Imagine working on a team with top researchers, scientists and technologists to create cutting edge technology to be used in future space missions. This is exactly what Steve Gaddis, director of Game Changing Development at NASA, does every day. Steve will give TEDxNavesink 2016 attendees a glimpse into the life of an astronaut with a glove box that simulates air pressure in an astronaut’s suit glove as a participant of TEDxNavesink Makers Gallery.
TEDxNavesink Makers and Makers Gallery will be held on Saturday, April 9 at Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey. TEDxNavesink Makers will explore what it means to be a creator and maker. In addition to the inspiring talks, the Makers Gallery will showcase revolutionary inventions and ideas, up close and personal.
Working at NASA wasn’t even a question for Steve. He wanted to work for the space administration since he was a kid. “As a young boy watching the Apollo program go to the moon and the shuttle program go to low earth orbit, I began to look at space as my destiny. I never wanted to work anywhere else.”
And he hasn’t. A graduate from the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama, he began working with NASA after he got an offer to be a co-op with the Marshall Space Flight Center. Steve has held various positions at NASA ever since.
Today he is the Director for the Level II Game Changing Development Program, investigating ideas for space exploration and developing technologies to advance future space missions. “I love working with new, novel, innovative and revolutionary ideas that may benefit NASA missions, other government agencies, industry, academia and how we live here on Earth,” said Steve.
But the best part of his job? “Working with all the researchers, scientists, and technologists,” said Steve. “They are the ones that come up with the ideas and make them happen. They are an incredible group of people and I am humbled to be working along their side.” One of these novel and unique ideas was the glove box.
In space, astronauts wear an extravehicular activity (EVA) suit glove. EVA suit gloves protect astronauts’ hands from the environment of space and allow astronauts to move their hands to work with objects. But sometimes the pressure makes hand movement difficult and even painful.
“Typically, the suit has about 10 psi internally,” said Steve. “Strangely, this sounds like a small amount, but once you put your hand inside you marvel at how difficult it is to squeeze or grab anything. This is what the astronauts have to deal with.” The glove box works to help decrease the effects of the air pressure on astronauts’ hands as they perform tasks.
“The Game Changing Development Program wanted to show people why it is important to create a new glove and the best way was to make the glove box,” said Steve.
The glove box isn’t the only cool invention Steve and his team are busy working on. The Game Changing Development program is designing the next humanoid robot, called R5. They are working on spacecraft navigation systems that use pulsars to explore deep space. The team is also manufacturing rocket engine parts for the next heavy lifter and creating specialized materials needed for the Orion crew capsule.
These are just a few of the innovative technologies being developed at NASA. Want to see more of the inventions the Game Changing Development Program is working on? Click here.
Steve is excited to be part of TEDxNavesink Makers Gallery. He and his team love the creative community of Makers and the philosophy of building and testing. “We are hoping the Makers Gallery attendees will see and hear first-hand how serious NASA is about reaching out to others outside of our organization for ideas that we might not have considered,” said Steve. “We believe Makers are a good source for innovative ideas.”
See the glove box up close and personal by purchasing your TEDxNavesink 2016 Makers tickets today. The day will be filled with inspiring talks and tickets include admission to the Makers Gallery. Click here to get your ticket.