NASA employee and author Johnson to lecture at ACTC, Highlands Museum – The Tribune

NASA employee, author Johnson will give a lecture at the ACTC, Highlands Museum

Posted at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, 2022

Will talk about the use of space technology to solve environmental problems on earth

ASHLAND, Ky. – NASA technologist and author Les Johnson will visit the College Drive campus of Ashland Community and Technical College at noon on Friday, November 4.

While on campus, Johnson will present “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth,” a seminar on how space technology and resources can be used to help solve energy and environmental problems on Earth.

The event is open to the public and will be held in the Learning Resource Center teleconference room.

Johnson is a native of Ashland and a graduate of Paul G. Blazer High School.

After graduating from high school, he received his bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University and his master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

Johnson has written several science fiction novels and several popular science and non-fiction books on space and space exploration, including his recently published “A Traveler’s Guide to the Stars” by Princeton University Press.

Johnson currently works at NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where he is the principal investigator for the United States’ first solar-powered interplanetary space mission, Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout.

According to Johnson, NEA Scout “will use a 925 square foot solar sail to propel a small spacecraft to rendezvous with an asteroid.”

During his career at NASA, JOhnson served as Director of the Office of Space Science Programs and Projects, the Space Propulsion Technology Project, and the Interstellar Propulsion Research Project.

He is also a founding member of the Interstellar Research Group, Fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics, Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, Fellow of the National Space Society, and was accepted into MENSA.

Alongside his presentation at the ACTC, Johnson will speak at the Highlands Museum at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 5, discussing how we might one day travel to the stars. This will be followed by book signings at Broadway Books (12:30-1:30 p.m.) and Conquest Books (2-3 p.m.)

For more information about Johnson, visit

Angela C. Hale