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Les Johnson image

Les Johnson

Les is a physicist, award-winning science and science fiction author, and the Chief Technologist at NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. His science fiction books include The Ross 248 Project (Baen 2023), Saving Proxima (Baen 2021), The Spacetime War (Baen 2021), Mission to Methone (Baen 2018), Rescue Mode with Ben Bova, and more. Les’s popular science books include A Traveler’s Guide to the Stars (Princeton Press 2022) – now translated into 7 languages, Graphene: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material That Will Revolutionize the World (2018), Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, and others.

In his day job at NASA, Les leads MSFC’s center-wide technology development initiatives, represents Marshall on NASA’s Center Technology Council, and serves as the center’s focal point for Center Innovation Fund activities. During his NASA career, Les was the Principal Investigator for flight demonstration of advanced space technology systems including solar sails and electrodynamic tethers. Les is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, the British Interplanetary Society, the National Space Society, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and MENSA – and is the Program Chair of the Interstellar Research Group. He was a technical consultant for the movies Europa Report, Lost in Space, and Solis.  NPR, CNN, Fox News, The Science Channel and The Discovery Channel have all interviewed Les about space and space exploration.  He was the featured Interstellar Explorer in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine and appeared there again in March 2019. His next novel, Crisis at Proxima, will be published by Baen Books in November 2024.

You may learn more about Les on his website: