Supporter of the Day – Mike Malaska

Today, I’m starting a new series of posts that is very special to me. Outside In would be impossible if not for the support, generosity and spirit of some great people, companies and organizations that make this project possible. I want to highlight each and every one – and you might learn some stuff about the cool resources, tools and people that this project has brought me in contact with.

Mike at the Eno River

First up, Mike Malaska has been the #1 fan and supporter of the project since he discovered the project on the awesome Unmanned SpaceFlight forum. (UMSF). UMSF is an incredible place where you can find the most talented space image processors on the planet. Several (to be profiled later in this series) have donated their work to the film and the spectucular animations in the film would be impossible without their thousands of hours of work.

Since Mike first got involved in supporting Outside In, he’s rocketed up to the stratosphere of passionate amateurs – he’s now directly involved in the hard science of Titan. He’s one of the smartest and nicest guys I’ve ever met and now officially one of the Executive Producers on Outside In. Be sure to check out his Flickr page, and if you are in North Carolina, he’s recently become an official NASA Solar System Ambassador, so look for upcoming presentations from him.

His official BIO:

“Mike Malaska is a PhD organic chemist leading drug discovery projects at SCYNEXIS, Inc. in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.  He has worked on therapeutics for diseases that include cancer, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

He is also a volunteer researcher in planetary geology studying the Earth-like processes of Saturn’s giant moon Titan in collaboration with researchers on the Cassini RADAR team.  His current research focuses on characterizing the Sikun Labyrinth canyonland region and hydrocarbon rivers and channels located near Titan’s South Pole. He is also a volunteer artist for the AVIATR Titan Airplane mission proposal.  His scientific and artistic works have been presented at several planetary science conferences.

Mike is fascinated by the differences and similarities between the planets and moons of our Solar System and how they relate to planet Earth.  One of his hobbies is processing data from current and past spacecraft missions, including raw images taken only hours ago from orbit around another planet. He is a frequent contributor to unmannedspaceflight.com and has a flickr page dedicated to new planetary images he has processed from raw data:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/31678681@N07/

As a self-described enthusiastic science nerd, Mike is a recently-appointed participant in the NASA Solar System Ambassador program for educational outreach to schools, museums, and civic groups.

In his “spare time” Mike also enjoys fossil collecting, gardening, and blackwater kayaking.”

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