, and societies to live and grow in a hostile, unfamiliar, and extraordinarily desolate environment. This keynote address will review the enormous opportunities for undergraduate research to contribute to this evolution as our species takes its first steps away from our water-planet and into the ‘dryland’ of outer space.
Many of the challenges confronting our species during this transformation are non-technical. The means to live in low Earth orbit or a lunar facility still requires serious technology research and development. But it also desperately depends on extensive research in psychology, sociology, recreation, kinesiology, art appreciation, inter-personal communication, family relationships and child rearing, government, botany, pharmacology, organizational development, municipal planning, the growth and change of culture, political science, biology, nutrition, child development, and physiology. Every discipline we employ on Earth to study human interaction, resolve personal conflicts, improve society and our treatment of others, everything we do to promote the growth and well-being of the human species, must work together in an inter-disciplinary process to develop a self-sustainable, thriving, vibrant off-world human existence. Be sure to attend this keynote address to hear how your ideas and your research can be a part of this transformative human endeavor.
With little more than a change in environment, many undergraduate student research projects can be revised to provide basic research into addressing the needs of space travelers and colonists. Living in outer space is so fundamentally different from living on Earth that a large number of important and urgent research opportunities already exist and more become apparent every year - each one providing undergraduate students the opportunity to explore an area well suited to their passion and research interests while also making serious contributions to the international space program.
The address will be followed by a question and answer period.
Mr. Dave Gingerich is a Senior Staff Engineer at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Denver, Colorado. For the last decade he has served as the Certified Principal Engineer for Flight Software on nine, highly successful NASA space exploration missions. With more than 30 years of experience at Lockheed Martin, he has worked almost exclusively on the development, test, integration and operation of space exploration spacecraft to Mars, the Sun, two comets & an asteroid, our moon, Jupiter, and an astrophysics observatory.
Pursuant to his love of teaching and discussing all matters of space exploration, Mr. Gingerich is also an Affiliate Faculty member of the Aviation and Aerospace Sciences Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Space Operations Management, Masters of Science degree program at Webster University in Denver. At Metro State University, he currently teaches four courses in the Space Commercialization Certificate program. At Webster University he serves as the local area Space Mentor and conducts courses on Space Systems Engineering, Orbital Mechanics, Hazards of Spaceflight, Space Mission Operations and Fundamentals of Space.
Because these activities leave Dave with a couple of free hours every week, he will soon provide his one-hundredth, inspiring presentation on space exploration and careers to Denver-area elementary and middle school students. The same energy and enthusiasm for space exploration is reflected in the dozens of tours he conducts at work each year to various organizations, high school students, NASA Student Ambassadors and aerospace VIPs.