SFPL PhD students Rohan Deshmukh and Justin Mansell each presented papers at the 2020 SciTech Forum in Orlando, FL. The conference is hosted each year by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
SFPL students Thomas Cunningham and Justin Mansell along with SFPL director David Spencer attended the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC this week to present a trio of papers covering the lab's research and involvement in flight projects.
The Planetary Society's citizen-funded LightSail 2 spacecraft launched successfully into low Earth orbit June 25th from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. The liftoff occurred at 2:30 am EDT and carried a total of 24 satellites into 3 different orbits. The mission will test the first controlled flight by a solar sail in Earth orbit. Professor Spencer is the project manager for the LightSail 2 spacecraft and SFPL is supporting the mission operations and analysis.
Vestigo Aerospace LLC has been selected for a NASA Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award. Vestigo is partnering with the Purdue University Space Flight Projects Laboratory on the Phase I investigation. Through the six-month study, the team will advance dragsail technology for the deorbit of small satellites and launch vehicle stages.
In an opinion piece for Purdue Engineering, Professor Spencer shares his thoughts on why the Moon is the right goal for both NASA and the private sector when it comes to the future of space exploration.
Professor Spencer outlined his vision for the most significant opportunities and challenges for growing the space economy beyond Earth orbit over the next 150 years in an invited blog for Purdue's College of Engineering.
Space Flight Projects Laboratory PhD student Justin Mansell was awarded the John V. Breakwell travel award by the American Astronautical Society last week at the 29th Space Flight Mechanics Meeting in Ka'anapali, Hawaii.