- Making an Impact: Digital Avionics Technical Committee Increases Scholarship Funding
- AIAA Announces Winner of Prestigious Abe M. Zarem Graduate Award for Distinguished Achievement in Aeronautics
- Unique Science Experiments on the Moon — SSTC 2021 Middle School Essay Contest
- Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (1st Place, 8th Grade)
- Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (2nd Place, 8th Grade)
- Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (3rd Place, 8th Grade)
- Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (1st Place, 7th Grade)
- Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (2nd Place, 7th Grade)
- Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (3rd Place, 7th Grade)
- Northwest Florida Section Honors Members
- AIAA On the Road
- Membership Nominations Open for AIAA Technical Committees & Integration and Outreach Committees
- AIAA Senior Member Wasz Died in June 2019
- AIAA Associate Fellow Gagnier Died in February
- AIAA Senior Member Young Died in August
- AIAA Announces Section Awards Winners
AIAA Foundation Making an Impact: Digital Avionics Technical Committee Increases Scholarship Funding
The AIAA Digital Avionics Technical Committee is committed to helping university students earn their aerospace degree through a generous donation to the AIAA Foundation! The technical committee has gifted $50,000 to the Foundation to increase the award amount of the four undergraduate scholarships the technical committee currently funds from $2,000 to $3,000 each, and to endow a fifth undergraduate scholarship. The new scholarship, the Denise Ponchak Digital Avionics Scholarship, is intended for a non-U.S. person attending a non-U.S. college or university. The AIAA Foundation is grateful for this gift that will help support future aerospace professionals.
The AIAA Foundation awards more than $75,000 each year in undergraduate scholarships and graduate awards. The next application portal will be open 1 October through 31 January. To learn more, visit aiaa.org/get-involved/students-educators/scholarships-graduate-awards.
“Being recognized by AIAA is an incredible honor that motivates me to pursue knowledge and excellence in aerospace engineering even further. I will use this scholarship to fund my education, taking more technical courses relevant to aircraft design and safety before starting my career as an aerospace engineer.” – Elton Shinji Okuma Haychiguti, 2021 Dr. James Rankin Digital Avionics Scholarship Winner
“Thanks to the Dr. Amy R. Pritchett Digital Avionics Scholarship, I will be able to pursue my dream of becoming a successful Aerospace Engineer. I am thankful for having been chosen for this award, and can’t wait to keep gaining technical and soft skills in aerospace.” – Laura Morejon Ramirez, 2020 Dr. Amy Pritchett Digital Avionics Scholarship Winner
Help us to continue supporting students with a gift to the AIAA Foundation. Donate today and make an impact please visit aiaa.org/foundation or contact Alex D’Imperio, firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIAA Foundation AIAA Announces Winner of Prestigious Abe M. Zarem Graduate Award for Distinguished Achievement in Aeronautics
Karl Roush has won the AIAA Zarem Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Achievement in Aeronautics for his paper “Designing for Security: A Cybersecurity Introduction for Aerospace.” Roush has been invited to present his paper at the 33rd Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS 2022), 4–9 September 2022, in Stockholm, Sweden.
Roush, who completed his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2020, remained to pursue a M.S. Aerospace Engineering. As a Department of Energy Gas Turbine Fellow, he has worked on small gas turbine developments for the Air Force Research Laboratory. Not just limited to fixed wing, Roush also worked as a Project Component Engineering intern at Aerojet Rocketdyne on the RL10 rocket engine. His graduate work with Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) focuses on smart technologies for the FAA, modeling of space-based ISR architectures, and hypersonic reconnaissance vehicle design exploration. His technical interest in data analytics has led him to develop ML/AI solutions for companies including Wells Fargo and NVIDIA. An active AIAA member, Roush serves as the Georgia Tech Student Branch graduate liaison.
“It is my honor to accept the Abe M. Zarem Graduate Award and I cannot wait to meet my fellow AIAA members at both AIAA SciTech and ICAS,” Roush said. “Many thanks to my mentor, Dr. Dimitri Mavris, as well as my ASDL colleagues for their continued support. It is my hope that this inspires others to learn more about cybersecurity in AE!”
