Captain, US Navy (Retired)
Selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in May 1984, Culbertson completed basic astronaut training in June 1985. He became lead astronaut at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); lead of the First Emergency Egress Team; and lead spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in the Mission Control Center for seven missions. He flew as the Pilot for STS-38. Following his first flight, he served as the Deputy Chief of the Flight Crew Operations Space Station Support Office, as well as the lead astronaut for Space Station Safety. He was also a member of the team evaluating the hardware and procedures for the proposed mission to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. Culbertson then served as the Commander for STS-51. Following this flight, Culbertson was Chief of the Astronaut Office Mission Support Branch; then Chief of the Johnson Space Center Russian Projects Office. In 1994, Culbertson was named Deputy Program Manager, Phase 1 Shuttle-Mir, and in 1995 became Manager of the Shuttle-Mir Program. In 2001, Culbertson flew to ISS and served as the Commander of Expedition 3. Culbertson has logged over 146 days in space.
Michelle Lucas spent 10+ years working at NASA's Johnson Space Center. First as part of the International Space Station (ISS) Payload Safety Review Panel (PSRP) and then in the Mission Operations Directorate as a Flight Controller in ISS Mission Control and as a Astronaut Instructor in the ISS Daily Operations Group. Additionally she worked with each of the International Partners (European Space Agency – ESA, Japanese Space Agency – JAXA and the Russian Space Agency) in the field of Daily Operations, Flight Controller and Instructor Training. Michelle was part of the Core NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) team for 9 missions where astronauts would carry out analog space missions underwater in the Aquarius habitat. Along the way, Michelle found she has a passion for launching the next generation's dreams and ambitions. Her passion for inspiring students led to extensive work with other organizations in STEM outreach so she founded the non-profit Higher Orbits to use space to excite and inspire students about STEM, Leadership, Teamwork and Communication. Michelle is proud to be a Space Camp Alum and member of the Space Camp Hall of Fame. She believes that collaboration in space and STEM is the key to the stars! Space Inspires!
Twyman Clements is President and CEO of Space Tango, Inc. a Lexington, Kentucky based company focused on utilizing space for solutions on Earth. The company designs technology, platforms, and software to enable high-throughput missions, R&D and manufacturing. Clements is also is the Sr. Space Systems Engineer for Kentucky Space LLC (Space Tango's R&D partner). His experience includes small satellite missions, International Space Station (ISS) technology development, research and Exomedicine related experiments.
Ellie Puckett, Louisville native, started her journey to the world of SpaceTech not through engineering or a love of space but through Entrepreneurship. Ellie graduated from Morehead State University in May 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship. After graduation she took a position with the Kentucky Innovation network handling various tasks including start-up coaching, small business workshops, and speaking engagements. It was here where she was groomed her into the Director of the Space Tango Business Accelerator. The world’s first business accelerator of Space Science Businesses. There she managed and coached 3 start-up teams through The Lean Startup model. Shortly after the conclusion of this program Space Tango Inc began to focus on it’s real market and business model. Ellie continued to assist in any way possible with both Kentucky Space and Space Tango including business operations planning, marketing planning, and sales systems planning. In May 2015, Ellie finally joined Space Tango on full-time status as Director of Business Operations.
Kris Kimel is President and a founder of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), an independent non-profit company with a reputation for designing and executing ambitious and diverse initiatives in science, technology, entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation. He is a founder of two subsidiary companies...Kentucky Space (nonprofit company) and Space Tango LLC (for-profit enterprise); both focus on the design and development of small high-value satellites and applications and novel space platforms and experiments (particularly in the field of exomedicine) for the International Space Station (ISS). Kris is also the founder of the IdeaFestival an international event centering on innovation, discovery and creative thinking across different disciplines. Kris, originally from Miami, Florida, holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Kentucky and was the 1974 recipient of the University of Kentucky's Sullivan Medallion.
Bluegrass Community & Technical College offers a first-rate, affordable and convenient postsecondary education. BCTC has more than 40 programs of study that can lead to high-wage, high-demand careers at six campuses within a 30-minute drive of 95% of Central Kentuckians. Our college offers students many choices for classes, courses, programs, and training for a better life ahead. Whether students are looking for a good paying job or taking courses to transfer to a four-year college or university, they will benefit from BCTC's caring, experienced professors, helpful staff, and excellent facilities. Through comprehensive and responsive programs and services, the college sustains a strong partnership with our communities to improve economic vitality and quality of life in the region.