New Go For Launch! Event Manager

Go For Launch! ERAU

Open to students in grades 8-12.
Students must attend all 3 days of the event.

  • June 16-18, 2023
  •  Times to be announced
  • Includes all supplies, lunch, snacks, event t-shirt, event mission patch, space swag bag and more!

Presenting Team

Team may be subject to change due to schedules. Astronaut to be announced.

Dr. MacKunis is currently an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator for Engineering Physics at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus. He has extensive experience with control system engineering for mechanical and aerospace systems and dynamics and control of fluid flow systems.William MacKunis received his Ph.D. degree in 2009 from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida (UF) as a UF Alumni Fellow. After completing his doctoral studies, he was selected as a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, where he worked in the Guidance and Navigation Division. In 2010, Dr. MacKunis joined the faculty of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the Department of Physical Sciences, where he is currently an associate professor and the Engineering Physics Undergraduate Program Coordinator. His main research is in the development and application of Lyapunov-based control techniques for mechanical and aerospace systems with uncertain nonlinear dynamic models. Dr. MacKunis’ research has involved numerous control applications, including guidance and navigation of satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), wheeled mobile robots, hypersonic vehicles, missile guidance systems, vibration suppression systems, neural networks, photovoltaic power systems, and closed-loop active flow control. He is the co-author of two book

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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 an 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, AIAA Associate Fellow, 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!

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Katy recalls being initially drawn to the wonders of space during her days on campus at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. While pursuing her undergrad in Communication, she always enjoyed catching a glimpse of the occasional rocket trail or hearing the launches out of Kennedy Space Center. In 2020, Katy was truly able to embrace her space curiosities when she had the opportunity to work as a communication intern for Higher Orbits. She graduated from Embry-Riddle with honors in 2021 and currently holds the position of Communications Director. Her skills of graphic design, photography, and writing allow her to launch her creative side into the cosmos where she can help connect students across the country with the excitement of Higher Orbits and their Go For Launch! programs.

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Other Team Members To Be Announced

Presented in Partnership with…

Supported by Sponsors:

Intergalactic Voyagers

Event Location Details

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

1 Aerospace Boulevard
Daytona Beach, FL 32114-3900

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