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Announcement NASA AMA: Charles White Knowledge Management Analyst

sward

Administrator
Staff member
Oct 10, 2019
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Hi NASA fans!

This AMA is now closed, thank you so much all for participating and special thanks to @SpacePope for answering all the questions.

Fly safe!

Our special guest for launch week is none other than NASA’S own Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Charles White. He'll be answering questions in this thread over the next few weeks, so if you have questions ask away!



More about Charles White

Charles White is currently a Knowledge Management Analyst for the Office of the Chief Engineer.

Mr. White is a sitting member on both the JPL Engineering Board, as human factors in engineering specialist, and the JPL Lesson Learned Committee as an author and investigator to lesson learned documents and selected case studies.

His lessons learned are published on the NASA website and examples are the extended wearing of the Mars Curiosity Rover Wheels, and how nickel alloys can become magnetised endangering spacecraft missions, among others.

His career at JPL began in 1987 and he has worked on numerous space missions directly and indirectly through institutional support program offices. He has brought information technology changes to the institution. Charles has received numerous awards for his innovative initiatives.

Charles promotes JPL missions to school children and programs as he himself was inspired as a student to work at JPL by Carl Sagan. He eventually met Dr. Sagan at JPL and they sat together on the JPL mall for a 90-minute face to face chat.

In his off-work time, Charles is an active member of the Los Angeles League of Arts and he promotes joining science and art together through a private group known as the Desert Wizards of Mars. This group has brought several art pieces to Burning Man, including the Mars Rover Art Car, and the Black Rock Observatory.

Additionally, Charles has co-founded an in-game organisation known as the Sixth Empire, which promotes an anti-suicide program for gamers in EVE Online. The Sixth Empire has 500 members located worldwide.

He’ll be popping in to answer questions in this thread throughout the week so we'd be delighted if you'd be up for helping us get the conversation started by asking him any questions related either to his work at NASA , or his work with EVE Online.

Here’s some reading for you to get you started:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

JPL is the leading U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system, and has 19 spacecraft and 10 major instruments carrying out planetary, Earth science and space-based astronomy missions.

Charles is better known in MMORPG, EVE Online circles as the head of the Ammarian roleplaying faction ‘Max Singularity, The Space Pope'.

Official EVE Online Press:
Ask away!
Stevie
 
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SpacePope

Featured Guest
Oct 23, 2019
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UPDATE:
Hi again! Thanks for bearing with me... I just had a week vacation hanging out with my EVE Online friends in Las Vegas for one of their World Tour events. It is an event where the game publisher CCP Hf. presents changes to the game and players (like me) also present. One of the players told me how EVE Online saved her life because our community is one of the best in the world... and... it turns out that the company took one of my video quotes to emphasize that point.

So... now, in my after work hours I'll be back to answering AMA questions. :)



ORIGINAL MESSAGE:
Hello Everyone.


I’m looking forward to this AMA and I want to get to as many questions as possible over time.

Let it be known, that I’m not an official NASA, or JPL spokesperson, nor do I represent EVE Online (the spaceship game) at all.

However, I am a fan of both my employer and the game. So please note that I answer as a (proud) private citizen who enjoys his work.

Since I am going to take my time, I have some fellow employees, and some gamer friends that I can ask them questions and I’ll try to get an answer back. I’m not shy at saying “I don’t know” because as a space employee, that is one of the first things I learned. Never make up an answer if you don’t know it, because in some cases, nobody knows!

Thank you for the opportunity to share part of my excitement with what I do with all of you! :)

-Charles
 
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jpishgar

Administrator
Staff member
Aug 22, 2019
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How'd you get the title of "Space Pope"?

What's the biggest, most incredulous Eureka-style revelation you've had on the human factors in engineering side of things?
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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Here is a question for you.

Has anyone ever tried to grow crops in simulated martian soil? And if so, what were the results?

In other words, could the potato patch seen in the movie The Martian ever be a reality?
 

SpacePope

Featured Guest
Oct 23, 2019
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Hi!

What would you say is the most impactful or important project that you've worked on and why?
Hi Mknott,

Thank you…

In my 32 years, there are so many things I have done to help all JPL missions as I worked in several institutional support offices, however, there was a time when I was on the Mars Pathfinder Mission directly. Pathfinder put the first rover on Mars called Sojourner. It was a unique engineering test of entry descent and landing (EDL) of the new airbag system. The project was also creative in small team management and I met many of the people there that are now senior managers of JPL today. We had a short time to develop and deploy the spacecraft, lander, and rover but as you know it was a great success.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars-pathfinder

Also, as a JPL Employee, I did spend some time helping the United Space Air Force Space Command with a few knowledge management tasks. This was a case of sharing NASA knowledge with our Air Force friends and together we improved the independent readiness review team (IRRT) that performs risk assessment of space launch missions and reports findings in pre-launch reviews. My work there I consider was important to our national success.

