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Cold Star Project

Cold Star Project

By Jason Kanigan
The Cold Star Project digs into the challenges of scaling fast that tech and Space manufacturing founders encounter. Money does not solve all problems--so what now? Listen in to discover what scaling problems you'll be running into soon, and get a serious advantage in starting to solve them before they run you over!
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SaaS Dashboards: You Only Manage What They Let You SEE - The Cold Star Project

Cold Star Project

Gordon Roesler - A Space Superhighway?
In this special episode Dr. Gordon Roesler, past DARPA Program Manager and president of Robots In Space, joins Cold Star Tech's Jason Kanigan to elaborate on his idea of a "Space Superhighway". We have logistics systems on Earth, and they provide teremendous economic value: how can we have a similar system in space?   USEFUL LINKS:   Dr. Roesler's article on The Hill: White House NSTC paper: OSTP request for comment: Talk to Cold Star:
May 19, 2022
Arthur Alphin - Emotion vs Expertise, Precedent vs Fact: Could You Be Fooled? CSP S04E10
We are simply not as "science-y" as we think we are. People presented to us as experts, precedent, and emotions non-factually impact our decisions--and can put the wrong people behind bars for a long time. Fashion of the moment, storytelling, and "they way we've always done things" can be enemies of improvement. Do you believe you're immune to such influences?   Lt. Col. Arthur Alphin is a firearms & ballistics expert and weapons systems engineer. In this role he is called upon in court to demonstrate how the opposing side's so-called "scientific" tests, representation of events and other issues in shooting cases simply aren't true. I discovered Art as the creator of a West Point video training series about weapons, and ask him here to elaborate on his experience and observations concerning the validity of court proceedings when it comes to shootings. You likely be extremely surprised and disturbed.   USEFUL LINKS:   Antiaircraft round screenshot referred to around 37:00: Arthur Alphin's website  Accompanying this discussion I recommend forensic criminologist Dr. Ron Martinelli's appearance on the Cold Star Project:  OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
May 16, 2022
Matthew Travis - Why Do We Need Environmentally Friendly Propulsion For Space Launch? - CSP S02E91
Experienced space startup founder Matthew Travis returns to the Cold Star Project. What has his journey and pivot been like as he finds product-to-market fit in the space industry? What need is there for environmentally friendly propulsion for space launch and spacecraft? Host Jason Kanigan asks Matt: What indicators have you found that point to a need for environmentally friendly propulsion technology for space launch? Who’s your customer? How did you focus on nanosatellites as your target market? How will this technology impact the marketplace and the planet’s ecosystem? Tell us about your journey in developing this technology. What R&D hurdles and successes have you experienced? When it comes to the operational areas of Sales and Production, what have you learned? Especially since this is not your first space company.    USEFUL LINKS:   NASA’s Green Propulsion Roadmap:  The European Union is moving toward banning hydrazine. Ref: REACH  Aphelion Aerospace website:  OpEx Society:  Talk to Cold Star:
March 15, 2022
Chris Quilty - What Makes A Good Startup In The Space Industry? - Cold Star Project S03E20
Space industry analyst Chris Quilty joins host Jason Kanigan on the Cold Star Project to discuss what makes a good startup in the field. As a 20+ year veteran of space and satellite analysis, Chris founded Quilty Analytics in 2016. Jason asks Chris: What was it that made you realize opening your own firm was a better idea after 20 years of working for another firm? You speak about benchmarking in your profile ⏤ what indicators do you look for that demonstrate a good investment? Are space startups offering the exit opportunities investors want? How far are we from having a true “commercial space industry”? What’s your opinion of SPACs and how gun-shy do you believe investors will be going forward? You’ve stated that you believe the regulatory environment for space firms has become more favorable. Can you explain what has been happening and factors contributing to this? How is the defense and intelligence community reacting to the emergence of a commercial space industry.  Are they resisting or embracing the change Are you seeing out-of-sector venture capital more willing to fund space startups? What should these VCs be cautious about and look for as positives?    USEFUL LINKS:   Quilty Analytics website:  Screenshot of space art:  OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
February 04, 2022
Adam Anderson - Should I Be Looking To Fire Myself As A Space Or Defense Founder? - CSP S03E19
