Join librarians Doug Dechow, Ph.D., and Annie Tang, MLIS, as they moderate a discussion with a panel of researchers about the legacy of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster and the behind-the-scenes research process involved in the production of the Netflix documentary series Challenger: The Final Flight. Researchers from the film project will share their exploratory journey for primary sources at libraries and archives (including our own Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections & Archives) and their role in bringing this story to life through the archives. We will also be joined by a Mission Operations Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who will speak on current robotic space explorations.

Stay for a special appearance by the documentary directors Daniel Junge and Steven Leckart during the Q&A.

The event will take place on Wednesday, April 7th, at 7:00 PM. Access the event using the Zoom ID 916 4121 4333. The event will also be streamed live to the Leatherby Libraries Facebook page.

Sherwin Goo was born and raised on the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii. After graduating from Iolani School in Honolulu, Sherwin decided to leave Hawaii and attend the University of California at Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1987 and went on to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After receiving his master’s degree in aerospace engineering, Sherwin returned to Los Angeles and began working for McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach. He then became a contractor for Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1991 and supported real-time operations for the TOPEX-Poseidon spacecraft, which returned radar altimeter data about the currents and temperatures of Earth’s oceans. Sherwin then decided to leave JPL in 1995 and work for Space Applications Corporation, a defense contractor working with the Air Force Satellite Control Network. He returned to JPL in 1996 to be a flight director for the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, which went into orbit around Saturn in June 2004 and completed its mission in September 2017. Sherwin currently serves as a communication activity planner for the MSL Curiosity rover and is developing processes with the Mission Planning & Sequencing team for the launch of Europa Clipper.

Pamela Madieros has extensive experience researching, negotiating, and licensing copyrighted material for feature films, TV and documentaries. She’s worked on-staff at Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as freelance on feature-length documentaries and multipart docuseries. Her most recent projects are Watson, a Participant Media feature documentary on Greenpeace co-founder Paul Watson; the Netflix docuseries Challenger: The Final Flight, and she’s currently working on a nine-part docuseries on the L. A. Lakers with producer Steven Leckart and director Antoine Fuqua.

Dr. Mark Maier is the founding chair of the award-winning Leadership Programs at Chapman University. He is the writer/director/producer of the 3-part pedagogical documentary “A Major Malfunction …” The Story behind the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster ( and served as a principal technical advisor and consultant to the 2020 Netflix production team for Challenger: The Final Flight. His close relationships with Morton Thiokol’s Roger Boisjoly and Allan J. McDonald led to the establishment of 2 major archives related to Challenger in the Leatherby Libraries at Chapman.

Kelley Whitis graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. She fell into post production in Los Angeles, working on films such as Bewitched, Memoirs of a Geisha, Jarhead, The Purge and Silver Linings Playbook. A journalist and truth-seeker at heart, Kelley has found the perfect combination of storytelling and reporting in documentary filmmaking, with Challenger: The Final Flight being one of her most honored projects to have worked on.

Challenger Panel Flyer