JPL’s Jia-Rui Chong Cook

Can I Offer You Some Earplugs?

Jia-Rui Chong Cook is a media relations specialist for the outer solar system at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a former Los Angeles Times reporter—as well as a one-time Jeopardy! contestant. Before moderating a panel on what we lose if we don’t go to space, she talked in the Zócalo green room about her deep knowledge of indie music—unfortunately from two years ago—and her love of graffiti, especially when it comes to the walls of public bathrooms—and her childhood bedroom.

The Planetary Society’s Louis Friedman

I’ve Got a Lot of Nerve, I’ll Tell You

Louis Friedman is co-founder of The Planetary Society and a longtime space engineer. Before participating in a panel on the importance of NASA, he sat down in the Zócalo green …

Rocketdyne VP John Vilja

A Native Californian Who’s Never Seen the Point of Leaving

John Vilja, a San Fernando Valley native, is vice president of strategy, innovation, and growth at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, where he has worked for 30 years. Before participating in …

These Days, Darwin Would Need To Know More About Jupiter

What Can Astronomers Teach Biologists?

The more we learn about the universe, the more it looks like the building blocks of life—organic molecules, amino acids, planets near a sun—are present throughout. Much of what we …

NASA Mohawk Guy

Bobak Ferdowsi Used To Play With Legos. Now He Plays on Mars.

Bobak Ferdowsi, also known as, “NASA Mohawk Guy,” is flight director of the Mars Curiosity rover. Before participating in a panel on what we stand to lose if we don’t go to …