SpaceX Polaris Dawn Crew Interview Scott “Kidd” Poteet, Mission Pilot

In today’s episode we’ll speak with Scott “Kidd” Poteet, a Mission Pilot for the new SpaceX Polaris Program. Kidd is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with more than 3,000 flying hours as a pilot and over 400 hours of combat time. Most recently Kidd served as the Mission Director for Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space last September that raised more than $240 million for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Kidd will be the Mission Pilot for the upcoming Polaris Dawn mission, which is scheduled to launch aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 no earlier than the 4th quarter of this year. The Polaris Dawn crew will spend up to five days in orbit, and fly higher than any Dragon mission to date. They will also attempt the first ever commercial spacewalk.

In addition to Kidd, Polaris Dawn’s crew will consist of Jared Isaacman, Mission Commander, Sarah Gillis, Mission Specialist, and Anna Menon, Mission Specialist & Medical Officer.

About Kidd Poteet, Polaris Dawn Mission Pilot

Scott “Kidd” Poteet is a retired United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who served 20 years in various roles that include Commander of the 64th Aggressor Squadron, USAF Thunderbird #4 Demonstration Pilot, USAF Weapons School Graduate, Operational Test & Evaluation Pilot, and Flight Examiner. Kidd is a command pilot with over 3,200 flying hours in the F-16, A-4, T-38, T-37, T-3, and Alpha Jet. Kidd has logged over 400 hours of combat time during Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Joint Guardian, Freedom’s Sentinel, and Resolute Support.

Following his Air Force career, Kidd served in various roles to include Director of Business Development at Draken International and VP of Strategy at Shift4 (NYSE: FOUR). He most recently served as the Mission Director of Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space that helped raise over $240 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® in an effort to help eradicate childhood cancer. Kidd is also an accomplished collegiate runner and triathlete, competing in 15 Ironman triathlons since 2000, which includes four Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

About the Polaris Dawn Mission

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Polaris Dawn mission from historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Dragon and the Polaris Dawn crew will spend up to five days in orbit, during which they will work towards the following objectives:

HIGH ALTITUDE

This Dragon mission will take advantage of Falcon 9 and Dragon’s maximum performance, flying higher than any Dragon mission to date and endeavoring to reach the highest Earth orbit ever flown. Orbiting through portions of the Van Allen radiation belt, Polaris Dawn will conduct research with the aim of better understanding the effects of spaceflight and space radiation on human health.

FIRST COMMERCIAL SPACEWALK

At approximately 500 kilometers above the Earth, the crew will attempt the first-ever commercial extravehicular activity (EVA) with SpaceX-designed extravehicular activity (EVA) spacesuits, upgraded from the current intravehicular (IVA) suit. Building a base on the Moon and a city on Mars will require thousands of spacesuits; the development of this suit and the execution of the EVA will be important steps toward a scalable design for spacesuits on future long-duration missions.

HEALTH IMPACT RESEARCH

While in orbit, the crew will conduct scientific research designed to advance both human health on Earth and our understanding of human health during future long-duration spaceflights. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Using ultrasound to monitor, detect, and quantify venous gas emboli (VGE), contributing to studies on human prevalence to decompression sickness;
  • Gathering data on the radiation environment to better understand how space radiation affects human biological systems;
  • Providing biological samples towards multi-omics analyses for a long-term Biobank; and
  • Research related to Spaceflight Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS), which is a key risk to human health in long-duration spaceflight.

SpaceX and Polaris Dawn will also collaborate with the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH), BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado Boulder, Space Technologies Lab at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Weill Cornell Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

IN-SPACE COMMUNICATIONS

The Polaris Dawn crew will be the first crew to test Starlink laser-based communications in space, providing valuable data for future space communications system necessary for missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

For more information, visit https://polarisprogram.com/

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Transcript available at https://www.yourspacejourney.com/2022/03/16/spacex-polaris-dawn-crew-interview-scott-kidd-poteet-mission-pilottranscript/

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