Candidate Profile

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EXPERTISE
Astronomy & Space Science
Aviation
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
Col Verderame is currently the Director of the Joint STARS Combined Test Force at Patrick Air Force Base. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School and has flown in 56 different aircraft. While on active duty he was a NASA flight control & propulsion astronaut instructor, teaching astronauts to fly the Space Shuttle and is 1 of only 5 non-astronaut Air Force officers ever qualified to fly the full motion simulator, logging over 500 hrs and 100+ landings.

He trained both the STS-28 & STS-30 crews, the latter deploying the Magellan Synthetic Aperture Radar Probe to Venus. Col verderame has also been an instructor at the USAF Test Pilot School and in 1997 he was selected as the Air Force Senior Fellow at the RAND Corp where he studied future military space applications.

Col Verderame holds a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering as well as a master’s degree in astrophysics with a minor in planetary geology and a second master’s degree in geological engineering. He has published 3 books and 11 scientific and engineering papers including a study for the NASA Mars Exploration Office on selecting drilling sites for upcoming robotic missions in search of subterranean water. He is an active member of 2 local astronomy clubs where he regularly participates in astronomy ‘outreach’ programs, helping the public experience the universe first hand and can he be found on most clear nights in his backyard with his beloved 14” aperture telescope searching the cosmos.

While new to cruise ship enrichment lecturing, Col Verderame has been public speaking for over 25 years to a diverse group of audiences from Astronauts to grade school students to community groups with a down-to-earth, engaging style that takes complex subjects and makes them easily understandable to anyone. Since 2008 he has also been a part-time actor, appeared in 13 films and 3 commercials and is a nationally ranked competitive shooter and 3-division Grand Master in the action shooting sport of Steel Challenge. Col Verderame currently resides in Indialantic, FL with his wife and 5 cats.



(Click image to download sample Powerpoint Presentation PDF - large file, 10MB)
PRESENTATIONS
1. CAN WE REALLY BE THE ONLY INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE?
A fun but factual look at the intriguing possibilities of finding other life in the universe. How do scientists find potential planets that could support life? Where would beings inhabiting these planets most likely be found and what might they look like are a few of the questions he’ll discuss.

2. ARE YOU READY TO BE A MEMBER OF THE FIRST MARS COLONY?
So you decided to volunteer to be a member of the first Mars colony! Find out what will it be like to live on Mars. What will living conditions be like inside the colony? Will you have cable TV? What will you be doing every day? And what will the training be like to get you ready for both your 2-year voyager to the red planet as well as everyday living?

3. HOW DO ASTRONAUTS LEARN TO FLY THE SPACE SHUTTLE?
An inside look at astronaut training from a NASA astronaut instructor. While all pilot astronauts are highly experienced test pilots when they join NASA, flying the Space Shuttle is like no other craft they’ve ever flown. See the unique training program used to teach these test pilots and go inside the world of NASA space flight training.

4. SO YOU WANNA BE AN ASTRONAUT?
An up close look at the selection process and the everyday life of preparing to travel in space. See what it takes to compete for one of the most coveted jobs in the world and then what it takes to prepare for space travel!

5. GET YOURSELF A TIME MACHINE AND TRAVEL THROUGH THE UNIVERSE! Want to see the rings of Saturn for yourself? Or maybe the Giant Red Spot on Jupiter? Or even Deep Space Objects like the Andromeda galaxy! Everything you need to know to get started as an amateur astronomer will be covered. How to select your first telescope. What accessories are essential, nice to have and a waste of money. What you can see in the night sky on a seasonal basis and weather permitting you’ll be invited to join Ken out on the deck on sea nights to view the Cosmos with his equipment.

6. THE GAS GIANTS: A CLOSEUP LOOK AT JUPITER, SATURN, URANUS & NEPTUNE
Hitch a ride on Voyager 2 and other spacecraft on their missions to study the outer solar system and beyond. See images of these planets like you’ve never seen before and learn fun scientific facts about our distance neighbors that we share the solar system with.

Technical Requirements
Col Verderame has kindly requested a CD player capable of interfacing with the lecture room speakers, a microphone, outlet and 2 extension cords.
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
I'm a retired LTC who was a Space Shuttle astronaut instructor, graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School and instructor. I hold M.S. degrees in AstroPhysics (w/minor in planetary geology) & Geological Engineering and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and have flown in over 56 different military & civilian aircraft. I have worked in space exploration, development & acquisition for over 30 years with NASA and the USAF.