Going to Outer Space with Dr. Christyl Johnson
Today’s guest is Dr. Christyl Johnson, the Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Johnson joins us to share a behind-the-scenes view of the innovations coming out of the Goddard Flight Center and the role that she plays in the process. Analyst’s Sam Korus and Tasha Keeney speak with Dr. Johnson about her experiences as an intern at the Langley Research Center and what she loves most about working for NASA, an environment built on the foundations of out-of-the-box thinking and creativity. We hear more about Dr. Johnson’s role at the Goddard Flight Center in forming strategic partnerships between government and private sectors to develop technology for future missions in Earth science, astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science. Our conversation also covers some of the research currently being done at Goddard on solar storms, algorithms for processing satellite imaging system information, space telescopes, and much more. Tuning in, listeners will also hear about the skillsets that are most in-demand at Goddard, the importance of diversity for creative problem solving, and the immense process of guiding project invitation from ideation to solution.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Dr. Johnson’s experiences as an intern at the Langley Research Center.
- The work Dr. Johnson does as Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
- When it is more appropriate for public versus private industries to develop the technologies NASA uses.
- Improvements in technology Dr. Johnson has seen during her time at Goddard.
- Innovations in the algorithms that process information from satellite imaging systems.
- Dr. Johnson’s ideas for new methods of navigation that use pulsars, not GPS.
- What role the Goddard Space Center plays in the development of NASA technology.
- Research on solar storms, planetary and lunar Science, space telescopes, and a lunar net system.
- The six campuses that make up the Goddard Space Center.
- Why NASA places so much emphasis on safety precautions near launch sites.
- How many people work at the center and which percent are PhDs.
- The importance of diversity and outside opinions to avoid groupthink.
- Why the Goddard team has such a strong need for systems engineers.
- What the process from ideation to solution looks like at Goddard.