Category: Publicity

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Linda Dawson featured by MIT Alumni Association

Linda was recently featured in Slice of MIT, an MIT Alumni Association website. Linda graduated from MIT in 1971, and this year marks the Class of ’71 50th anniversary!

Former Space Shuttle Engineer Explores the Politics of Space

Linda (Getch) Dawson ’71 grew up during the height of the space race between the United States and the USSR. She recalls driving with her family from Massachusetts to a New Hampshire observatory to hear the beeping of the Soviet satellite Sputnik as it passed overhead. “It’s funny how your path takes different turns, but I always came back to that first love: aerospace,” she says. Dawson’s path took her from MIT to NASA, then into a second career as a teacher and a writer, earning her the nickname “Rocket Woman” from colleagues and journalists along the way.

Read the full story…

Jun 4, 2021 | Catherine Caruso SM ’16 | Slice of MIT

Also posted on Twitter:

Wikileaks Handout/Reuters. The image is of classified U.S. military footage released by Chelsea Manning. Iraqis and journalists are seen being shot and killed, with the remote targeting interface visible.

Upcoming chapter in cyberwar book

Linda is writing a chapter for an upcoming book edited by Asst. Prof. Svitlana Matviyenko of Simon Fraser University School of Communication. Summary: Cyberwar Topologies: In Struggle for a Post-American Internet. Publication expected by the end of 2021.

Cyber related attacks are considered by some to be the biggest threats to space systems. Due to interdependence between civilian and military systems, a cyber-attack on a satellite could adversely affect the integrity of military operations. Cyber assaults are difficult to trace and become a perfect means to create large scale disruptions and possible damage to space systems. If an enemy manages to gain control of the command and control of a satellite, it could possibly “shut down all communications and permanently damage the satellite by expending its propellant supply or damaging its electronics and sensors”. A greater number of space systems are using “more advanced on-board processing, all digital components, software-defined radios, packet-based protocols, and cloud-enabled high-performance computing, the attack surface for cyber-attacks is likely to increase”.3 The most common counter-space cyber threats are unauthorized accesses, spoofing, software threats, data corruption/modification, ground system loss, interception of data and interruptions to precision timing.4

This chapter will present possible cyberwar cases using demonstrated technology along with the devastating impacts that could provide incentives to a war in space.

3. A. Gini, “Cyber Crime from Cyber Space to Outer Space”, Space Safety Magazine, 14 February2014, http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/aerospace-engineering/cyber-security/cyber-crime-cyber-space-outer-space/.

4. Khan, Ahyousha. Cyber ASAT-Capabilities and South Asia. 01 Aug 2020. https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/08/01/cyber-asat-capabilities-and-south-asia/

National Space Society

National Space Society book review

The first review of Linda’s book, The Politics and Perils of Space Exploration, is now online at the National Space Society.

Her book is simultaneously historical and current, technological and political, domestic and international.

—Loretta Hall

Read the full review