Roush’s faculty advisor, Dimitri Mavris, is the Director of the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the Boeing Chaired Professor of Advanced Aerospace Systems Analysis in Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering, Regents Professor, and an S.P. Langley NIA Distinguished Professor. He also serves as the Executive Director of Georgia Tech’s Professional Master’s Applied Systems Engineering program. He is an AIAA Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
AIAA Honorary Fellow Dr. Abe Zarem, founder and managing director of Frontier Associates, established the Abe M. Zarem Graduate Awards for Distinguished Achievement to annually recognize graduate students in aeronautics and astronautics who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship in their field.
Technical Committees Unique Science Experiments on the Moon — SSTC 2021 Middle School Essay Contest
The AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee’s (SSTC) annual middle school essay contest continues to improve its commitment to directly inspire students and local sections. Each year, additional local sections start parallel contests to feed into selection of national winners awarded by the SSTC.
The 2021 essay topic was “Describe science experiments you can conduct on the lunar surface that are unique to our moon.” Seventh and eighth grade students were asked to participate. This year, various AIAA sections submitted official entries to the contest, including Antelope Valley, Cape Canaveral, Hampton Roads, Long Island, Palm Beach, Rocky Mountain, Southwest Texas, and Vandenberg. For each grade, there were first-, second-, and third-place winners, which included $125, $75, and $50 awards for the students, respectively. The six students also received a one-year student membership with AIAA.
The first-place winner for 8th grade was Paul Kiseling (and teacher Shawna Christenson) from Palm Beach Gardens, FL (AIAA Palm Beach Section). The second-place winner for 8th grade was Mikayla Palmer from Great Falls, MT (AIAA Rocky Mountain Section). The third-place winner for 8th grade is Chrislaina Anderson from Santa Maria, CA (AIAA Vandenberg Section).
The first-place winner for 7th grade is Argyrios Dean Vaitsos (and teacher Shawna Christenson) from Palm Beach, FL (AIAA Palm Beach Section). The second-place winner for 7th grade is Gemma Braza from Colorado Springs, CO (AIAA Rocky Mountain Section). The third-place winner for 7th grade is Nish Keer from Levittown, NY (AIAA Long Island Section).
The 2021 winning essays can be below. The topic for 2022 is “Describe a space mission that integrates at least 3 of the following system capabilities: autonomous systems; disaggregated satellites or platforms; on-orbit servicing, assembly, and manufacturing; in-situ resource utilization; small satellites; data analytics; optical and radio communications; advanced propulsion, advanced sensors (low mass, high-sensitivity, quantum, etc). What is the objective of this mission, and how will the mission achieve the objective?” If you, your school, or section is interested in participating in the 2022 contest, please contact Anthony Shao-Berkery (email@example.com), Erica Rodgers (firstname.lastname@example.org), or your local section for more details.
Technical Committees Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (1st Place, 8th Grade)
Testing the Efficacy of Graphene-Based Solar Panels on the Lunar Surface
Paul Kiesling, The Weiss School
As our nation prepares to return to the Moon, we should ask ourselves one essential question: How can we take advantage of the Moon’s unique conditions in order to conduct useful missions to help solve our problems here on Earth? One of the key issues that the mankind is currently facing is environmental sustainability which roots from the lack of clean renewable energy sources. Lunar colonization can help address this issue through lunar solar power, whereby solar energy collected on the Moon could be transmitted back to Earth. The future of our world depends on such a multi-planetary society where people of Earth can access the resources of the Solar System (NASA, 2014). First, however, scientists need to conduct experiments to determine the plausibility of this energy source and how much of it will be retained during the transmission back to Earth. Additionally, scientists need to investigate different means of how this solar energy can be collected on the Moon. One such way, outlined in this paper, would be through graphene-based solar panels sourced on the Moon.
The concept of collecting solar energy and transmitting it to Earth is called solar beaming. Solar beaming is the process in which satellites collect rays from the Sun and then send them back to Earth via microwave transmission. Due to the lack of atmosphere in space and constant access to the Sun, it is estimated that solar beaming could produce six times more power than conventional photovoltaic cells (Zubrin, 2019). Solar beaming has not yet been implemented due to the high cost and difficulty of building large scale solar panels in the low Earth orbit with no supporting surface. However, solar beaming can be effectively implemented on the Moon because the lunar environment provides vital advantages that would make this process plausible. First, the Moon provides a solid surface which would allow astronauts to construct large scale solar farms. Additionally, the Moon contains all of the necessary resources in order to create the solar farms and energy transmission platforms.
