Episode 15 – Interview with Yoji Kondo a.k.a. Eric Kotani

posted in: Author, Podcast, Science | 3

Recorded at:

The Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
Balticon 39: May 27 – 30, 2005

with Paul Fischer
Balticon 39 Interview with author and Astrophysicist Yoji Kondo a.k.a. Eric Kotani
From Sunday, May 29, 2005

Read more about Yoji’s personal and professional life, and his Kepler project.

  • This was a “no edit” podcast
  • We talk about politics, political parties, and true liberalism
  • “All astrophysicists are sci-fi writers
  • Yoji has worked for NASA for the last several decades
  • sci-fi vs. real science and shooting down satellites
  • Action / Adventure novels

  • Yoji is part of NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center. The big bureaucracy.
  • Yoji has work on many projects, including some which used data from
    Gemini missions. Manned space astronomy. Worked with observations from Skylab.
  • Yoji gets technical about high altitude infra-red astronomy.
  • Yoji has observed galaxies, stars, and planets, but not extra solar planets until now.
    He is a co-investigator in the Kepler mission. A satelite designed to detect extra solar
    earth-like planets. 10^-5 acurate photometers which can detect if a small earth-like
    planet crosses the path of light from a star to us. Will be launched 2008. Boosting off a delta
    rocket.
  • NASA TV is the most boring thing on TV. The NASA podcast is also spectacularly boring.
    I’m supposed to talk to Mike Griffin NASA Administrator. I’m a weasle.
    I think they need more exciting people on NASA TV and the NASA podcast.
    The also emphasize the wrong things in NASA media.
  • Yoji explains the economics of keeping something like Hubble alive vs. building it’s replacement.
  • Getting people involved in making NASA TV and podcast more exciting. Letting people program their
    own exciting media for NASA to show. Get John Williams, of Star Wars fame, to write a NASA
    theme song. I want to program some time on NASA TV.
  • I might have a hard time getting to Mike Griffin, but I really need to make the effort.

Music by Bottomland. This week’s song is “High in the Music”.

Books by Eric Kotani available on Amazon.com. Music by Bottomland available on Amazon.com and Apple iTunes Music Store Feet of Clay
.