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The Next Frontiers of Space

Aluminate Web Event

The Next Frontiers of Space


On Thursday, February 18, 2021, the world watched history unfold in high definition as the Perseverance rover landed safely on Mars. Two months later, Ingenuity—the helicopter that rode to Mars attached to the belly of Perseverance—also made history as it hovered above the surface of the red planet. And at the same time, SpaceX continues to revolutionize space technology, inviting us to picture a not-so-distant future where commercial space travel is part of our collective reality.

Truly, we’ve entered new frontiers in space where ventures and research are more affordable and accessible than ever before. And unsurprisingly, everywhere we look, Hokies are at the helm, leading the exploration. That’s why we’re bringing together an all-star crew of alumni and industry leaders—a cohort of pioneers who have dedicated their careers to advancing space technology and research. From flying as astronauts, to expanding technologies, to championing new research, Hokies are helping us answer fundamental questions about our place in the universe

Join us as we hear from a few of the brilliant minds who are making history in this world and beyond…

mars rover
Image courtesy of NASA
Dave Lavery

David Lavery '82

Scientist  |  Robotocist  |  NASA Program Executive for Solar System Explorations  |  Pioneer in Mars Exploration Rovers


Homer Hickam

Homer Hickam '64

Best-selling Author  |  Vietnam War Veteran  |  Former NASA Engineer who trained the first Japanese astronauts

Tish Long

Letitia Long '82

First woman to lead a major US intelligence agency  |  Considered to be one of the most important figures in military and national intelligence


photo Todd Wetzel

Todd Wetzel '92, '93, '96

Senior Director of Test Operations at Blue Origin  |  Engineering executive with life-long goal to create technology that will change the world  |  Inventor with more than 30 registered patents

Carol Carroll

Carol Carroll '83

Deputy Center Director at NASA Ames Research Center  |  Winner of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal  |  Leading research to support space missions for over 25 years

Dave Bowles

David Bowles '78, '80, '90

Executive Director at the Virginia Institute for Spaceflight and Autonomy  |  Former Director of NASA’s Langley Research Center  | Active member of the NASA community for more than 35 years

Mary Davie

Mary Davie '88

NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Mission Support Transformation  |  Winner of the Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Award

Roger Crouch

Roger Crouch '68, '71

Astronaut  |  Former Senior Scientist for the International Space Station  |  Logged over 471 hours in space  |  Passionately teaching and inspiring the next generation of space explorers

Charles Camarda

Charles Camarda '90

Engineer  |  Astronaut  |  Served as Senior Adviser for Engineering Development at NASA Langley Research Center  |  Received more than 21 NASA awards for technical innovations

Randy Spicer

Randy Spicer ’06, ’07

Staff Engineer at Northrop Grumman  |  Fulfilling a lifelong dream to work as an aerospace engineer designing spacecraft and rockets 


Lisa Callahan

Lisa Callahan ’86

Senior Leader, Commercial and Civil Space Exploration  |  Leading a team to take humans further than ever before into space