Tech Women- Out of This World: Women in Space



  • Many people believe the end of NASA's shuttle program was the end of the space world.  Au contraire- the private sector - in partnership with NASA- is advancing exploration and development of extra-terrestial domains faster and cheaper than was possible before. There are a lot of exciting things happening in the world of commercial space.  Come meet some of the women involved in this expanding industry.


    Khaki Rodway,  Director- Payload Sales & Operations, XCor - Khaki Rodway has been the Program Manager at XCOR Aerospace for six years. Her primary focus is managing XCOR's government and government-related commercial contracts. She also oversees XCOR's marketing communications, as well as writing the company's technical reports, papers, and proposals. Prior to working at XCOR, Khaki was the Program Manager for the Borehole Research Group (BRG) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, NY where she was the Program Manager for BRG's annual $5 million Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) contract. In addition, she has written published documents on ODP well-logging science, and use of remote sensing in archaeology and heritage conservation. She has a MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University 's School of Architecture and a BA from Rutgers. 

    Darlene Lim, Geobiologist, NASA Ames Research Center - Darlene Lim is a geobiologist based at the NASA Ames Research Center, and is a leader in the development of operational concepts for human-robotic scientific exploration.  Darlene is currently the Principal Investigator (PI) of the NASA-funded Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP), and the Deputy PI of the NASA ‘Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration’ (FINESSE) research program. Both programs are focused on real (non- simulated) science and exploration activities that seamlessly blend field science research with the development of human exploration tools, technologies and concepts. Her projects have garnered an international reputation for producing innovative concepts and capabilitiesthat support human scientific exploration. Darlene has spent over 20 years conducting field research around the world, and has worked in both the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as in underwater environments where she has spent hours piloting submersibles as a scientist and explorer.

    Celeste Volz Ford, Founder/Chief Executive Officer - Celeste Ford is the Founder and CEO of Stellar Solutions, a global provider of systems engineering, integration and program management expertise. The company, based in Palo Alto, CA, is a recognized leader in government and commercial programs in the aerospace industry, with over 200 highly-qualified engineering experts operating in locations throughout the U.S. and Europe, focused on high-impact projects addressing customer critical needs. Celeste’s leadership of the Stellar constellation includes Stellar Solutions Aerospace Limited (UK-based affiliate), QuakeFinder (humanitarian R&D division of Stellar Solutions) and Stellar Solutions Foundation. She is a valued member of the board of a number of organizations in the public and private sectors.
    A recognized and respected personality in her field, Celeste has served on congressional commissions as well as panels focused on entrepreneurship and women in business. She has been recognized with numerous honors, including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame, Fortune Small Business Magazine Best Bosses, and Women in Aerospace Leadership Award. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Stanford University, Celeste is a longtime advocate of community and charity outreach. She resides in Portola Valley, CA with her husband and they have three grown children.


    6:00 - 7:00  Nibbling and networking
    7:00 - 8:30  Panel