Venture capitalist Adam Anderson got into the space industry by way of cybersecurity. He knows what it takes to start up successful businesses--and when to get out of your own way as the founder so the business can grow further. Host Jason Kanigan asks Adam: How did you get involved in space investing? What was your journey to get to now? What level have you been involved in in space investing? (company size, maturity level at start/end, pre/post revenue) Has there been an evolution in your choices?  What “brutal lessons” have you learned by being a space industry investor? What’s the most frustrating thing you keep seeing?  -  How important is the tech when the leadership of a startup is pitching you? What’s the thing you keep banging your head against the wall about, wishing people would have ready to bring to you when they come to pitch? Is there a consistently encountered hurdle when moving from pre- to post-revenue? Anything blocking the move from zero to one? What have you noticed that indicates to you a startup team will be successful? And a failure? What is present or missing? From your perspective, is there light at the end of the tunnel⏤is it likely that space industry startups will begin to be developed and funded any time soon as, say, SaaS companies do today?   USEFUL LINKS:   Ansuz Capital website:  OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
January 20, 2022
John Bicknell -How Can We Think Differently About Space Domain Awareness?- Cold Star Project S02E90
Are there new and unexpected ways to gather and interpret data in the space domain awareness field? More Cowbell Unlimited founder John Bicknell thinks so. Combining interests in operations research and national security, John looks to develop valuable predictive insights.  Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan asks John Bicknell: what is your background and how did you get into space? How do you perceive the emerging space environment? How do you see the role of the US military in space? What is your view of the state of Space Domain Awareness, and what can be improved in it?    USEFUL LINKS:   More Cowbell Unlimited Website:  John Bicknell LinkedIn Profile:  LinkedIn company page:  Twitter handle: @morecowbellultd   COL John Boyd USAF article: Boyd, J. 1976. “Destruction and Creation.” OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
January 13, 2022
Nicolas Chaillan - What’s Happening With DevSecOps In The DoD? - Cold Star Project S04E09
Nicolas Chaillan is the past Chief Software Officer for the US Space Force and Air Force. He lead a number of software initiatives in the US Department of Defense (DoD) and has demonstrated an impressive ability with project and change management. Host Jason Kanigan asks Nic: For those who haven’t heard of you yet, please give us the highlights of your DoD involvement and CSO experience How did you make the move to becoming a US citizen and becoming employed by the state in important roles? Can you explain DevSecOps for those outside the tech field? Why is it important and how have you contributed to US national security and administrative effectiveness with it? You’ve made no secret of the cultural and change management issues inside DoD that frustrated your work. This was what really caught my attention, as such issues are found in nearly all large organizations and are the kinds of problems I’ve seen up close for over 20 years as a change agent and OpEx guy. Can you share with us some stories exemplifying these problems, and what you recommend to improve the situation? The Waterfall vs Agile development methodology argument has been going on for some time. But according to yourself and other DoD officials I’ve spoken with, one has clearly outperformed the other and “actually works”. What has your experience been and why do you so strongly promote the methodology? You’ve repeatedly sounded the alarm about TikTok: what’s the problem with this app and why is it a danger to Americans? The tech we’re talking about--logistical and operational, decision making, infrastructure security--has a huge impact and yet is operating at a level out of sight of the general public. In a perfect world according to Nicolas, how do you see the strategic direction of US effort being applied to reach the operational state you envision? Let’s paint that picture.   USEFUL LINKS:   Link for Platform One, Iron Bank, Big Bang and more:  OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
December 21, 2021
Eric Felt - What Is The State of Space And US National Security With AFRL/NM? - CSP S02E89
