130: Mund on the Moon: Featuring Paul Bakken, Mission Generalist, LunAresX Team

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Sorry, folks. You won’t find Paul Bakken on social media. You will find him running around the LunAres habitat repairing, improving and applying his years of analog astronaut experience to our mission in the LunAres Research Station! We’ve been beyond grateful that Paul’s been selected as one of our crew mates- in addition to his extensive background in law, community service, and analog missions, Paul happens to be an incredible chef! After enjoying this conversation with Paul, you will have a perfect understanding of what a mission generalist does, and then you’ll find yourself asking, “where can I find a mission generalist to help me in my everyday life?!?!”

“I like fixing things and feeding people. It’s what I enjoy doing at home, so it’s a natural fit for me to do it here at LunAres.”

-Paul Bakken from the Casual Space Podcast

About Paul

Paul Bakken is a native Minnesotan, husband of 28 years and a father of three children. He has served his community as an elected official for over 18 years. He serves on the Board of Directors for his local distribution cooperative. Other community experience and volunteering includes Boy Scouts, where he has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and service as an officer in the Minnesota Army National Guard.

Bakken earned a B.A. in Political Science and Classics from St. Olaf College and a M.A. from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Paul has also earned his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, and has completed the FEMA/ EMI Integrated Emergency Management Course.

When he’s not baking up amazing food for analog astronauts, Bakken enjoys reading science fiction and tinkering. He has a long-standing interest in the exploration of space, and particularly in our exploration of the Moon and Mars. As an analog astronaut, he has served as Commander of two crew rotations at the Mars Desert Research Station, or MDRS, and as Executive Officer for NEPTUNE, a five-day underwater research mission. He’s also served as the Operations Officer for Selene I, a fourteen-day lunar analog research mission at HI-SEAS. He’s currently enjoying his new title of Mission Generalist on the LunAresX Sensoria mission in Pila Poland at the LunAres Research Station.

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