AAE students explore the challenges for interstellar flight
Purdue AAE has one of the top aerospace engineering educational and research programs in the nation and the world. To further help enrich the educational experience for our students, AAE launched in November 2017 the J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Distinguished Short Course Series.
This year's topic was "Interstellar Space Flight -- Undiscovered Propulsion Breakthroughs." This course introduced the challenges and concepts for interstellar flight. Challenges include the astronomical distances, time constraints, and the influence of varying mission considerations, such as the "Incessant Obsolescence Postulate."
NASA's Dr. Marc Millis taught this year’s course. He is best known for leading NASA's “Breakthrough Propulsion Physics” project (1996-2002) and the 2009 book “Frontiers of Propulsion Science” – examining the physics of non-propellant space drives and faster-than-light flight. In 2010, Millis took an early retirement from his 31 years at NASA to continue these edgy pursuits via the nonprofit “Tau Zero Foundation.” His expertise spans physics, electronic engineering, cryogenic propellants, and electric space propulsion.
The video recordings of the short course are available online now.