Today my institutional work continues helping all of our flight projects share knowledge and capture (hard-earned) lessons learned.

-Charles White
 
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Oct 22, 2019
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whatsup.space
Mr White: I got to see the life-size lunar lander at burning man this year. What are some of your favorite space-themed pieces there, and what would you like to see at burning man? I hung out with the "BRASA" folks which was across from Math Camp at 3:14. Can you talk more about your work with Desert Wizards of Mars in 2020?
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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Charles: Can you discuss how NASA plans to send me to MARS? I know the SLS and the new Artemis capsule will play a significant part in the voyage. I know that it is larger than the Apollo spacecraft but to keep 6 astronauts cooped up in the spacecraft for a voyage of 8 moths seem more like torture to me. And after arriving at Mars and descending to the surface, after 8 months in zero-G, they may not even be able to walk. Are there plans to make a larger vehicle with a rotating section to provide for at least a 1/3G gravity to give the astronauts room to move about and .minimize the physical degradation effects of zero-G? Just curious.
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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Hi!


What would you say about the possibility of using the method of thermo-electrics to cool rocket engines or other surfaces?
Where would you put the job opportunities of people specialising in thermodynamics in 5 years?
 
Oct 23, 2019
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would an ION engine work in any spacecrafts in space? I would like to see if a model of the USS Enterprise to see if this would work in space & what kind of speed can it produce to get it moving!
 

SpacePope

Featured Guest
Oct 23, 2019
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How'd you get the title of "Space Pope"?


What's the biggest, most incredulous Eureka-style revelation you've had on the human factors in engineering side of things?
hahaha well… that’s a funny thing. I never called myself the Space Pope, that is a name that the players of EVE Online gave (dubbed) me. In the game I played a religious Admiral of the Amarr Empire, one of five races in the game. I read the lore of the game and I deduced that the Non-Player Character (NPC) who is supposed to be the high Empress of Amarr was in fact illegal in her position. I started a campaign to arrest or kill her in-game which is pretty much impossible to do in any other internet game. However, the company CCP hf. decided to play along and long story short, she ended up dead.

But the name stuck when I devoted my organization that I co-founded, the Sixth Empire alliance to support in-game players that needed help, or had thoughts of suicide. Another player by the name of Coffee Rocks founded a movement called Broadcast For Reps (B4R) out of the game, and I started promoting the program. This movement, and our organization the Sixth Empire has saved an uncountable number of real life lives (uncountable because we don’t keep count).

However, when I decided to dress up as the Space Pope… well… the title became perament and now I try my best to live up to it. I’ve been asked to bless babies, I’ve legally married people, and have conducted memorial and funeral services in the role in real life. At first, it was all for fun, but people really counted on me, and it took me awhile to think, “what really is a blessing?” So I deduced that anyone can bless anything, as long as it is from the heart, taken serious, and with humility.

So today, I accept the title Space Pope and I am honored by the players that have called me that.

The second question... learning about a human behavior called "organizational silence".

This is a syndrome that large organizations get into where one feels its more important to remain silent for their own career health than to say something. Luckily we have a policy of openness where people can speak up and say something, and we count on that. But that was a hard lesson learned from our past. One of the real case studies we have studied was a ship that sunk in 1628, The Vasa. It is an interesting case of organizational silence that led to the ships demise. Look it up on YouTube and Google to learn more about it, it is very interesting and the situation my apply your your work organization.

Thank you.
 
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Oct 14, 2019
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Hello - thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions .

Mine stems from a very recent development: How do you feel that this "Quantum Computer Supremacy" will affect the ongoing projects at NASA and related industries? Should we anticipate acceleration of space exploration projects, or are they too dependent on manufacturing and budget restrictions to make use of this progress?

 
Oct 14, 2019
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Hello Mr. White.

It is really hard know what programs or universities we should aim for if we want to work in Space related jobs. Things are changing fast and everyone has different suggestions. What do YOU suggest for someone who will graduate high school in 2020? What degrees are the most in demand? What programs are most likely to get us a job in a meaningful and interesting role at NASA?
I mean most of my friends don't have any idea what direction we should go these days and my mom says I should just try to take general programs until I decide what direction to go in. I am most interested in engineering but general engineering programs don't really give a solid plan to get into Space engineering.
Thank you,
Jamie
 
Oct 14, 2019
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Hello Mr. White.

