Three Generations of Airborne Astronomy - History and Personal Recollections



A History of the NASA Airborne Astronomy Program

  Date and Time




  • Date: 19 Jan 2017
  • Time: 06:30 PM to 08:30 PM
  • All times are (GMT-05:00) EST
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  • Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (@ Ballston Metro)
  • 901 North Stuart Street, Suite 1200
  • Balls ton, Virginia
  • United States 22203
  • Building:
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  • Starts 01 January 2017 12:00 AM
  • Ends 19 January 2017 06:30 PM
  • All times are (GMT-05:00) EST
  • No Admission Charge


Dr. Jerry Krassner


Airborne Astronomy


Dr. Krassner has almost 40 years of experience in the aerospace community, much of it focused on space and science. He has a PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Rochester, where his research centered on understanding star formation regions. He has used many of the leading telescopes of the day, including the NRAO VLA & 300' telescopes,various infrared telescopes at Kitt Peak & Mt. Lemmon Oberservatories, and all of the NASA airborne ovservatories (having most recently flown on the SOFIA 747). For his day job, Dr. Krassner is a consultant to government and industry on the applications of advanced technology to issues of national security. Most recently he has embarked on a quest involving amatuer astrophotography.


Abstract: Three Generations of Airborne Astronomy

Dr. Krassner will provide a history of the NASA airborne astronomy program, the types of science performed, the various telescopes involved and how they were used, based on his personal involvement spanning 40 years. In addition to describing the programs, he will give a sense of what happens when you jaywalk in front of a large USMC sentry with a big gun, the experiences of a lowly graduate student drafted to be a shipping clerk, being leak-tested with a large group of Navy aviators, and similar anecdotes that will provide a "you are there" feeling without losing a full night's sleep.



6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Introduction & Talk