Dr. Mike Gruntman

Dr. Mike Gruntman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Gruntman) is a professor of astronautics at the Viterbi School of Engineering of the University of Southern California (USC).  He served as the founding chairman (2004-2007) of the Department of Astronautical Engineering at USC (http://astronauticsnow.com/aste.pdf) and chaired the department again from 2016-2019. This is a unique pure-space engineering (in contrast to common aerospace) department in U.S. universities. Its Master of Science program , founded and directed by Mike since the mid-1990s, awarded more than 800 degrees from 2004-2022 (http://astronauticsnow.com/msaste-update.pdf).  

The life journey took Mike from a child growing up at the Tyuratam (Baikonur) launch base in the late 1950s and early 1960s to an accomplished physicist to the founding director of a major educational program in space engineering in the heart of the American space industry. Mike received his Ph.D. from the Space Research Institute (IKI) of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1984. In the 1980s, he pioneered various experimental and instrumental concepts and techniques for imaging space plasmas in energetic neutral atoms (ENA). ENA imaging had matured by the mid-1990s, with ENA experiments flown and planned on numerous space missions. In March 1990, Mike succeeded in escaping from the socialist paradise of the Soviet Union, reached California with 80 dollars in his pocket to start a new life, and joined USC. (Ironically, he now witnesses from a front seat the march to dehumanizing socialism by academia and his home state.) 

At USC Mike has been involved in numerous programs in space science and technology, supported by various government agencies and industry. His interests include astronautics, space physics, space mission and spacecraft design, rocketry and spacecraft propulsion, space instrumentation and sensors, solar system galactic frontier, heliospheric and magnetospheric physics, space environment, orbital debris, space education, and history of rocketry, space, and missile defense. Prof. Gruntman’s graduate course at USC on fundamentals of space systems is among the largest in the country, with more than 2200 students enrolled from 1995-2021.  

Mike also offers short courses on space technology for government and industry. AIAA made the first 50-min lecture (on course organization and world space enterprise) of one of his short courses available for free (https://youtu.be/-_8-qGfXjEo). His educational space video clips scored more than one million views on YouTube.  

Mike authored and co-authored more than 300 scholarly publications, including 6 books (http://astronauticsnow.com/books/). His AIAA published “Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry” received an award from the International Academy of Astronautics in 2006. This book and another AIAA-published book on the history of early missile defense are held in 750 and 450, respectively, libraries worldwide. In 2022, he published a book about his “previous life” in space science in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s and another book on the fundamentals of space missions (650+ problems with detailed solutions that were given, could have been given, or should have been given in his classes and courses). Mike’s website is http://astronauticsnow.com

Broadcast 2559 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Mike Gruntman. Topics: Dr. Gruntman's new book, "Intercept 1961: The Birth Of Soviet Missile Defense" plus missile defense issues. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use.

Broadcast 1458 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Mike Gruntman. Topics: USC Department of Astronautics and a Soviet spy at USC pre and during WWII. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. You can also obtain all of Dr. Gruntman's book, including "Enemy Amongst Trojans" from the One Giant Leap Foundation Amazon partners book page. Remember, if you buy his books or any books from this site, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show.

Broadcast 1144 (Special Edition)

Guests: Dr. Michael Gruntman; Karsan McGillicuddy. Topics: History of rockets, astronautics, Grand Forks, ND, Space Aliens Grill and Bar. Dr. Mike Gruntman, Professor of Astronautics at the University of Southern California (USC) was our guest for the first segment of this special Space Show program. Dr. Gruntman delivered a colloquium talk to the Space Studies department of UND on April 6, 2009 on the history of rockets. With both his permission and the permission of Dr. David Whalen, Space Studies Chairman, this talk is being presented here as a Space Show program.

Broadcast 779 (Special Edition)

This is the first of two AIAA Space 2007 conference interview programs. This set of interviews includes discussion by Debra Facktor Lepore, President of Air Launch, LLC, Dr. Eligar Sadeh and his wife Chris, and Dr. Mike Gruntman, professor at USC. Debra updates us with Air Launch LCC news, Eligar is now a professor at the USAF Academy and has also started a private consulting business, and Dr. Gruntman talks about his educational ideas for space engineering improvements at the college level. Each guest provides an email or contact method if you have questions or comments for them.

Broadcast 751 (Special Edition)

Dr. Mike Gruntman was the guest for this Space Show program. First, please be aware that this interview had substantial phone line noise which could not be cleared up during the call or show processing. We do apologize for any inconvenience this "noisy" conversation causes you. We began the program by discussing his award winning book published by AIAA, "Blazing the Trail: The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry." AIAA has just completed a second printing of the book with a substantial price reduction.

Broadcast 403 (Special Edition)

Dr. Michael Gruntman, Chair of Astronautics at the Viterbi School Engineering of USC was the special guest for this Space Show program. As author of the superb book, "Blazing the Trail: The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry," we started our discussion with questions pertaining to the history of rockets starting with Asia and moving to Greece and Egypt. We talked about rockets and their development by military's and wars throughout the centuries up to the current period. I asked Dr. Gruntman where we would be in the development of rocketry if we did not have wars and armies.

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