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AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas
Space Architecture Gathering
August 22, 2020, 10 AM ( Add to Calendar )
Zoom connection information will be provided in the confirmation email after registration.
Please join us and meet with and listen to the leaders and practitioners in Space Architecture. The theme will relate to human space activity in general and human lunar activity in particular, including but not limited to NASA's Artemis project and Artemis Accords.

The Artemis Lunar Program will offer new opportunities for advances in architecture, commercialization, design, engineering, exploration, habitation, ISRU, operations, and science at the Gateway Station, in cis-lunar space, on the lunar lander, on the surface of the Moon, and perhaps beneath the surface.
Prof. Madhu Thangavelu
(Chair/Moderator of the Panel/Event)
Faculty Member, USC / ISU
Chair / Moderator of this Event
Anastasia Prosina
Founder & CEO at Stellar Amenities
 Award-winning aspirational futurist and practitioner in Space Architecture
Melodie Yashar
Design Architect, Researcher and
co-founder of Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch+)
Barbara Belvisi
Founder and CEO of Interstellar Lab
Dr. Barbara Imhof
Researcher, Univ. of Applied Arts Vienna
Professor, Universität Kassel
Brand Griffin
Program Manager
Genesis Engineering Solutions
Member of AIAA Space Architecture Technical Committee (SATC)
Dr. Marc Cohen
Mission Architecture Lead at
Space Cooperative
Jeffrey Montes
Senior Space Architect
Dr. Olga Bannova
Director, SICSA, College of Engineering, University of Houston
Chair, AIAA Space Architecture Technical Committee (SATC)
Kriss J. Kennedy
Architect, Space Architect
TECHNE‘ Architects, LLC
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Houston-SICSA
A. Scott Howe, Ph.D.
Senior Systems Engineer, N3ASH
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA / Caltech)
Mr. John Spencer
Outer Space Architect
Founder, President, Space Tourism Society (STS)
Co-Founder and Chief Designer: Mars World Enterprises, Inc. (MWE)
Co-Founder and President: Red Planet Ventures, Inc. (RPV)
Mr. John Mankins
Vice President,
Moon Village Association
Founder and President,
Mankins Space Technology, Inc.
10:05 am: Welcome Message (Dr. Chandrashekar Sonwane)
10:10 am: Brief Introduction (Prof. Madhu Thangavelu)
10:30 am: Brief Presentation by each of the panelists 10 minutes each)
12:30 am: Panel Discussion (Moderator: Prof. Madhu Thangavelu)
2:00 pm: Adjourn (Tentative)
Dr. Olga Bannova is a Research Professor at the University of Houston’s College of Engineering, Director of the Master of Science in Space Architecture program and Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture – an academic leader in the field of space and extreme environments. Dr. Bannova conducts research and design studies of orbital and surface habitats and settlements, including inflatable structures, special design influences and requirements for different gravity conditions in space, and habitat concepts for extreme environments on Earth. As SICSA director she is leading the center and its MS-Space Architecture program advancing students’ success, developing research and design projects in connection with the space industry. She has authored dozens of technical papers.

Dr. Bannova is a chair of the AIAA Space Architecture Technical Committee, member of the ASCE’s Technical Committee on Space Engineering and Construction. She recently received 2019 Outstanding Technical Contribution Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Aerospace Division.

Dr. Bannova has been educating students who are persuading the world’s only Master of Science in Space Architecture degree for 14 years. Her students are coming from different backgrounds: aerospace engineering, architecture, human factors, and also include professionals from NASA and NASA contractors.

