AIU welcomes NASA to Kuwait

James Miller is the deputy director of Policy and Strategic communications within the Space and Communications Navigation (SCaN) program at the NASA headquarters. Mr. Miller has also been the Executive Director for the National Space-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board since 2007 and a recipient of the Institute of Navigation Norman P. 

Tony Foster is NASA’s Search and Rescue (SAR) deputy mission manager. In addition to providing technology innovation and engineering experience for satellite-assisted emergency transmitters for air, land, and sea circumstances, Mr. Foster represents NASA on a national and international level while establishing policies and standards for the SAR community.

On Sunday, October 16, 2022, Mr. Miller and Mr. Foster gave lectures to students and members of the AIU community on their work at NASA, followed by a meet & greet session to interact and engage with visitors. During the lecture, Mr. Miller provided valuable information on NASA’s organization (how they manage and operate), NASA’s international partnerships, SCaN’s vision, goal, and strategy, and talked about the main sources of PNT for Space and Science Applications. He also spoke about NASA’s contribution to the GPS enterprise, the Kunar GNSS Receiver Experiment (LuGRE), and how NASA’s new goal is to set foot on the moon once again and establish a base in 2025. These efforts will also help in preparing for their mission to Mars. He emphasized a lot on Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo. Artemis’s goal is to send astronauts back to the Moon. These astronauts will step foot where no human has ever been on before: the Moon’s South Pole. Mr. Foster then took the stage and spoke about the Search and Rescue program; a system built to track anyone who gets stranded or lost through an emergency beacon. It allows them to pinpoint the exact location of the victim, then send rescue forces almost immediately. The beacon is 99.9% accurate when it comes to locating the victim! Since 1982, the beacon has saved nearly 50,000 lives. Their team also developed second-generation emergency beacons, called Angel Beacons, for the Artemis astronauts. These astronauts will also be the first users of these beacons, after which, they will be available to the public in the upcoming years. Proceeding the lectures, the speakers had a meet & greet with the audience.  With the presence of the press, VIP visitors, and students, each AIU community member had the opportunity to ask questions, have conversations, and receive first-hand insight from members of the NASA organization. 

Monday, October 17, comprised two sessions, both equally valuable to all attendees; a panel discussion and a career seminar. During the discussion panel, audience members posed questions to our guest speakers on topics such as education, space exploration, and more scientific discoveries. The day ended with a Career Seminar, during which Mr. Miller and Mr. Foster shared ideas and insights on how students can pave their own path to working in organizations such as NASA, and what courses and academic research can the audience get involved in to develop a career in space exploration.

The American International University is honored to have welcomed Mr. James Miller and Mr. Tony Foster. Students, faculty members and all AIU community members who attended the event learned so much in these two days, and most likely left the lectures and discussions feeling inspired.

Thank you to the event planners, the attendees, and to our awesome speakers!

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