Arizona/NASA Space Grant Success Stories

Joshua A. John, 2003 Space Grant Intern, 2005 NAU Grad

Joshua A. John, 2003 Space Grant Intern, 2005 NAU Grad

I currently work on the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) program that is part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system that is a segment of the U.S. missile defense system. The EKV is a vehicle that is carried upon a Boeing built booster and launched to intercept incoming ballistic missiles against the US or its allies.  I am a team member on a group called the Operations Test and Evaluation team. Our main task is to plan, execute, and analyze tests that are associated with the development of the EKV and GMD system, primarily flight and ground tests. I started with this team in January 2012 and my duty was to analyze post test data at ground tests performed at NASA’s White Sands Tests Facility (WSTF) in Las Cruces, NM. I primarily use MATLAB programming to analyze data, build scripts to process and plot data. The most nerve wracking and best part of the job is when the countdown starts to fire the thrusters and hope everything that you did works. I am glad to be part of this team because it contributes to the nation’s defense.

In addition to my primary work tasks, in 2011 I served as president of the Raytheon Missile Systems chapter of the Raytheon American Indian Network (RAIN), an employee resource group that is dedicated to the development of Native American employees at Raytheon and helps in career development, recruiting, and community service to the Tucson community. In parallel with my membership in RAIN, I am a professional member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Our group helps college chapters by funding for conferences and outreach projects to K-12 students.