Research studies and grants include: DSG Habitability, Lunar Base, and Deployable Airlock Studies (Boeing), 2 NASA’s Minimum Functionality Habitation Element studies (Boeing and ILC Dover), SpaceHab’s Lunar Exploration System, Commercial Launch Facility in West Texas (TAC), Houston Spaceport (HAS).
Barbara Belvisi is an entrepreneur and investor, passionate about science, space and AI. She is currently founder and CEO of Interstellar Lab whose mission is to design and build bioregenerative villages on Earth and beyond. She started her career at 23 as an investor, raised over $80M and participated in 40 deals. At 28, she helped launching The Family, a Paris-based incubator and Hello Tomorrow, an event fostering scientific innovation. The same year, she founded her own asset management firm which gave birth in 2015 to Hardware Club. A $50M hybrid fund dedicated robotics and hardware startups with over 400 startups worldwide. Youngest women founder of a venture capital fund in Europe, she is in the top 10 Women in Tech in France in 2018 and in the world top 100 of Forbes 2018.
Dr. Marc M. Cohen is a licensed architect who has devoted his career to developing the new field of Space Architecture. Marc worked at NASA Ames Research Center for 26 years, then at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for 4.5 years. At NASA Ames, Marc began as a facilities architect designing aircraft support facilities, life science labs, and wind tunnels. At the beginning of the Space Station Program (1983), Marc was appointed to the Space Station Concept Development Group at NASA HQ where he served as a “commuting member” for a year.
Brand Griffin is the Program Manager for a Single-Person Spacecraft at Genesis Engineering Solutions. Before joining Genesis, he supported NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Spaceflight Center where he participated in the analysis and design of lunar bases and deep space habitats. Formerly, he worked with Boeing as the lead configurator for Space Station Freedom and Habitation Module Manager. Among his innovative designs are an open-cockpit lunar hopper, wheeled-landing pressurized rover, a horizontal lunar lander, and the Skylab II deep space habitat. His next generation space suit was on display for 10 years at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Mr. Griffin has authored over 35 technical publications and numerous articles in books and periodicals. He was co-chair of the System Architecture and Mission Design Department at International Space University and was on the faculties of Tulane University, Rice University, and the University of Washington. He is a pilot and has conducted numerous neutral buoyancy tests in NASA EMU space suit.

Master of Architecture, Rice University

Master of Fine Arts, California Institute of the Arts

Bachelor of Architecture, Washington State University
A. Scott Howe is a licensed architect, systems engineer, and robotics engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He earned PhDs in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering from Hong Kong University and in architecture from University of Michigan. Dr. Howe spent 13 years of practice in Tokyo, Japan, and taught for 6 years at Hong Kong University, and in total has 29 years of experience specializing in robotic construction and habitat design. He currently supports NASA ARTEMIS Lunar Surface Capabilities Team efforts and is on the NASA development team building long-duration human habitats for deep space and permanent outposts for the moon and Mars. Dr. Howe is also a member of the JPL All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE) robotic mobility system development team, and STMD ISRU Excavation team.
Dr. Barbara Imhof is a Vienna-based internationally renowned space architect, design researcher and educator. Her projects deal with spaceflight parameters such as with living with limited resources, minimal and transformable spaces, resource-conserving systems; all aspects imperative to sustainability. She is the co-founder and co-managing director of LIQUIFER Systems Group (LSG), an interdisciplinary team comprising engineers, architects, designers and scientists. Her ongoing engagements include design of the international habitat module for ‘Gateway’, the lunar orbital platform being developed by the International Space Station (ISS) Partners. At LSG, she recently led a 3d printing project ‘RegoLight’ to research how to build 3d printed lunar habitats using solar sintering and lava casting of simulated lunar soil. Since early 2000s, Barbara has played a pivotal role in projects involving biomimetic designs and integration of biological systems in architecture; projects include: Living Architecture (LIAR), and Growing As Building (GrAB). She has also been teaching at renowned institutes worldwide, for over 20-years. Educated in Vienna, London, and Los Angeles, Barbara holds multiple degrees including a PhD.  www.liquifer.com
Mr. Kriss Kennedy has been a licensed architect in Texas since 1995. After 30 years at NASA-JSC, Mr. Kennedy retired as a Space Architect, December 2017. He is a recognized exploration habitat expert when he was at NASA and within the international aerospace community. Prior to designing space systems at NASA, Mr. Kennedy worked with numerous architectural firms around the United States. Currently, Mr. Kennedy is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Space Architecture at the University of Houston-Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture, a Space Architect Consultant, and operates his architecture design firm.

Mr. Kennedy has held key leadership and management positions at NASA such as Project Manager of the Deep Space Gateway Habitat Internal Architecture Study project; key strategy roles in the Human Health and Performance Directorate, Deputy Project Manager of the Deep Space Habitat project; Manager of the Habitat Demonstration Unit Project; supported the Constellation Lunar Surface Systems Habitation Team; Lunar/Mars Architecture Team; ISS Hardware, and Technology Strategic Roadmaps and development, among many other leadership positions in numerous space design projects. Mr. Kennedy has worked on over 45 NASA design projects and published over 60 papers in the field of aerospace human spacecraft design. Mr. Kennedy has numerous Technology Brief awards and two NASA patents, one of which is the “TransHab” (Inflatable Spacecraft) won the 2017 NASA Invention of the Year. 

Mr. Kennedy is skilled in leadership, project management, strategic planning, space architecture, and space habitat expertise for future human exploration missions DDT&E. He has dedicated his career to the definition, development, and testing of exploration habitation systems and planetary surface base definition for the human exploration of Space, the Moon, and Mars.  
John C. Mankins, President of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC is an internationally recognized leader in space systems and technology innovation, and as a highly effective manager of large-scale technology R&D programs.

