Sunday, September 22, 2013

Higher Orbits Logo

Well this blog is really a reaching out for a bit of help...

Still working on getting a logo for Higher Orbits and I have some great ideas from some amazing artists. Before I fully select a path of one to work with I wanted to ask all of you for your ideas... Don't worry I am not asking for you to actually create a logo, I am asking you to share some words of ideas/thoughts/expectations with me... If you don't mind of course :)

So here are a few questions and if you were so inclined to do so I'd love your answers/feedback :)

Remembering that Higher Orbits is a non-profit that uses space to excite students about Science Technology, Engineering, Math and also Leadership and Teamwork...

Remembering that Higher Orbits will be targeting (mainly) high school and college/university students... (That's not to say that we won't do things with younger students they just aren't the main demographic)... But also Higher Orbits will be reaching out to Industry/Business for sponsorships...

  • What kind of logo comes to mind for you? What are the elements of it?
  • What colors are used in the logo?
  • Does the logo include the full name Higher Orbits or is it just a picture logo?
These are some leading questions (for lack of a better way of putting it) to try and get you thinking. That said - if you have thoughts/ideas/comments that fall outside those questions please send them my way. 

Thanks to all who are interested in Higher Orbits!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's a Small World

It's a Small World After All... It's a Small World After All.. It's a Small World After all... It's a Small Small World..

Sorry - now that I've got that stuck in your head :) What can I say - after having visited Disneyland and the experience I had at the AIAA Space Conference in San Diego I definitely had this in my head...

For those of you who don't know I recently returned from a trip to California - this trip was mostly work but had some fun thrown in too! So why am I singing "It's a Small World" you may ask...

I flew into LA for a few days before heading to work in San Diego. My reason for doing so was that my dear friends Gillian, Kevin & Katelin were in LA for some work. I met Gillian from 29 Studios ( on our Gobi Desert Astronaut Leadership Experience and we became good enough friends that a few months later I visited her in her home of Glasgow, Scotland. While there I met her amazing husband Kevin and exceptional daughter Katelin as well as Pappy (Kev's wonderful Dad.) When I found out they would all be in California at the same time as me, and I knew we had some business we wanted to talk about, I figured I ought to modify my travel plans slightly and make a stopover in LA on my way to San Diego. We enjoyed some fun time together (including a trip to Disneyland to all be big kids together!)

And no it was not all fun we did some work too! We had some great business talks and we are all excited about the work we can do together. I'll tell you what given that Gillian and I went from seeing each other in Mongolia then Glasgow then Los Angeles - it makes me feel like it's a small world after all!

But wait - there's more! :)

Then I headed to San Diego for the AIAA National Space Conference where I was exhibiting for ISSET & Higher Orbits. (Okay to be fair everything only said ISSET because I didn't have anything printed up with Higher Orbits because I had only just gotten the name etc. legally approved and I don't have a logo yet... but I did talk about Higher Orbits!) At this conference I was astounded at just how small the world of space is! Forget 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon - Space is where it's at!

(Don't know what 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon is? Check this out

At the conference the thought of it's a small world after all ran through my head numerous times...

  • I have been living on the East Coast for over a year as has Pam Melroy but we haven't managed to get together yet even though we live within an hour of one another... however I saw her at this conference which was held more than 2,000 miles from where we live!
  • I met an incredibly cool guy named Greg who it turns out is great friends with a few of my dearest friends (Stacey & Kevin) in Houston. We'd both heard stories about each other but never met even though we'd lived in Houston at the same time... so we met for the first time in San Diego!
  • I met several people from all over the Globe who I've gotten to know Twitter-wise
  • I saw not 1, not 2, not 3 but no less than a half a dozen astronauts who I have worked with either as their instructor for a mission or in Mission Control for their Mission (or when they were CAPCOM)
  • I met a Purdue SEDS student who is a student of my Purdue Mentor Dr. Steven Collicott (I think I may have to do another whole different blog on that!)
  • I met a guy who works in Texas at SpaceX with the brother of one of our favorite mids 
  • And literally with almost everyone I met we had a mutual friend or a mutual friend of a friend...
It's A Small World After All.....

I think that's why the space community feels so much like a family. With that said - Let's Make This Family Bigger! Let's keep spreading the good word about space and get others excited!!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I Introduce To You....

Cue the trumpets..... Or maybe a drumroll... Confetti Cannons perhaps?

Anyway - give me some pomp and circumstance in your mind as you get ready to read this next bit because I am SUPER excited about it....

It's is my great honor to introduce you to a new Non-Profit Organization that will use space to get students of all ages interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math....
I give you.....
Higher Orbits

I had many many many great suggestions from folks about names and many that I liked but I chose Higher Orbits for a wide variety of reasons some of which include the fact that some names that were suggested or I liked were already taken or Trademarked, some of the names ended up being a great acronym but a mouthful to explain (Ken reminded me how much it drives me crazy to have to spell out ISSET all the time), some names appealed to some of the demographic I need to target but not others etc etc. Bottom line is I was lucky to have so many great suggestions from so many great folks so...


Thank you all for being so wonderful and helping me with suggestions or taking my surveys to see what names you like or just being a sounding board when I started rambling about my ideas. Thank you so very much. I appreciate it more than words can express.

I would be remiss to not give an extra special Thank You shout-out to a very special gal who does marketing and branding for a living and was so enthusiastic in her help with finalizing the name. A HUGE Thank you to Lisa Witzig from Ideen LLC. I can whole heartedly endorse that if you need some help with marketing branding, naming etc. Lisa absolutely should be your go-to-gal! Check out her webpage at

I still have a lot of work to do.....

  • Lots of paperwork to get my official IRS non-profit status (I won't bore you with the details but the basics is there's a general legal part to becoming a non-profit and then there's the IRS side... the IRS side apparently takes ages... but I'm ready to get to work on that!)
  • Logo - Luckily I have some amazingly talents friends who have given me some great ideas and now I just have to decide what exactly I want to have represent Higher Orbits for all entirety (no pressure to make the "right" choice or anything!)
  • Website! I've secured the domain and put a lame Coming Soon page but will be working on getting that really functional soon! Bookmark to check back there periodically
  • Fundraising! I have some amazing ideas of ways to fundraise to provide scholarships to individuals for events like Mission Discovery and I can't wait to get started on those. I know how life changing it was for me when I received a scholarship to go to Space Camp so I can't wait to return that "favor" to some students!
  • And much much more but I'll stop rambling for now :)
I will still be doing all the same work with ISSET but now Higher Orbits will become a partner to ISSET and Higher Orbits will have additional things outside of ISSET as well. (Yeah I wasn't busy enough you know how all I do is sit around and watch TV and eat bon bons. LOL!)

For now you can start following Higher Orbits on Twitter if you want @HigherOrbits
And you may have noticed this is a separate blog than my personal blog - this will be a Higher Orbits official blog so perhaps sign-up to follow this blog too :)

And I promise to keep you all posted as things progress..... as you might be able to tell I am REALLY REALLY excited!!! 

Here's to Higher Orbits!!!