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Founder, Board EmeritusMarc Millis lead NASA’s visionary “Breakthrough Propulsion Physics” project and created the milestone book, Frontiers of Propulsion Science, a compendium of scholarly research on propellantless space drives and faster-than-light flight. Earlier in his NASA career, Millis designed ion thrusters, electronic instrumentation for rockets, cryogenic propellant equipment, and even a cockpit display for free-fall aircraft flights. After 31 years with NASA, he retired in 2010 to devote full time to interstellar research and education via the Tau Zero Foundation.
Marc envisioned Tau Zero as a place for thinking about the long-range future of space exploration. While others work on the next big thing, Tau Zero looks at emerging possibilities that could change our future. Instead of advocating a specific mission or vehicle, Tau Zero builds a foundation of reliable information from which future vehicles and missions can be created. This includes investigating ideas on the infrastructures for expanding human presence in space, launching interstellar probes, and all the way to the advancing the physics of faster-than-light flight.
Board of Directors
Board ChairmanJeff Greason has over 25 years’ experience managing innovative technical project teams at XCOR Aerospace, Rotary Rocket and Intel Corporation, and now as CEO of Agile Aero. As president and co-founder of XCOR, he led the engineering team that developed over 14 different long-life, highly-reusable liquid-fueled rocket engines. He has also worked on a low-cost liquid propellant piston pump, and two manned reusable rocket aircraft – the EZ-Rocket and the X-Racer, which broke all previous barriers for low cost and rapid reflight of rocket vehicles with 66 successful flights between them.
Jeff is a recognized expert in reusable launch vehicle (RLV) regulations. He has been a member of the COMSTAC RLV working group since 2000 and presently serves on the full COMSTAC, and he was integral in the first spaceport license at an airport, in Mojave, California, and the first spaceport license at a scheduled air service airport, in Midland, Texas. He was one of the architects of the regulatory policy embodied in the 2004 Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act; following which he co-founded the trade association for the commercial space industry, now the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. He also recently took over as Chairman of the Board at the Tau Zero foundation, a non-profit group working towards practical interstellar transportation technologies.
In 2009 he was named by the White House to a panel of independent experts that examined alternatives for advancing the United States’ human space exploration agenda. Chaired by Normal Augustine, the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee examined ongoing and planned NASA activities and present options for a safe, innovative, affordable, and sustainable human space flight program after the retirement of the space shuttle. He has remained active in national space transportation policy and has given several widely circulated speeches on the subject.
Greason was cited by Time magazine in 2001 as one of the “Inventors of the Year” for his team’s work on the EZ-Rocket. In 2016 the National Space Society awarded him the Space Pioneer Award for Entrepreneurial Business. Mr. Greason holds 25 U.S. patents. He graduated with honors from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and currently lives in Midland, Texas.
Dr. Andrew Aldrin
Chief StrategistDr. Andrew Aldrin has recently joined the Tau Zero Foundation as an executive strategist. He is the Director of the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute (BASI), and an Associate Professor at Florida Institute of Technology. BASI is a multidisciplinary institute created for the goal of establishing and maintaining a permanent human presence on Mars. Previously, Dr. Aldrin was President of Moon Express. Prior to coming to Moon Express, he was Director of Business Development and Advanced Programs at United Launch Alliance, overseeing development of corporate strategies, business capture, senior customer relations and advanced program development for civil space markets. Dr. Aldrin headed Business Development and Advanced Programs for Boeing’s NASA Systems, and Launch Services business units. Dr. Aldrin holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA, an MBA from TRIUM, a MA in Science Technology and Public Policy from The George Washington University, and a BA in International Relations from the UCSB.
Chief Media DirectorRod Pyle is a space historian who has worked with NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Johnson Space Center. He has written ten books on the history and technology of space exploration and science for major publishers in the US, UK and Asia, including “Mars: Making Contact” (Sterling books), “Blueprint for a Battlestar” (Andre Deutsch) and “Amazing Stories of the Space Age” (Prometheus Books), all out in 2016. His newest book, “Space 2.0: The New Space Age” will debut in 2017.