Director of the Air Force Research Lab/New Mexico's Space Vehicles Directorate Col. Eric Felt joins us for a discussion of US national security and the state of the space industrial base on this episode of the Cold Star Project. Host Jason Kanigan asks Col. Felt: In your talk earlier this year at the National Security State of the Space Industrial Base 2021 event you termed the US position as “tactically strong, strategically fragile”. Can you explain in more depth what you meant? In the same talk you mentioned you’re “hearing all the right words but not necessarily seeing the right investment”--budgeting hasn’t changed in the past 5 years (How about an increase from the current 20% of DoD authority invested in purchasing commercial goods & services?). What does this translate into for action, outreach, dialogue, partnerships and more? What should DoD’s or AFRL’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) / North Star be for the immediate future? How valuable would you say improvements made leading DoD to make faster decisions would be? It’s easy to run around like Chicken Little, exclaiming the sky is about to fall. How big a threat is China, really? What should we be watching for on the military side? What new developments at AFRL NM can you share with us?    USEFUL LINKS:   AFRL/NM website:  State of the Space Industrial Base 2021 Report (download link at bottom of page):  OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
December 01, 2021
Shelli Brunswick - How Does Advocacy And Mentorship Influence The Space Industry? - CSP S02E88
The COO of Space Foundation, Shelli Brunswick, is our guest on this episode of the Cold Star Project. After a successful Air Force career Shelli has taken on many mentorship and influencer roles in the space industry. But how impactful are advocacy and mentorship roles in space? Host Jason Kanigan asks: Tell us about Space Foundation’s mission What have been your biggest challenges as Chief Operating Officer of Space Foundation? What has surprised you? Where do you see Space Foundation’s role directing activity for the next decade, and how do you intend to carry that out? What’s the long term goal of the Space4Women Network you’re a Mentor with? Can you share a story of how it has worked so far? You’re Chairperson of the Space Tourism Society Africa...tell us about the organization, how it formed and how you got involved...and how you believe it’s having an effect You’re also Chairperson of the Women In Aerospace Foundation. With your involvement in all these existing organizations, do you believe it’s best to advocate for women in aerospace this way, or is there a need for a new organization that doesn’t yet exist? Something that would address a hole you see in the industry’s needs?   USEFUL LINKS:   Space Foundation website:  Space4Women website:  Women In Aerospace Foundation website: OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
November 17, 2021
Eva Blaisdell "Lady Rocket" - How Does A Brand Personality Impact The Space Industry? - CSP S02E87
As "Lady Rocket", Eva Blaisdell has developed a brand personality in the space industry. She brings relevancy to space for regular people through education and events. In this episode of the Cold Star Project, host Jason Kanigan asks Lady Rocket: How and why did you pick the “Lady Rocket” brand? How has this choice of branding affected your impact over time? What’s your mission and how do you keep current in carrying it out while staying on brand? (You are clear about using the word “tragedies” in your positioning… people often want to avoid uncomfortable topics, yet you have deliberately called one out: why?) What efforts does the Lady Rocket Foundation support? Who is a good candidate for your help, and how do they go about requesting it? Who do you believe has the biggest impact on young people and their potential interest in space/STEM? (educators or public personas, specific nations, companies?) What’s your biggest frustration with the space industry worldwide at this time? What areas or topics would you most like to put resources into? What result are you most proud of accomplishing so far, and why?   USEFUL LINKS:   Lady Rocket Foundation website:  OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
November 04, 2021
Basuti Bolo - How Is The Space Industry Impacting Southern Africa? - Cold Star Project S02E86
Basuti Bolo is a space educator in Botswana and Zimbabwe. In this episode of the Cold Star Project, host Jason Kanigan explores the state of the space industry in Southern Africa by asking Basuti: What was your experience growing up, and how did you get involved with STEM? What path did you take to enter your field? Botswana and Zimbabwe are landlocked countries… how has their geography impacted its development and ideas of national space programs? Is there cooperation or competition? What does the average Botswana or Zimbabwe citizen think of space and space-based technology? What do you believe the most significant challenge for Southern Africans is regarding development and user adoption of space technology? What will farmers get out of having the “precise data” promised by spectral imagery? Tell us what’s involved in your role as Space for Women Ambassador to Botswana If you had the resources to do what you pleased concerning a space education and technology development program for Southern Africa, what would you concentrate your effort upon? USEFUL LINKS: OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
October 27, 2021
Daniel Penaranda - What Is The ISU-FIT Commercial Space Program Like? - Cold Star Project S02E85
