Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Expanding Frontiers Spring/Summer 2002

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Table of Contents:


SG scholars receive 2003 Goldwater awards

UPS cardiovascular research

Jess Sotelo monitors top rower Teri Smith during Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) tests which simulate the problem astronauts have upon return to earth after only several days in space.

In this post-Challenger era, the lives of Tom Wells' students have always included a concept of space travel. Now the University of Puget Sound professor is working to make it part of their freshman studies.

Wells, an associate professor of exercise science, is developing a course on the future of humans in space. The new class, geared to freshmen and developed with Space Grant support, will expose students not only to breakthroughs in science and engineering, but also the political and social milieu surrounding those breakthroughs.

Wells says he's thrilled to get a chance to pursue an interest that he hasn't been able to work on since a summer at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine 15 years ago.

UPS has an active undergraduate research program. Last summer, Space Grant provided matching funds for two undergraduate studies into the physiological impacts of space travel. The research on cardiovascular responses also helps Wells' students understand and improve health here on earth.

"Max Gomez is presenting his data [on the effect of the 10-week training program] at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in St. Louis," Wells says. The UPS graduate will start his master's in environmental health at Yale University this fall. His research thesis was one of the major reasons for his admission into the program.

"I'm sure that interest kindled in future students will lead some to pursue (graduate) aerospace studies," he says. "At the least, it will kindle support for space programs as they are exposed to what space travel brings to human knowledge, and to life on earth."


Artrain USA lecture

Astronomer Dr. Julie Lutz will speak on " Hubble's Greatest Hits" as part of the Artrain USA festivities in Walla Walla. The lecture takes place at 7 p.m. June 20 in Maxey Hall on the Whitman College campus.


SG Scholars Achievements

SG scholars are starting to plan for life after graduation. Astronomy major Misty Bentz will begin doctoral studies at Ohio State University next fall. Carrie Jaecksch, a math major, will head east in January for a year of youth outreach work with Americorps. Math major Angela Reunanen has been accepted into the Master in Teaching program at Evergreen State College. Paige Randall will enter Cal Tech's graduate program for physics. Sara Su, a computer science engineering major, starts her master's at MIT this fall. She will present a paper at an international conference on computer graphics and imaging this spring.

Two Washington undergrads were accepted into the NASA Academy summer program. Justus Brevik, a UW physics and astronomy major, will be working at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland; Eric Roy Collins, a WSU biochemistry major, will be at Ames Research Center in California.

Luke Dubord, a UW aeronautics and astronautics major, has been accepted into NASA's Undergraduate Student Research Program and will also work at Ames.

Hillary Cummings, a SG scholar and astronomy major, is part of a student team that adopted and revitalized the on-campus astronomical observatory. Built in 1895, it had been used sporadically until the winter cleanup. The students now offer free bimonthly viewing events and short talks about the night sky.


Scholarships awarded to promising 2002 high school graduates

Gonzalo Guzman

Gonzalo Guzman

This fall, 16 new Space Grant scholars will begin their education at the University of Washington. Here are just two of the talented young people who will be joining our community.

National Commended Merit scholar Carie Frantz of Snoqualmie Pass has a passion for aerospace and astronautical engineering. In 1998, the Mount Si High School graduate attended the NASA Aviation Academy at Cape Canaveral. Active in soccer, art and the Science Olympiad, she spent six months as an exchange student in Germany, producing research papers in German and working for a local graphics company.

Gonzalo Guzman of Wapato plans to pursue a major in either physics or aeronautical engineering. At Wapato High School, he juggled a demanding load of advanced math and science classes with football, wrestling and even a stint as assistant director for a children's play. The last two summers he took part in the student research apprenticeship program at Battelle in Richland.

A record 350 promising high school students from around the state applied for the scholarships. Awards ranged in size from $1,000 to $4,200 and are renewable for up to four years. Matching funds are provided by academic departments, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Mary Gates, Sigurd Olsen, and Irving R. and Louise Donnergaard endowments.

Space Grant also awarded one UW graduate fellowship and has offered six community college scholarships to UW transfer students.


UW team takes first in national competition

The UW Lunarbot team took first place in the 2002 Lunar Robotics Construction Competition sponsored by NASA, Sandia National Laboratories, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The nationwide student competition was held March 17 in Albuquerque, N.M.

