Ann Micklos Talk: 2018 NASA Launches & Space Exploration

On Thursday, April 12th, Ann Micklos visited campus and talked with the Loomis community about NASA’s Launch Services Program and her career in aerospace engineering. For over 25 years, Micklos worked at the Kennedy Space Center as an aerospace engineer and was involved in 110 missions. The majority of her talk covered her current work with the Launch Services Program and the six different launches that are scheduled for 2018, including GOES-S, TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Surveillance Satellite), InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport), Parker Solar Probe, ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2), and ICON (Ionospheric Connection Explorer). Throughout the talk, Micklos delved into the goals for each launch and showed videos that gave a visual aspect to the concepts that she was exploring. After the talk and a short Q&A sessions, students flooded around Micklos, eager to ask more questions after the intriguing discussion. During those more intimate conversations, Micklos expanded on NASA’s goals for Mars colonization. Her first point was that she believes it important that NASA and SpaceX team up in the Mars effort, as it would be beneficial to have double the resources going towards achieving this goal. Her second point was before attempting to get people on Mars, it would be better to colonize the moon, as it’s only a day away and humans have had the experience of landing there. Then, after colonizing the moon, they could use what they learned and put it towards landing people on Mars. However, Micklos did stress how incredibly difficult it would to be to accomplish that feat, as the atmosphere on Mars is quite different from that of Earth and the moon and would require the use of advanced landing tactics. Nevertheless, Micklos gave an incredibly fascinating talk that opened the Loomis community’s eyes to current space exploration and advancements.

Written by: Anya Sastry ’20 (Web Staff Writer)