Mr. Mankins' 25-year career at NASA and CalTech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) ranged from flight projects and space mission operations, to systems level innovation and advanced technology research & development management. He is also well known as an innovator in R&D management. For example, building on the original NASA 'technology readiness level' (TRL) scale for technology assessment (defined first with 6 or 7 levels in the 1970s), he extended the scale to flight systems and operations in the late 1980s (TRLs 8 and 9), published the first detailed definitions of the TRLs in 1995, and promoted the use of the scale by the US Department of Defense in the late 1990s.

Before leaving NASA, Mr. Mankins was the manager of Exploration Systems Research and Technology within the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate with responsibility for an $800M annual budget, involving more than 100 individual projects and over 3,000 personnel. For 10 years, he was the manager of Advanced Concepts Studies at NASA, and the lead for critical studies of space solar power, highly reusable space transportation, affordable human exploration approaches, and other topics. He was the creator or co-creator of numerous novel concepts, including the 'MagLifter' electromagnetic launch assist system, the Internet-based NASA 'Virtual Research Center' the 'Solar Clipper' interplanetary transport vehicle, the 'SunTower' space solar power system, the 'Hybrid Propellant Module' for in-space refueling, the 'HabBot' mobile planetary outpost architecture, the Advanced Technology Life cycle Analysis System (ATLAS), and others. In recognition of his accomplishments, he has received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal (of which he was the first recipient).

He holds undergraduate (Harvey Mudd College) and graduate (UCLA) degrees in Physics and an MBA in Public Policy Analysis (The Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University). Mr. Mankins is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and Chair of the Academy Commission III (Space Systems and Technology Development); and a member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the Sigma Xi Research Society.

Mr. Mankins is an accomplished communicator, including political, programmatic, technical and lay audiences. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 published papers, reports and other technical documents, and has testified before Congress on several occasions, and has been consulted on R&D management and space issues with organizations in the U.S. and internationally.
Jeffrey Montes is a renowned Space architect and cross-disciplinary technologist. His groundbreaking work on habitat design has been awarded by NASA and private institutions and exhibited around the planet. At SpaceFactory, an architecture and technology firm working on additive construction technology, Jeffrey founded and leads Space architecture projects, including the iconic and critically acclaimed design and 1:3 prototype for a Mars habitat, Marsha, which won Phase 3 of the NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge. Jeffrey is the owner and principal of Jetportal Spaceformcraft, a design and research consultancy specializing in Space architecture. In addition to habitat design and construction, Jeffrey is engaged in architecture-adjacent challenges like ISRU, lunar urban planning, spaceports, and LEO commercialization-supporting design.

Previously, he has worked on robotic concepts for Honeybee Robotics, won Phase 1 of the 3D printed Habitat Challenge with the iconic design for an ice structure Mars Ice House, won the 2015 Caltech Space Challenge, and co-developed (with NASA Langley Research Center) a translucent, ice-shielded Mars habitat called Mars Ice Home. Jeffrey carries out deep design research, concept development, and detailed resolution through the full architectural stack including structures, construction systems, and interior spaces and environments that revolve around human occupants.

He holds a M,Arch from Columbia University and B.S. in Architecture and Philosophy from Northeastern University. He is also a fellow at Open Lunar Foundation.

Anastasia Prosina is an award-winning aspirational futurist and practitioner in Space Architecture, the nascent field of helping people thrive in small spaces in outer space. She is the Founder & CEO at Stellar Amenities, a company with the mission of complementing space habitats with lightweight, deployable & reconfigurable elements to support wellbeing in space.

Anastasia has been involved in numerous space projects, from designing lightweight interior habitation structures for the TESSERAE self-assembling space station at MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative to working on an Iceland-based Martian Analog Habitat commissioned by Mars Society. Her other places of work include aerospace company Excalibur Almaz, 4th Planet Logistics, and Galaktika Space.

Anastasia has spoken publicly around the US about space architecture, and wrote three papers on the subject matter, including co-authorship with the former Deputy Administrator of NASA, Dava Newman.

Anastasia holds a Masters in Space Architecture from Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture in proximity and collaboration of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. Anastasia received a Bachelor’s in Urban Design from Novosibirsk State University of Architecture, Design, and Art.
John Spencer is a pioneer in the field of outer space architecture. Three man-rated projects he worked on have flown in space. He is the founder of the Space Tourism Society (STS) and the author with Karen L. Rugg of the book Space Tourism—Do You Want to Go? Apogee Books, 2004 and the creator of the concept of orbital super yachting. He is the senior space science/futurist for the Science and Entertainment Exchange who provides advice on a wide range of science for movie and TV producers, writers and designers. He is also a real estate designer/developer for space/future themed entertainment projects. Over $300 million has been invested in his projects. He is currently designing the $1.9 billion Mars World attraction/resort for Las Vegas. John is a media source for space enterprise and space tourism with over 200 interviews completed in all mediums.

