What We Do
The Center for Applied Space Technology (CAST), is a Florida-based 501(c)3 with a mission to identify and promote the “innovative application of space-enabled and space-enabling technologies”. Founded in 2005, CAST capitalizes on strong relationships within the space industry, research institutions, and the academic community to craft and support initiatives that advance aerospace research, workforce development, and STEM education, as well as promote increased access to space, space-based investigations, and the commercialization of space applications.
Meet the Team
Ms. Maria Peterson holds degrees from the University of Florida and Lamar University. She has extensive experience in executive-level management, public relations, and marketing, successfully demonstrating her skills and talents in such diverse enterprises as the oil industry, military (Army), all levels of education, and numerous government agencies.
Her knowledge, innovation, and resourcefulness has been instrumental in the management of multi-million dollar budgets as well as the professional development of hundreds of employees. Maria was handpicked to serve as the Executive Director of the Kennedy Space Center Support Committee, with a mission to advance our nation’s space program.
She successfully liaised directly with members of the state and federal government, including a large number of U.S. Congressional members.
Since co-founding CAST, Maria has personally provided leadership in programs including aerospace workforce development and transition, the introduction of unmanned technologies in the State of Florida, the development and introduction of aerospace education programs for underserved and underrepresented K-12 students, aerospace apprenticeship programs, and has been a significant contributor to the various CAST space-based medicine programs.
Co-Founder and Director of Science and Technology
Following in the footsteps of his childhood heroes, Alan Shepard and Wally Schirra, Larry graduated from the United States Naval Academy and pursued a career as a carrier-based combat Naval Aviator.
Though selected as a Naval Astronaut Candidate, circumstances beyond his control prevented him from reaching his goal (thanks Epicetus!). After the Navy, Larry conceptualized a space life sciences program that would have been the first commercial tenant on the ISS.
The elements of this program, including the outstanding science team and the focus on space life sciences, led directly to the establishment of CAST. Since its founding, Larry has led programs in space oceanography, satellite tracking, aerospace workforce transition, unmanned systems applications, satellite M2M constellation architecture, STEM education, and facilitated all aspects of space-based medicine research and application.
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