It is really hard know what programs or universities we should aim for if we want to work in Space related jobs. Things are changing fast and everyone has different suggestions. What do YOU suggest for someone who will graduate high school in 2020? What degrees are the most in demand? What programs are most likely to get us a job in a meaningful and interesting role at NASA?
I mean most of my friends don't have any idea what direction we should go these days and my mom says I should just try to take general programs until I decide what direction to go in. I am most interested in engineering but general engineering programs don't really give a solid plan to get into Space engineering.
Thank you,
Jamie
Basically, how can I grow up to be the next Space Pope? ;)
 
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Oct 25, 2019
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Dear Charles
In your opinion, as a space engineer, how challenging is it to use a multitude of large flat flexible solar sheets as a "leaflet" lander for planetary exploration? Each sheet does not need a parachute and today's technology can easily provide video and other parameters from the surface of the planet at extremely low cost. It has been proposed before. I imagine 20 sheets thrown on Europa using simple carrier, which will dispense these sheets into the upper atmosphere and will eventually land. All you need is one successful sheet. The logic dictates that floating sheets can land in a wide area providing almost a global picture showing differences in surface chemical composition, weather and so on.
 
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tariqmalik

Editor-in-Chief
Space.com Editorial
Oct 24, 2019
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Hi Charles!

Thanks so much for your awesome answers from Space.com's readers. It's been a great way to celebrate our reborn Forums. I did have a question tat I hope has not been asked yet.

What, in your opinion, has been the most transformative technology in space exploration (or in communicating space achievements) during your time with JPL and as the Space Pope?

I'm old enough that I remember having to request imagery and posters from NASA directly, and am amazed at how close access to space content has become.

Thanks!

Tariq
 
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Oct 21, 2019
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Well salutations and genuflects as required!
What can we do to create a global effort to address space and space exploration? Doing this as nationalistic jingoism is ridiculous, and begs the issue of space being a human species opportunity! I'd really like a new org, let's call it the Earth Federation. Then roll NASA and other national organizations and people into this new organization with its own academy for future astronauts. While your at it roll the various Marines and specil forces in as well to be Earth Federation Marines. Whatcha think?
 
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Oct 25, 2019
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I have been studying U.F.O. cosmology for over 25 years and developed a theory of how the universe works based of well founded testimony by highly credible observers, Police, pilots (VFR quells), Military personal (who stand to loose face ), politicians, Doctors, Lawyers, and many others on what they saw in conjugation with trace evidence, that can be even today, the theory explains the expansion of the universe why the galaxy are speeding up along with what could be a answer of where Dark Matter and Dark Energy. May I send it to you for your opinion
 
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Oct 21, 2019
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How does NASA, Boeing, and JPL justify building one-off space systems now that SpaceX has demonstrated the reusable capability? What's the point of SLS which is far less capable than SpaceX vehicles, horribly expensive, over budget, over schedule, and I must say much less technically advanced? SLS is trying to have a 6 man mission in what 10 years while SpaceX is doing 100 man missions in less than 1?
 
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Oct 25, 2019
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While more space travel and exploration is in our future, I wonder if spending more dollars on curing cancer and life threatening disease here on earth would be more important. It's not like Mars or Neptune are going anywhere soon.
 
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Oct 25, 2019
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HI, Charles.

Do you know if there are any serious plans to explore, with the goal of eventually habitating within, the caves and/or lava tubes on the moon (or Mars for that matter)? It seems to me that they would have quite a few advantages over surface habitation.

Thanks,

Chris
 
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Oct 25, 2019
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Hi Charles!.. I've an interesting but completely new discussion on Dark Energy.

Could Dark Energy be a repulsive force - something like Antigravity that exists between Dark Matter and accounts for accelerated expansion of the Universe, since Dark Energy and Dark Matter are the dominating entities of the universe and counter acts the weaker Gravity between lesser normal matter?
What do you think about this?
 
Oct 25, 2019
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Hi Mr. White,

My question is about the Mars InSight lander solar panels. By studying the photos of the two circular solar panels, we can observe that they are composed of 1600 cells each for a total of 3200 cells. My hypothesis is a parallel connection of 80 groups of 40 cells in series. Since each cell generates about 2.5 volts, the voltage generated by the panels would be about 100 volts. Can you give us the exact information?
 
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