Rachel Tillman

Rachel Tillman is the Founder and Executive Director of the 501c3 nonprofit “The Viking Mars Missions Education & Preservation Project” (VMMEPP) and began her path preserving Viking mission history at the young age of 11 when she saved the last remaining flight ready Viking Mars Lander (VL3) from becoming scrap metal. Her early exposure to the mission came as the daughter of Viking Team Member James E. Tillman, served on the Viking Meteorology Team and eventually became the final Program Manager of the mission for the last extended missions.
The excitement generated in youth exposed to the VL3 as it lived temporarily in the Rachels’ elementary school, the University of Washington Electrical Engineering, was profound, and became the catalyst for Rover competitions at the school, and drew attention from the public, as it continues to do, at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA, where it is currently on loan to the museum by Rachel. During the last years of the Viking mission Rachel helped her father developed an exhibit at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, in collaboration with Ted Maxwell, Senior Advisor for Science at the National Air and Space Museum's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies.
Between her youthful initiation into the preservation of Viking artifacts and history, and her current leadership role, Rachel held roles in communications organizations, focused on innovating new ways to present information, from inventing streaming media applications to business development, focused on problem solving and driving innovation and market development in digital communications beginning in the late 80s. Her experience and success at projecting needs and executing projects landed her in leadership positions from Art Director/Producer to Technology Evangelist, and Business Development Manager, taking technologies to market through partnerships with companies like Microsoft, Intel, MCI, RealNetworks, and other smaller integrators to grow the overall internet and media industry. Rachel’s experience negotiating with firms to leverage and create content to build end user experiences, began as she developed concepts into CD ROM, and web experiences using her degree in technical illustration and her vision of the possibilities from the convergence of computing and internet media. Rachel has a long list of “firsts in her career” that represent her initiative and experience identifying gaps, forming teams, gathering resources and managing projects both from small nonprofits to multinational Fortune 500s. She collaborated with engineers, academics, educators, and media experts from the International Interactive Communications Society as the Forum redefined the term “multimedia” in 1990. She led CD Publishers to expand their offerings to include hybrid web/CD experiences such as the first interactive travel planning and booking CD/Web product "Experience Hawaii" in 1994. She initiated and contributed to the emergence of web technologies such as 3D Mesh, the first web animations, and streaming media with Intel Labs from 1996 to 2000.
Throughout her academic and professional career, she has remained committed to education, leading and volunteering efforts to support the inclusion and immersion of computing and communications technology into schools and education programs such as the Boys & Girls Club, from whom she received an award for her leadership in establishing cutting edge web program for staff and youth. It is this persistent undercurrent that led Rachel back to the arena of education and inspiration of youth through the critical lens of the Viking missions “to preserve the artifacts, history and original documents of Viking, and to inspire future leaders and thinkers”.

Broadcast 2726 Rachel Tillman & Al Treder

Guests:  Rachel Tillman, Al Treder;  Topics:  The Viking Mars Missions & The Viking Mars Missions Education & Preservation Project.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com.   Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program.

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