A conversation with commercial space pilot John Shoffner
John Shoffner has driven a lot of race cars and flown a lot of planes, racking up 8,500 hundred hours in land and sea aircraft, helicopters, ex-military jets and soon…a Dragon.
Shoffner is one of the paying customers on Axiom Space’s AX-2 mission, launching in the coming weeks on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on a Falcon 9 rocket.
His week-long mission to the International Space Station is the second chartered by Texas-based company Axiom. But it won’t be a joyride for Shoffner and his crew. He’ll be conducting experiments from orbit and reaching out to young people down here on Earth through an art outreach program.
We hear from Shoffner ahead of his mission about what he expects and where he sees the future of commercial spaceflight.
The need for darker skies
Also in this episode — light pollution is prevalent across our country, especially in urban areas including along Central Florida’s I-4 corridor. Light pollution prevents us from truly experiencing all the night sky has to offer – and it also affects local wildlife living near developing areas.
For our Sounds of Central Florida project, a partnership with UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media, Weluka Costa and Cassandra Wilkins spoke with astronomers advocating for darker skies.