Space business development and aeronautical engineering pro Daniel Penaranda is on the Cold Star Project to share his experience in International Space University - Florida Institute of Technology's (ISU-FIT) Commercial Space Program.  This graduate level course prepares participants for the realities of creating commercial space businesses. Join us as host Jason Kanigan asks Daniel: Tell us about your background, and why you chose to attend the Commercial Space Program What were your thoughts and emotions going into the Commercial Space Program? Did you have a clear mental picture of what was going to happen and what outcomes you were going to achieve? What resources and assignments were you provided, so you could learn by working? Tell us about the assignments Was the networking accessible through the program useful? What kind of connections have you made? What were the most surprising outcomes, realizations or things you had to change your mind about due to being in the program? For space & defense folks who haven’t taken the program, what’s the #1 idea you believe they need to hear?    Disclaimer: We were not remunerated in any way by Daniel Penaranda or ISU-FIT for this discussion.    Useful Links:   The Final Frontier Podcast:  OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
October 14, 2021
Rick Ward - Has The Time Come For Edge Computing In Space? - CSP S02E84
Rick Ward is the founder of OrbitsEdge, a space industry firm focused on edge computing. Has the time come for the adoption of edge computing in space? Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan asks Rick: Lay out the case for edge computing in the context of the space industry...We’re about to generate more data and put more strain on the Deep Space do we handle it? What technology is needed? Do we have this tech today? How will the Cislunar economy impact this data pipeline requirement? What timeline could we be looking at for this? We’ve doubled the population of satellites over the past two years (Starlink)...may double again over next two and continue to, applying ongoing pressure. Are there any plans to respond to these requirements? What kind of anecdotal evidence can you provide that you’re seeing people recognizing themselves that there’s an impending data problem? Explain the Compute-as-a-Service … who’s the customer? What is OrbitsEdge’s intention to do next?   USEFUL LINKS:   OrbitsEdge website:  Previous episode with Rick Ward on the Cold Star Project: Disclaimer: We were not remunerated in any way by Richard Ward or OrbitsEdge for this discussion.    OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
September 23, 2021
Gordon Roesler - Why Do We Need Commercial Logistics Systems for Space? - Cold Star Project S02E83
Robots In Space founder Dr. Gordon Roesler returns to the Cold Star Project following his appearance as a speaker at the State of the Space Industrial Base 2021 event. We're looking at the need for commercial logistics systems for space, and why the US needs to invest in these in a hurry.   Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan asks Gordon Roesler: Let’s describe our topic: Logistics in space, Commercial logistics systems. What do they consist of, and what do they enable? What are we missing now and why is it a problem? How important is logistics in space in terms of our ability to compete with China? Describe the importance of modularity in the development of these systems What does a “space container” look like and why is the concept so useful?  - How do you envision funding to work for developing commercial logistics systems for space? What differences do you see between government perspective vs private perspective? Are there things government can do to allow and encourage the funding and development of commercial systems? (who chooses the architecture, how do commercial investors make their money back).  USEFUL LINKS:   Past appearances by Dr. Roesler: OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
September 09, 2021
How Can US Space and Defense Startups Team with Primes and Government using govmates? - CSP S03E18
Space and defense startups frequently have a tough time "being heard" in the field. Not only that, but these small companies struggle with learning the byzantine paths to discovering and connecting with prime contractors and government organizations who could be looking for their technical help. Katie Bilek co-founded govmates in 2015 to smooth the way and assist in making teaming connections. If you're a space or defense startup founder looking for help in developing these kinds of connections, listen in to our discussion. Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan asks govmates' Katie Bilek: Why did you co-found Govmates? What need did you see, and what did it take to get the connections and support required? How does Govmates add value to the marketplace?  What problem does govmates solve? What background do you have that you feel empowered your decision? How does membership in Govmates work? What can members expect? Who is the right kind of person to be signing up for membership? What stage should their business be at? Is TS clearance a requirement for all members? What kind of mistakes do you see new members signing up making, that when corrected or avoided will help their company get seen more effectively and make better connections? It’s 10 years from now… how do you see Govmates in form and function? How has it grown and are there any changes in its strategic direction? Useful Links: govmates website: OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
