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‘Rocket City Rednecks’ ringleader will launch ISU Engineers’ Week Sept. 20

Posted September 13, 2013 in Web Exclusives

AMES, Iowa – Travis Taylor, official ringleader of the National Geographic Channel’s “Rocket City Rednecks,” will launch Iowa State University’s Engineers’ Week 2013 on Sept. 20 with his entertaining brand of rocket science.

Taylor’s presentation, “A New American Space Plan,” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, in Stephens Auditorium, Iowa State Center. It is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

The National Geographic Channel series follows five redneck space geeks from Huntsville, Ala., home to NASA’s Marshall Flight Center and birthplace of the nation’s space programs. All rocket scientists with Ph.D. degrees, they demonstrate the concepts of rocket science through experiments that combine a little hillbilly ingenuity with advanced engineering and physics.

During his presentation at Iowa State, Taylor will share clips from the series, involve the audience in an experiment or two and convey insights from his new book “A New American Space Plan.”

Alabama born and bred, Taylor has worked with the Department of Defense and NASA for 25 years (but his oddest job was working in a chicken house). He holds five degrees — in optical science and engineering, physics, aerospace engineering, astronomy and electrical engineering. He is completing a second doctorate in aerospace engineering. Taylor also is working on several advanced propulsion concepts, very large space telescopes, high-energy lasers and next-generation space launch concepts. He has written more than 25 technical papers, 14 science fiction novels and two textbooks.

Taylor’s presentation is co-sponsored by Engineers’ Week and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.

More information on ISU lectures is available at, or by calling 515-294-9935.

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