National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Woodrow Whitlow

June 29, 2007

The Academy meeting with Glenn Center Director Woodrow Whitlow was set up as a Q and A. Here’s how it went down, paraphrased.

Q: What is NASA’s current plan?

A: The space station will be retired in 2020. Until then we will still need to be able to send people and supplies to it so a service and transport vehicle is in development. Also, moving towards the goal of the moon and Mars, the Crew Launch Vehicle and Crew Exploration Vehicle are also being developed. Currently, the upper stage rocket engines are being tested as well as the ascent propulsion systems for landing.

Q: What are NASA’s current outreach goals?

A: The agency is developing a strategy towards increasing public outreach which includes possible partnerships with the History and Discovery channels. Ideally, all ages of people could be reached through educational programming. NASA Glenn is trying to increase local publicity by doing news interviews. Another goal is to help teach teachers how to teach students about space and what NASA is doing.

Q: What advice do you have for people in our positions?

A: Do something that you like and know where you want to go with it. Look for broadening opportunities. Also look at the histories of the people in positions where you’d like to be and definitely find a good mentor, in turn seeking to be a mentor.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Running, lifting, reading (only non-fiction), was formerly into building models.

Q: If you had unlimited funding and support, what would you do with NASA Glenn?

A: First, the campus would be completely redesigned and we’d have gourmet food in the cafeteria. Aeronautics research would get more of a focus, as well as nanotechnology, bioscience and energies research.

—Jessica Snyder