One way that scientists can significantly increase the solar energy production on the Moon is by incorporating graphene into the solar panels. This technique would be unique to the Moon due to the materials found on the lunar surface which could be utilized in order to create semiconductors and ultimately, graphene. (Motta, 2017). Graphene, a 2D allotrope of carbon, features many unique properties. It is the thinnest, lightest and strongest material currently known to science and it has the highest thermal and electric conductivity. Graphene is often referred to as a wonder material due to its wide range of applications. For example, graphene could be used as an ultra-filtration mechanism or a material to create bullet-proof body suits. However, one of the most revolutionary applications of graphene could be its integration in solar panels. Recently, scientists from MIT have a found a way to use graphene to collect hundred times more solar energy than a regular photovoltaic cell. This increased energy production can be achieved because graphene can be utilized as an electrode charge carrier. An electrode charge carrier is a material which can transport electrons, or electric charge, in the form of electric current. Graphene is extremely efficient in performing this task, therefore significantly increasing solar panel efficiency. In addition, graphene can be used to replace the expensive Indium Tin Oxide coated glass, commonly used as the electrode charge carrier for transparent solar cells.
Despite its known advantages, scientists have not yet been able to effectively test graphene-based solar panels as it is extremely difficult to grow large strands of pure graphene here on Earth. In microgravity, however, it would be viable to grow large pieces of graphene due to the loss of convection. On Earth, convection flows distort the atomic structure of graphene that makes it so special. Therefore, by eliminating convection it would be possible to grow large strands of graphene, which would then allow scientists to test the viability and effectiveness of graphene-based solar panels. Furthermore, the Moon contains all the necessary resources in order to grow semiconductors, and subsequently graphene.
In order to conduct this experiment on the lunar surface, first, the graphene would have to be harvested, proving that it has the ability to grow in large quantities in the microgravity environment. Subsequently, astronauts would be able to construct and test graphene-based solar panels to assess their effectiveness. Finally, the energy gained will be converted into electricity and transmitted to Earth via a microwave beam, allowing scientists to assess the energy retention during this transition between the Moon and Earth.
The success of this experiment could deliver an immense amount of clean energy to us here on Earth, addressing the imminent threat of global warming. Currently, 62.6% of all produced energy originates from fossil fuels. (EIA, 2019) This non-renewable energy source is accelerating climate change and putting our planet Earth at risk. Although many nations are increasing investment into renewable energy sources, it will be many decades before humanity can reliably use these energy sources in order to sustain the rising global population. (Jacobson, 2016) However, lunar solar power through graphene-based panels could provide a sustainable and clean source of energy that meets our growing energy needs and provides increased accessibility to people from all over the world, even the most remote of locations.
Creating and testing graphene-based solar panels on the Moon seems like a distant and a challenging task, however, the success of this endeavor could significantly increase the power generating capabilities, making solar power more cost effective to users on Earth and beyond. (Hoxit, 2019) Ultimately, we have to recognize that major technological advances require vision and innovation. As stated by John F. Kennedy “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by the skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.”
Frequently Asked Questions – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3
Growing graphene on semiconductors. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://www.routledge.com/Growing-Graphene-on-Semiconductors/Motta-Iacopi-Coletti/p/book/9789814774215
Jacobson, M. Z. (2016, September 6). 100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World. Retrieved from https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CountriesWWS.pdf
Zubrin, R. (2019). The Case for Space: How the revolution in spaceflight opens up a future of limitless possibility. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Technical Committees Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (2nd Place, 8th Grade)
Mikayla Palmer, East Middle School
There is a wide variety of experiments one could hypothetically conduct on the moon. Our moon is not very unique, other than the fact that it is Earth’s moon. I would choose to do a control group versus a test group experiment with astronauts. My experiment would provide two different, important pieces of information while still being very controlled. The first main piece of information that I would learn is about food, specifically how the quality of food will affect health and morale in space. The second main piece of information that I would learn is about the time it takes for astronauts to complete tasks.