September 02, 2021
Peter Thorpe - How Does An Artist Endeavour To Inspire People To Embrace Space? - CSP S02E82
Can an artist inspire people to embrace space? This is what illustrator Peter Thorpe has been doing since the mid-1980s. Peter has typically worked as a book cover illustrator, but he has also done logos, magazine covers and posters. With a 20-year span as the Space Frontier Foundation's Creative Director, Peter has had an impact on the space industry. How has this unusual career and impact come about? Host Jason Kanigan asks Peter: Art can be a tough subject to convince others that you can be successful with as a living, let alone yourself. How did you encounter this and commit to the Illustrator profession as a young man? From the data points it seems you had no trouble moving around the country as a young person. Do you believe this was necessary for your career? With today’s “location-free” roles and computer-driven skills (that, I stress for our younger viewers & listeners, were not options available in 1980!) do you feel you would not have felt the need to move close to the work if you were starting out now? You mentioned to me that you attended the very first adult Space Camp in 1985. What was that experience like? What stands out in your memory about it? Tell us about the Space Frontier Foundation: its purpose, activities, and your involvement 88-08 You mention “visual research” as part of your cover art design process in a recent text interview. Share with us how you go about designing a cover Let’s discuss “How an artist endeavours to inspire people to embrace space”. What is your point of view on this concept, and how has it developed over the years? What do you especially want your art to accomplish in terms of impact upon people?    Useful Links:   Google Drive folder of some of Peter's art images (these are already available to the public, and were provided by Peter): Peter's website:  Click on the Rocket Paintings link for 6 pages and an About page for the Rockets   Peter Thorpe Pinterest page for the Rockets: Peter Thorpe Facebook page:  Peter's Instagram page:  Peter Thorpe Deviant Art page:  Peter's short stories:  How to make Peter Thorpe Space Art YouTube video:   Disclaimer: We were not remunerated in any way by Peter Thorpe for this discussion.    OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
July 29, 2021
Edmund Burke - What Does It Take To Get On The Test Launch Schedule At Vandenberg AFB? - CSP S02E81
What does it take to get on the test launch schedule at Vandenberg Air Force Base? How do so many organizations unnecessarily delay their time because of unexpected but avoidable issues? Edmund Burke of Space Information Labs joins host Jason Kanigan on the Cold Star Project to explain range safety compliance - happenings, trends, success, and failure.   We discuss: The shift to Autonomous Flight Termination and Space Based Range Brief explanation of flight termination systems Advantages and necessity of intelligent lithium battery systems RadTol BMS, and radiation tolerant avionics Testing and documentation required to fly (RCC 319-19) A decade of watching companies fall short on promises because the didn’t understand what it takes Danger of vertical integration for startups Important lessons learned Edmund Burke served as an Air Force Program Manager and Project Director for many years prior to founding Space Information Laboratories in 2004. He served as the Space Lift Range System, Range Instrumentation and Metric Track lead for both Vandenberg AFB and Cape Canaveral, FL. Mr. Burke is a master designer, inventor and business development leader of launch vehicle, missile and small satellite avionics and power system technologies that are required to be Range Safety and Space environmentally qualified. He holds four USPTO utility patents on SIL’s VBITS GPS Tracking and AFTS, VBIRS – Space Based Range, Li-Ion Polymer Intelli-Pack® Battery, Intelli-Avionics® and Chameleon 12U to 27U Open Modular Scalable Reconfigurable Bus technologies. Mr. Burke has a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a M.S. in Astronautical Engineering from West Coast University.   Useful Links:   Still image of SIL flight termination module: Still image of SIL 2 Amp battery unit and battery management system (BMS): Space Information Labs website:  Disclaimer: We were not remunerated in any way by Edmund Burke or Space Information Laboratories for this discussion.    OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
July 22, 2021
David Walker - Will America Still Be A Superpower In 2040? - Cold Star Project S04E08
