Les Johnson

Les Johnson is a science fiction author for Baen Books (On to the Asteroid, Going Interstellar, Rescue Mode, and the soon-to-be-released Mission to Methone) and popular science author for Springer Books (Living Off the Land in Space, Solar Sails, Paradise Regained, and Sky Alert). He is also the Senior Technical Adviser for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

While at NASA, Les managed NASA’s Interstellar Propulsion Research Project, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program, and the Science Programs & Projects Office. Les is the co-investigator on the T-Rex space experiment that flew in August 2010, the Principal Investigator for the ProSEDS space experiment, twice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal, and holds 4 space technology patents. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout mission which will launch in 2018.

He was the technical consultant for the movies, Lost in Space and Europa Report. NPR, CNN, Fox News, The Science Channel and The Discovery Channel have all interviewed him about space and space exploration. He was the featured Interstellar Explorer in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine, spoke at TEDx Huntsville and was the “Making it Real” speaker at EVE Online FanFest Iceland.

Les earned his Master’s degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and his Bachelor’s Degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY. He is also a graduate of the International Space University.

He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and was published in Analog. Les is the Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. He has been a frequent contributor to the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the National Space Society, The British Interplanetary Society, The World Future Society, and MENSA.