We talk with Commander Leviticus Lewis, U.S. Navy (Ret), who now works with FEMA as a Program Manager for NASA’s Planetary Defense Initiative. After retirement, Mr. Lewis has worked in the Pentagon serving both TSA and FEMA, with the FBI National Joint Terrorism Task Force and was at the Pentagon on 9/11.
Mr. Lewis talks about the most current efforts of the Planetary Defense initiative and the launch of the DART mission to test kinetic impact on an asteroid. Planetary defense encompasses all the capabilities needed to detect the possibility of a potential asteroid or comet impact with the earth, and then either prevent the impacts or mitigate the possible effects of an impact. He also comments on the global coordination and participation of international agencies on planetary defense.
He wraps up our conversation with advice on having a career where you are challenged by your interests to pursue new avenues of knowledge, and how that has made all the difference to him.