As a journalist, Rod’s work has appeared in Space.com, LiveScience.com, the Huffington Post, Popular Science, and many other print and online venues. Rod has also produced documentary programming on spaceflight for The History Channel as well as Discovery Communications. He has written on spaceflight and science for NASA/JPL and Caltech, and authored a guide to executive education for the Johnson Space Center/The Conference Board’s Apollo Leadership Experience. Rod speaks frequently on spaceflight and executive development, and is a frequent radio guest with regular appearances on WGN/Chicago, KFI/Los Angeles and numerous syndicated radio programs. He worked on the TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a visual effects coordinator for three seasons, and spent a decade at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
William H. Tauskey
Executive DirectorBill is a proven executive with a broad background in general management successfully running a range of technology organizations. Built and run cohesive, successful teams, developed and executed business plans, raised capital, established and leveraged executive level client relationships and key partner alliances as well as having managed full P&L responsibility.
Bill’s career has included a professional foundation of 10 yrs. at IBM in sales, sales management and product development positions; over 12 years of sales and executive management positions in high tech and space related companies; and over 10 years in executive level consulting firms.
Community service experience includes as an officer/board member of several local and regional non-profit organizations. Bill is also serving as a board member on the US Naval Academy Nomination Committee for the 18th Congressional District of California.
Bill holds an M.S. from Texas A&M and a B.S. from the Virginia Military Institute. His military service includes serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
President/CEO - Chief Bridge Builder to the GalaxyRhonda Stevenson is an experienced serial entrepreneur, with several successful businesses under her belt, including franchise, agriculture and youth leadership endeavors. With a background in aviation and working experience as an environmental chemist, she brings copious amounts of knowledge and experience with regards to business operations, production efficiency, due diligence, quality control, executive management and leadership. Forging successful relationships that would typically not be possible, Ms. Stevenson excels at establishing symbiotic systems, and incorporating density and efficiency within those systems.
Social Media DirectorPaul Gilster is a full-time writer who focuses on space technology and its implications. He is one of the founders of the Tau Zero Foundation and now serves as its lead journalist. This organization grew out of work begun in NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program, and now seeks philanthropic funding to support research into advanced propulsion concepts for interstellar missions.
Gilster is the author of seven books, including Digital Literacy (John Wiley & Sons, 1997) and Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning for Interstellar Flight (Copernicus, 2004), a study of the technologies that may one day make it possible to send a probe to the nearest star. He tracks ongoing developments in interstellar research from propulsion to exoplanet studies on his Centauri Dreams Web site. In past years, Gilster has contributed to numerous technology and business magazines, and has published essays, feature stories, reviews and fiction in a wide range of publications both in and out of the space and technology arena. In addition, he has for the last twenty-six years written a regular column on computers that appears in The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC).
Gilster is a graduate of Grinnell College (IA) who performed graduate work at UNC-Chapel Hill, specializing in medieval English literature, before going into commercial aviation (flight instructor specializing in instrument and commercial training) and, eventually, writing. His interest in the exploration of space is lifelong.
Subject Matter Experts
Dr. Marc H. Weber
Research professor and manager of the W. M. Keck Antimatter Laboratory at Washington State UniversityDr. Marc H. Weber is a staff scientist and research professor in the Department of Physics and Center for Materials Research at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. His research specializations include the investigations of different states of matter with positrons and the use of antimatter and positrons as a means to transport energy. A Fullbright scholar, Dr. Weber left his native Germany to study at the City College of the City University of New York, and later worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory. His work at the W.M. Keck Antimatter Laboratory is paving the way for large scale production of antimatter fuel for interstellar flight and the exploration of deep space.
Eric W. Davis, PhD
Institute for Advanced Studies-Austin and EarthTech International Tau Zero Foundation, Specialist on faster-than-light general relativity and quantum vacuum physicsDr. Eric W. Davis is a Senior Research Physicist at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin and is the Founder/Chief Executive of Warp Drive Metrics. His research specializations include breakthrough propulsion physics, beamed energy and nuclear space propulsion, general relativity and quantum field theories, and experimental quantum optics. Dr. Davis has worked as a contractor/consultant to the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Research Laboratory, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and NASA. Dr. Davis is the co-editor/author of the peer-reviewed academic research monograph Frontiers of Propulsion Science (AIAA Press, 2009, 2012). He also authored/co-authored numerous Air Force and DoD technical reports, peer-reviewed symposium and technical journal papers, and award-winning conference papers. Dr. Davis is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, member of the New York Academy of Sciences, and member of the American Astronomical Society.