This year's UW team included mechanical and electrical engineering majors Ryland Bryant, Dick Kreisberg, Volker Schmirgel, Daniel Villa and Bruno Zbinden. Electrical Engineering Professor Blake Hannaford served as faculty advisor.

Teams are given a scenario in which NASA has decided to build a base on the moon. For this, the agency requires a remotely operated robot with multiple capabilities. For purposes of the competition everything was built at approximately one-twelfth scale. Space Grant provided financial support for the team.


Mir lessons make manned Mars missions possible

Cosmonauts

Dr. Alexander Martynov, former director of ballistics for the Russian Mission Control Centre, and Cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov answered questions for almost half an hour after their lecture.

Over 200 people turned out Feb. 19 to hear a lecture by cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and Dr. Alexandre Martynov, former director of ballistics for the Russian Mission Control Centre.

Vinogradov, a flight engineer, led the efforts to restore lost power to the Mir space station in 1997 after it was damaged in a collision with a docking cargo ship. Over his six months aboard the vessel, he undertook five spacewalks to repair the crippled space station.

Martynov, the author of 120 scientific articles and six books dedicated to spacecraft motion, was responsible for landing vehicles on the Moon, Mars and Venus. He is currently the head of foreign relations for the administration of the city of Korolev in Russia.

The two men described the ways that Mir's 15-year mission has enhanced our understanding of the challenges we will face living in space and our ability to work together. Astronauts from a dozen countries visited the station.

Mir cosmonauts hold the records for the longest space mission, the longest time in space and the longest time spent walking in space.


SPACE GRANT NEWS

Stellar writers nab NASA NSIP award

Stellar writing skills propelled students at St. Joseph's School in Kennewick to first place in the 2002 NASA Student Involvement Program's science and technology journalism competition.

Amazing Space News, produced by Kathleen Cleary and her students, took national honors in the print category for grades 2-4.

The winning students are: Shayla Puckett, Drew Loftus, Jordan Holesworth, Hanna Nyberg, Parker Caine, Traci Garcia, Natalie Safford, Tommy Kinghorn, Yaritza Rodriguez, Annie Powers, Chandler Mertens, Katrina Black, Jake Zoulek, Virginia Gonzales, Erika Cole, Keenan Moll, Nick Lumetta, TJ Hohl, Alex Gentry, Rebecca Cassazza, David Ryther, and Amanda Montgomery.

Wetland investigations by Barney Peterson's students at James Monroe Elementary in Everett captured second place in the My Planet Earth competition for grades 2-4. Third place in the Design a Mission to Mars competition for grades 5-8 went to the Bronkhorst home school students of Federal Way.

Nearly 3,500 students developed and submitted entries in six competition areas. The first place award will be presented by Washington NASA Space Grant Director Dr. Janice DeCosmo June 8. All second and third place winners received medals.

A third workshop will give teachers step-by-step guidance in how to apply for a Space Grant mini-grant.

Mice head into space to solve gravity question

UW aeronautics and astronautics students have won a place on a team that plans to launch mice into space, seeking answers to the little-explored question of how Martian gravity affects mammals.

With support from Space Grant, the team—along with MIT and University of Queensland students—will build a Translife Mars Gravity Biosatellite capable of carrying the mice in orbit for nearly two months under simulated Martian gravity, then landing them safely back on Earth. The mission features several firsts, including the first birth of mammals in space. The UW contingent will build the carrier module, which will provide the power, propulsion, and artificial gravity.

"From a student perspective, this sort of project is priceless," said Adam Bruckner, chair of the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department. "It's one thing to learn about spacecraft from a book, but it's a completely different experience to design and build something that will actually go into space."

Free Summer workshops

July 19 - Exploring Aerospace in the Classroom (for teachers, grades 5-12) Organize a class expedition to Mars. Build and launch flight vehicles! And best of all, connect these fun activities to Newton's Laws. UW Aerospace Professor Scott Eberhardt and AIAA educator Kathy Foy share successful strategies for incorporating aerospace activities into your standards-based curriculum.

August 17 - Incorporating Astronomy Content and Activities into Reading, Writing, Art and Music (Session I for teachers, grades K-5; Session II for teachers, grades 6-12) Brainstorm how to incorporate astronomy into your classroom with Dr. Julie Lutz, NASA Educator Resource Center director.

Clock hours available. Workshops held on the UW campus. Register by phone or e-mail. For hours and information, visit our workshop page.