Mission to Mars – Pack Light on Materials and Heavy on Innovation2017-05-08
On Tuesday May 09, the Humans to Mars Summit kicks off in Washington D.C. This will be a meeting of some of the most powerful, brilliant, creative, scientific and corporate minds on earth. Together they are working on a way that someday soon we will visit Mars.
Since 2010 this expanding group is realizing that exploring the red planet is within their grasp and possible during our lifetime. To get there, it will take innovations in science, technology and engineering like we have not seen in generations.
Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Engineering is part of a team that is making this trip a reality. The NASA-sponsored multidisciplinary Space Technology Research Institute (STRI) is working on new a composite material that makes use of engineered carbon nanotubes and will be much lighter—but much stronger—than what is currently available. Space craft need to exit and re-enter atmospheres. To do so, they need to be strong or the results are disastrous.
Space travel and the concept of exploring other planets is high science and not easy for most earthly mortals to comprehend.
That’s where the experts at VCU’s School of Engineering can help.
Ibrahim Guven, Ph.D., assistant professor in the VCU School of Engineering Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, is an expert on peridynamics, a branch of mechanics that looks at the effect of deformities and fractures. Peridynamics is essential to planning for space travel and to understanding what it takes to get from Earth to Mars. He can explain these concepts in a simple manner and is available to speak with media. Simply click on his profile to arrange an interview.