| November 13, 2013: Dr. Dan Durda|
"Getting Ready to Fly in Space: Southwest Research Institute's Suborbital Science Program"
Dr. Durda is an active pilot, with time logged in over a dozen types of aircraft including the F/A-18 Hornet and the F-104 Starfighter, and was a finalist in the 2004 NASA astronaut selection. He serves as a flight astronomer for the SWUIS-A airborne astronomical imaging system flown aboard NASA and military high-performance, high-altitude aircraft and has spent over 84 minutes of time in zero-gravity conducting experiments on NASA's KC-135 Reduced Gravity Research Aircraft. Durda is one of three SwRI payload specialists who will fly on multiple suborbital spaceflights on Virgin Galactic's Enterprise and XCOR Aerospace's Lynx.
Dr. Durda is also a Principal Scientist in the Department of Space Studies of the Southwest Research Institute's Boulder Colorado office. He has more than twenty years of experience researching the collisional and dynamical evolution of main-belt and near-Earth asteroids, Vulcanoids, Kuiper belt comets, and interplanetary dust.
| April 17, 2013: Dr. S. Alan Stern|
Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, and author. He is also an instrument-rated commercial pilot and flight instructor, with both powered and sailplane ratings. In 2010, he was elected to be the President and CEO of The Golden Spike Company, a commercial space corporation planning human lunar expeditions. Additionally, since 2009, he has been an Associate Vice President at the Southwest Research Institute, and since 2008 has had his own aerospace consulting practice.
His career has taken him to numerous astronomical observatories, to the South Pole, and to the upper atmosphere aboard various high performance NASA aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornets, F-104 Starfighters, KC-135 Zero-G, and WB-57 Canberras. He has been involved as a researcher in 24 suborbital, orbital, and planetary space missions, including 9 for which he was the mission principle investigator, and he has led the development of 8 scientific instruments for NASA space missions. In 1995, he was selected as a Space Shuttle mission specialist finalist, and in 1996 he was a candidate Space Shuttle Payload specialist. In 2010, he became a suborbital payload specialist trainee and is expected to fly several space missions in 2013-2014.
| March 20, 2013: Matt Heerema|
Matt started flying in 1992 in Ann Arbor, Mi and went to Western Michigan University for Aviation Operations and Maintenance where he got a BS degree. He was on the precision flight team which was part of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association. After this, he flew parachute jumpers in c-182 and twin otter. He flight instructed for about 1100 hrs in a little under 3 yrs. Flew freight in a beech 18 with round engines for about a month.
Matt got an internship flying a King-Air 350 for Masco Corp. out of Detroit metro. After that, he went to the airlines. Started in a Beech 1900 for Skyway Airlines. Left there for Air Wisconsin. Flew a Do-328 in the mountains for them. Then the RJ. Was an instructor in the RJ for about 2 yrs. Left Air Wisconsin for Frontier in 2007. Left Frontier for Virgin America in 2011.
| February 20, 2013: Joe Tanner|
Joe Tanner is an instructor at CU, a former naval aviator, and a former NASA astronaut. Tanner joined the Navy after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1973. He earned his Navy pilot wings in 1975 before serving as an A-7E pilot with Light Attack Squadron 94 (VA-94) aboard the U.S.S. Coral Sea. He finished his active service as an advanced jet instructor pilot with Training Squadron 4 (VT-4) in Pensacola, Florida.
Tanner started working for NASA Johnson Space Center in 1984 as an aerospace engineer and research pilot. His primary flying responsibilities involved teaching the astronaut pilots Space Shuttle landing techniques in the Shuttle Training Aircraft and instructing the pilots and mission specialists in the T-38.
Tanner has flown aboard the Space Shuttles Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour on a variety of spaceflight missions and has worked on the Hubble Space Telescope as well as the International Space Station. He has accumulated more than 8,900 hours in military and NASA aircraft and has logged over 1000 hours in space, including 7 spacewalks.