Past Comptroller General of the United States, professor at the US Naval Academy, former Defense Business Board appointee, and author David Walker returns to the Cold Star Project--and this time we're addressing the question of whether the United States will still be a superpower by 2040. David has authored the book America In 2040: Still A Superpower? A Pathway To Success. What's wrong with America's fiscal policy, how did we get here, and what can we do about it?   Host Jason Kanigan asks David Walker:   - An investigation of organizations in decline produced the book Exit, Voice and Loyalty by Albert Hirschman. Out of the three choices, Voice is your option… What made you believe writing a book was the best way of influencing others? - Let’s hear your definition of “superpower”.   - What can we learn from past major powers about the problems of maintaining economic growth and military strength over decades?   - Specifically looking at the US now, what outcomes can we expect by 2040 if we don’t change our course? And your target?   - What in your opinion is today’s greatest economic and national security threat to America? How do we handle it?   - You educated me about the concept of “the tooth and the tail” in our last discussion… What needs to change in military investing (development, procurement, deployment) to ensure America remains a superpower over the next two decades?   - What budget controls and standards changes are necessary to achieve the level of results you want to see?   - Share your views on tax policy with us and how you envision these to to alter the long term outcome of the US economic situation.    Useful Links:   Get the book on Amazon (NOT an affiliate link):  Previous interview with David Walker on cultural development in government operations:  Disclaimer: We were not remunerated in any way by David Walker for discussing his book or any other topics.    OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
July 15, 2021
Narayan Prasad - How Did a Commercial Space Business Evolve With Satsearch? - CSP S03E17
Dr. Narayan Prasad, COO of Satsearch, is my guest on this episode of the Cold Star Project. In an industry often frustrated by lack of funding, Narayan has helped guide Satsearch into becoming a truly commercial space business. But what differences are required, both in mindset and execution? Host Jason Kanigan asks Narayan: What led you to the founding of Satsearch? What was that process like and how did you know the market wanted something like that? Tell us about your discovery of what really works in business What top three or four errors do you consistently see startup founders make? Has the Satsearch platform evolved (similarly to NewSpace Hub) along the way?  What improvements have you made, and what do you intend to make? You’ve avoided investment capital despite it being offered to you… why?    Satsearch website:   OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
May 26, 2021
Phil Gerbyshak - What Do Sales, Process and Results Have to Do With Scaling Businesses? - CSP S02E80
The CRO of Process and Results, Phil Gerbyshak, is on the Cold Star Project to share his experiences and views on what it takes to successfully grow a business. There's a lot more to it than engineering and sales! Host Jason Kanigan asks Phil about sales, process and leadership as follows: You’ve had opportunities to lead salespeople, such as coaching 160 sales professionals and 25 or so sales leaders in 4 locations in one role. What’s the number one issue you’ve encountered salespeople struggling with? Far too many founders out there think that all you have to do with salespeople is feed them leads and give them product knowledge. What’s missing here, from your perspective? What dangers is the founder unknowingly asking for by adopting this approach? Do sales leaders have different priorities and focus in coaching requirements than line salespeople? What was most surprising from your experience coaching sales leaders? As a fellow show host, what has been critical for you over the years to keep up the intensity, interest, momentum? What process improvements have you made over time and what impact have they had? I see a lot of people get caught up in the technology stack decisions (CRM, internal communications, fulfillment delivery etc.). How important are these, from your perspective? What should organization leaders be focusing on when it comes to revenue growth? What internal issues come up that are more important than tech problems or decisions? Should sales leaders be on social media? How can we make effective use of social selling and solution selling?    OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
May 20, 2021
Douglas Loverro - Can We Solve Geopolitical Problems In Space? - Cold Star Project S02E79
