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Michael J. Mackowski

Biographic Sketch:

Michael J. Mackowski is a retired spacecraft engineer whose career spanned 45 years, working on programs such as ICESat-2, Landsat 8, the Fermi and Swift gamma ray observatories, the Iridium communications satellite constellation, the X-30 National Aerospace Plane, and the Space Shuttle. He started his career with McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1977 and retired in 2018 as an employee of Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (formerly Orbital ATK) in Gilbert, Arizona. Having begun his career working for engineers who built Mercury and Gemini, it is no surprise that McDonnell’s Gemini two-person spacecraft is one of his favorite space vehicles.

Outside the workplace, Mr. Mackowski is involved in space advocacy and promoting the benefits of space exploration. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, the past chair of the Phoenix Section, and the chair of the AIAA History Committee for 2022–25. He is active in the National Space Society and is a well-regarded scale model builder, specializing in historical space vehicles.

Mr. Mackowski is also involved in pre-college STEM outreach, having organized public events and campaigns to promote the benefits of space exploration to students as well as the general public. He manages several websites and social media outlets for those local outreach events and organizations. For additional information on his background and other interests, please see: http://space-city-mike.net

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