Outer Space Architecture: Since the late 1970s John has been a pioneer in the field of outer space architecture. He received two awards from NASA for his design work on the “International Space Station” (ISS) assembled in Earth orbit and did the first interior designs/models for the “SpaceHab” Module which flew 15 times in the Space Shuttle cargo bay. In 1982 he started pioneering the space tourism industry, basing it on the cruise line industry, and since the mid-1990s he has been designing his original concept for an orbital super yacht called “Destiny.” He is the author with Karen L. Rugg of the first book on space tourism published in the U.S. called Space Tourism—Do You Want to Go? Apogee Books, 2004

Location Based Entertainment: Paralleling his real space work is his design and development work on Earth-based space/future themed real estate ventures, with over $300 million invested in building his original space/future, Sci-Fi concepts to date. He is currently designing a proposed $1.9 billion space/Mars/future themed mixed-use complex called “Mars World” to be built in Las Vegas and Shanghai. Recent design projects include a terminal building for the Mojave Air and Space Port and the “Space World” pavilion interiors at the South Korean Science Center. It opened to the public in early 2015. His concept and master plan design for the “Space World Japan” theme park opened to the public in 1991.

TV and Movies Advisory Work: He is an advisor on space/future themed movies, TV shows and computer games. He has provided advice to James Cameron on his Mars movie, Steven Spielberg’s company Amblin Entertainment on two TV shows and Disney Junior’s for the animated TV series “Miles From Tomorrowland.” He recently advised JJ Abrams company, Bad Robot on a space movie and he provided advice to the first director of the movie “Passengers.” Recently he has been working with Zak Penn (screen writer for the movie Ready Player One) on a Space TV series. He is a senior space science/futurist advisor for the Science and Entertainment Exchange which is a part of the National Academy of Sciences.

John is a media source for space enterprise and space tourism with over 200 interviews completed in all mediums.
Madhu Thangavelu (moderator / MC)
Department of Astronautical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering & School of Architecture, University of Southern California, National Space Society Board of Directors.

Madhu Thangavelu conducts the ASTE527 graduate Space Exploration Architectures Concept Synthesis Studio in the Department of Astronautical Engineering within the Viterbi School of Engineering, and he is also a graduate thesis adviser in the School of Architecture at USC. He holds degrees in both engineering and architecture and has contributed extensively to concepts in space architecture, especially dealing with extraterrestrial development. He is the author or co-author of over 70 technical papers in space architecture, lunar base design and human factors, and co-author of the book The Moon: Resources, Future Development and Settlement (1999) published by John Wiley and Sons and the second edition by Springer/Praxis in 2007. He is the invited author of the chapter “Living on the Moon” in the Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering, a major reference work published by John Wiley and Sons in 2010 and the online second edition updated in 2012. He is a member of the USC team that won the NASA NIAC Phase I award in 2011 and Phase II award in 2012. As a former AIAA officer, he served as Vice Chair for Education in the Los Angeles section. He is on the faculty of the International Space University, an international organization that provides training for a promising new generation of leaders and space professionals around the world. He is on the board of directors of the National Space Society.

He is a strong advocate for articulating the philosophy of space: Scientists and Engineers(in particular) have a tendency to get lost in the tools and toys they make, though some of us do arrive at philosophy for the meaning of what we do and why, via the long route of experience. By then, alas, for the most part, our life’s work is done. It is a good idea to set us all on a solid foundation in space philosophy, so we can all have a steady handle on our works, as nature reveals her secrets… slowly, ever so slowly, but surely…
Melodie Yashar is a design architect, researcher and co-founder of Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch+), a group building upon a 10-year portfolio of academic space research and practice developing human-supporting concepts for space exploration. In 2015 SEArch+ was awarded the top prize in NASA’s Centennial Challenge for a 3D-Printed Habitat for the proposal "Mars Ice House." SEArch+ maintains ongoing collaboration with NASA Langley conducting feasibility studies for related ice habitat concepts. Having recently completed Phase 3 of NASA’s Challenge, Melodie has led team SEArch+/Apis Cor to win first prize in Design for “Mars X-House,” as well as first prize in Construction Levels 1 & 2. Since 2017 Melodie has led SEArch+’s research developing functional prototypes and materials systems for future space habitats. Melodie is also a contractor at NASA Ames for grant projects specializing in human factors with the Human Systems Integration Division.
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