Past Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations at NASA and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Douglas Loverro is on the Cold Star Project. We're discussing geopolitics, national security, and the space industry. Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan asks Doug:    Part of your messaging is to “advocate for greater use of commercial capabilities and manufacturing for future DoD space and launch missions”. As a board member of several space companies, what do you believe most commercial space companies need to figure out or the lesson they most need to take to heart? What capability gaps do you see? What is the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy… What did you do / what did a typical day look like for you? What positive lessons about manned spaceflight have you taken away from the NASA role? Was there a “biggest surprise” in your experience there? Tell us about the National Security Space Association, its goals, values, purpose. How can being a member enhance the USA and one’s career? What do you recommend people new to space careers get started on today to make the most out of their time and impact?      Doug's white paper on resilience:     National Security Space Association website: OpEx Society:   Get new episodes directly in your inbox:   Talk to Cold Star:
May 12, 2021
TS Kelso - What Are the Challenges of Satellite Tracking With TLEs - Cold Star Project S02E78
Dr. TS Kelso is a principle scientist behind understanding and using TLE data for identifying, tracking and predicting the orbital paths of satellites. For decades he has promoted the development of programs with increasing ability to work with TLEs. Most recently he has led the creation of CelesTrak, a data visualization tool allowing anyone online to see what satellite orbits look like. But how did this come about? And what are the challenges of using TLEs, a format based on the limitations and needs of old technologies, to track satellites? Host Jason Kanigan asks Dr. Kelso: What’s the truth about the state of US technology for satellite identification and tracking? Are TLEs good enough anymore? What are we missing out on knowing because of data truncation? Other than the sheer bulk of increased satellites and therefore data, what concerns do you have about the future of satellite trajectory ID, tracking, and prediction? Regarding tracking, what should we update first: technology or standards? How can we overcome the problem of user adoption in standards? What are the main issues you see in getting agreement? Are they mostly nationality-based eg. Russia vs America vs China, or government bodies conflicting, or “Not Invented Here” Syndrome? At what point did you realize it was possible to build CelesTrak? What was the biggest hurdle in getting the application up and running? What capabilities do you envision it having eventually?    CelesTrak website: Click "Launch Orbit Visualization"   Dr. Kelso's biography including a considerable USAF career completed as a Colonel:   Cold Star Project Space Situational Awareness playlist:  OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
April 22, 2021
Andrew Aldrin - What Direction Does The Space Economy Need To Move In? - Cold Star Project S03E16
Dr. Andrew Aldrin is back on the Cold Star Project and this time we're diving into the funding sources and direction for the space economy. What needs to happen and what should we be looking at? Does the Silicon Valley investment model fail in the space industry? Are there obvious next steps, or do we need to continue to guess what's on the horizon? Andy shares his valuable experience and perspective in this open discussion with Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan.   We also touch on the ISU Center for Space Entrepreneurship's Graduate Certificate Commercial Space Program. Info on the program:  Previous appearances of Dr. Aldrin:   Challenges of Space Entrepreneurship:  How the Soviets Beat the Americans Into Space:  Graduate Certificate Commercial Space Program updates: OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
April 07, 2021
Yan Song - How Can We Truly Transform Organizational Culture? - Cold Star Project S04E07
Dr. Yan Song is back to complete our deep dive into operationalizing cultural development. This complex, systems thinking topic concludes with Yan's Step 4, transforming the culture. But how is this actually done?   Cultural Development with Dr. Yan Song series playlist:  Slide stills:   Competence slide:  Transformation (step 4) slide:  Operational Perspective slide:  Ecology slide:  Cultural Development slide:  Key Takeaways slide:   OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
March 25, 2021
Yan Song - What Is The Second Step To Take In Operationalizing Cultural Development? - CSP S04E06
Dr. Yan Song and Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan continue our exploration of what it takes to operationalize cultural development in organizations. In this deep talk we're looking at Steps Two and (unexpectedly for me, but we didn't want to leave people stranded) Three in a four-part process. I ask Yan about the following:   I had to laugh because the points on slide 7 “Enter New Territory 1 / 4” are the same things we see in sales. We are all trapped in our mental model of limiting beliefs, and what we say we’ll do is often different from what we actually do. Is there a way we can help ourselves become more aware of these processes and contradictions?    