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NASA Tech Talks

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Category: Aerospace, Community & Engagement, Founders & Startups




October 26, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm CDT


4201 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002
+ Google Map


We want HOU! Join us to discover NASA’s toughest tech challenges and apply your skills and expertise to solve them.
In these presentations, occurring the fourth Thursdays of the month, Mr. Montgomery Goforth and other aerospace subject matter experts will discuss the technology development challenges faced by NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the surrounding Aerospace community in our ongoing efforts as the hub of human spaceflight. Presentations will focus on the ways in which these challenges, and the associated opportunities, can be leveraged by Houston’s innovation community.
Join us after the talk for drinks and networking at Second Draught!

Past NASA Tech Talks have included : Montgomery B. Goforth discussing NASA Intellectual Property suitable for commercialization by small/start-up companies and Jared Daum discussing Orion’s parachutes and risk identification and mitigation that are showstoppers for the spaceflight parachute industry. Future NASA Tech Talks will include: dual-use (space/terrestrial) technologies in the areas of:

  • Avionics / Communication / Sensors
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for ultra-long lived wireless sensors
  • Power Storage and Distribution
  • Autonomous & Robotics Systems
  • Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) Systems
  • Virtual/Augmented Reality in Human Spaceflight Training & Execution
  • Human Health & Performance / Human Systems Research

The 2023 series finale will feature Dr. Tim Crain, Co-Founder and CTO of Intuitive Machines (IM) presenting a Tech Talk in three acts:

  1. From Napkin to NASDAQ: IM’s hero’s journey story as one of the few companies in the HTX ecosystem to go from an idea written on a napkin, through two pivots as a struggling startup, to a publicly traded company about to make history.
  2. The “Reverse Pitch”: Tim gives three or four examples of areas of common need amongst space companies (including IM) that some enterprising/innovative/bold entrepreneurs in this ecosystem could rise to the challenge and meet. It could start as a small business where you have a customer or customers almost from day one. But then maybe it can grow to something bigger. So, if there is a Steve Jobs in the audience who knows a Steve Wozniak, perhaps they can put their minds together and start the next Apple for the new Space age.
  3. Q&A

The objective is to expand the horizon of the JSC-support aerospace community in HTX to include tech entrepreneurs and the tech-oriented public. It’s time to get excited about what’s happening in commercial space right here in HTX as we show how JSC is enabling these opportunities to flourish — because Houston is still in the moonshot business!

About the Speakers

Dr. Timothy P. Crain: Tim received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas, a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and Assistant Instructor. He began his professional career in 2000 at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX, where he was a lead engineer in the Engineering Directorate’s Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Division. During his tenure at JSC, he worked on the navigation design for Mars Science Lander and was the Orbit Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) System Manager for the Orion spacecraft. In 2009, Crain became the Flight Dynamics lead for NASA’s Project Morpheus that followed a low-cost, lean project development model to build and flight test a terrestrial version of a lunar lander incorporating advanced liquid methane propulsion, precision landing, and autonomous hazard detection and avoidance. The experience on Morpheus demonstrated how small teams of motivated engineers could rapidly innovate and apply available and emerging technologies to solve tough technical problems effectively. This was a primary motivation for Crain co-founding Intuitive Machines with Kam Ghaffarian Ph. D and Mr. Steve Altemus in 2013. Dr. Crain is a recipient of the NASA JSC Center Director’s Commendation Award, the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award, UT Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate Award, Orion Flight Dynamics Leadership Award, and a finalist for the NASA Rotary Mid Career Stellar Award. He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Astronautical Society (AAS), where he is an annual national chair, and he’s on the board of directors at the AAS Rocky Mountain section’s Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference.

Montgomery B. Goforth serves as the Assistant Director, Strategic Pursuits & Partnerships – Engineering Directorate, NASA JSC.


Ion District Parking Garage

Enter 4111 Fannin Street into your GPS for directions directly to this parking garage, located a block from the Ion. Parking in the Ion District Garage is free for the first two hours.

Red Parking Lot

Enter 4203 Fannin Street into your GPS for directions directly to the red parking lot, located across the street from the Ion. This lot is for overflow guest parking and tenant parking and is free for the first three hours.

For information and access to pay online for parking in the red lot, click here