Slide 8 is about feedback loops and learning. In my experience, feedback loops have been the bugbear of organizations: they often are missing; they frequently have bad measures when they are in place; tasks and outcomes fall between the cracks as a result--and this obviously does not lead to operational excellence. Frankly, everybody seems to believe they are doing better than they actually are (including me). I also note the time difference between the “doing” and “learning” modes… I imagine this applies to organizations as well, since they are made of people? Is there anything we can do to accelerate learning?    Slide 9 Entropy Increases… Leonard Cohen’s line “from the wars against disorder”... Yeats’ “the center cannot hold”... Why do we need a defensive system against chaos? What would happen if we adopted chaos (would we go insane, Motorcycle Maintenance style?) This Slide 9 is worthy of tremendous discussion--what’s going on here? A snapshot of human perspective, one which I certainly recognize symptoms of my own behavior in! If things are always falling apart, what hope do we have of keeping an organization together long enough to operationalize cultural development and head towards operational excellence?    On Slide 10 we see the shift we must make. However, there is a lot here to explore and unpack. I like the “collective excellence” term. We can’t achieve cultural transformation (or much at all) alone. Reminding ourselves that the topic is “Bravely entering new territory”, I think we finally see what this can mean: not only picking up new ideas from some sort of inert or “doesn’t fight back” source like a book or a video, but rather exploring the new territory of someone else’s mind and ideas. Passive sources can jarr and possibly have their ideas denied by the recipient without pushback, but a live human will probably continue to argue. What are the consequences of that? (We see it played out often in Facebook arguments where no one changes the mind of the other). How can we avoid shut down?   Cultural Development with Dr. Yan Song series playlist:  Slide stills:  Step Two slide:  Reflexive Learning Loop slide:  Double Loop Learning slide:  Unilateral decision making slide:  Mutual decision making slide:  Step Three slide:  Competence slide:   OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
March 11, 2021
Yan Song - What Is The First Step To Take In Operationalizing Cultural Development? - CSP S04E05
Now that we've covered what operationalizing cultural development means, in the first episode of this series (CSP S04E04), Dr. Yan Song returns to the Cold Star Project to tackle the next step. How do we put this into action? What is the first step in operationalizing cultural development? With host Jason Kanigan, Dr. Song digs into systems thinking and the approach he has arrived at for taking effective action on this critical organizational topic.   Jason Kanigan asks Yan: “The Truth” is a fundamental concept for both of us. Your process for operationalizing cultural development, as does mine for improving the processes of businesses, begins with confronting the brutal facts. What form does this take and what should investigators be looking for as indicators or starting points? In a slide we see a terrible condition of isolated, fearful, territory-protective people who have only the goal of personal survival. These elements come from Barry Oshry’s book Seeing Systems. How do these elements fit into a system, and how can the leader working to operationalize cultural development make use of them? It seems that by following the analysis track and improving each separately would not accomplish what we want, which is the improvement of the entire system. What, then, is the organizing principle or purpose of this system and how can we use these elements to improve it?  - I am surprised to see Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team book in your presentation...but I probably shouldn’t be. I hadn’t thought his stuff was this high level (though I do think it is good: I think of his content as operational level but obviously I have some education to get on that point!). What is it about Lencioni’s approach that made you want to build it into your cultural development / confronting the brutal facts process? Let’s explore Lencioni’s pyramid. When initiating cultural development, from the pyramid we see that trust is the base. Trust typically comes after people see the actions of their leaders, and then those carrying out the tasks operationally can get comfortable with the conflict, need for commitment etc. But the leader has to start, it seems, from the top? Demonstrating focus on measures, proving their own accountability and commitment, then being willing to challenge the team and develop that trust? Where would you recommend people start?    Cultural Development with Dr. Yan Song series playlist:  Slide stills:  Cultural Development process slide:  Steps slide:  Hot Springs slide:  Set Up Camp slide:  Lencionoi - Collins slide:   OpEx Society:  Get new episodes directly in your inbox:  Talk to Cold Star:
March 04, 2021
Yan Song - How Can We Solve the Challenge of Operationalizing Cultural Development? - CSP S04E04
Systems Thinking thought leader and Fortune 500 executive Yan Song is our gue