I would do a two-week experiment with ten astronauts in two groups of five. There would be the control group and the test group. The control group would be given current food and rations for space. This includes a wide variety of foods including, but not limited to, chicken, beef, candy, brownies, seafood, fruits, nuts, and peanut butter. Not only that, there are several drinks such as coffee, tea, lemonade, fruit punch, and fruit juice. Furthermore, there would be an oven for heating food. The test group would be given the Apollo program food while still having current rations for nutrients and vitamins. These meals are comprised of freeze-dried food, hot or cold water, some foods able to be eaten with utensils, and some foods able to be eaten without rehydration. It would also include a tube into their spacesuit so that the astronauts could drink while they worked. All of the astronauts would complete the same tasks and responsibilities such as collecting samples, collecting data, working on or building space technology, running experiments, and growing food. They would complete the other parts of their daily routine such as eating, sleeping, exercising, and relaxing. During their daily activities, they would measure, by the minute, the time it takes for each astronaut to complete each task. Then there would be an interview once a day on how the astronauts feel, such as tired, angry, frustrated, pessimistic, enthusiastic, optimistic, or happy. This interview would also include how difficult the astronauts found the completion of their tasks.
Experiments similar to this have been done on Earth, with results that show strong connections between food and morale. However, on the moon, the results would be similar but provide humanity with information that would help when planning for space expeditions. I predict that we would continue to find a connection between food and morale, but we could observe a larger change in health. Space warps the human body without the gravity that the body is adapted to, the gravity of Earth. Most astronauts have difficulty walking after they come back to Earth. Additionally, they have changes in vision, balance, coordination, and blood pressure. Thus, the quality of food will affect the astronauts’ health in space or on the moon more than it would on Earth.
This experiment would be logical because it would provide the Mission Control Center with information for planning space expeditions. First, it would help when planning meals and snacks. The Mission Control Center would be able to judge what food to bring. They would be able to tell how much of what food or type of food to bring. Time management would be a big advantage of doing this experiment. For example, if one wanted to build a base on the moon, they would need to know approximately how long it would take for the astronauts to complete one set of tasks before moving on to the next set. This would help them judge when to send the next rocket of supplies, especially if the astronauts were building a landing pad. Therefore, planning for space exploration and expeditions would be made much easier.
This experiment would be relatively easy, as it could be done as a visit to the moon. It would help us understand how food will affect people in space. It would also help with time management when planning. This experiment would definitely help when planning for space missions, especially when assembling something. I think that this experiment would benefit people with more knowledge of space and how it affects the human body.
“Feeding the Force: Improving Morale One Meal at a Time.” Www.army.mil, www.army.mil/article/211184/feeding_the_force_improving_morale_one_meal_at_a_time.
“Food in Space.” Food in Space | National Air and Space Museum, airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/apollo-to-the-moon/online/astronaut-life/food-in-space.cfm.
Wild, Flint. “Eating in Space.” NASA, NASA, 8 June 2015, www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/stem-on-station/ditl_eating.
Technical Committees Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (3rd Place, 8th Grade)
Chrislaina Anderson, Orcutt Junior High School
Science has always been about questions. Those questions become a hypothesis, and eventually result in an answer. So let me bring you to this question, how much do we really know about Earth’s moon? When we say we are going “back” to the moon, are we really going “back?” If you think about it, when we went to the moon for the first time, we only had the intention of reaching the moon. Now that our technology has evolved, it means that our intentions have changed. Going to the moon isn’t only a step closer to reaching Mars, but could also put us a step closer to terraforming the moon itself. If we are able to terraform the moon, it would open up so many more pathways for the future. The following discoveries lead to new questions. First, water has been found in the Clavius Crater. Second, small traces of Carbon Dioxide have been found in the moon’s fragile atmosphere. Furthermore, what could we learn to support human colonization on the moon, like can we grow nutritional food?
Approximately 12-ounces of water was discovered in the Clavius Crater. It wasn’t only the fact that water was found in this crater, but the fact that it doesn’t appear to be “evaporating.” According to “NASA’s SOFIA Discoveries Water on Sunlit Moon Surface,” NASA’s SOFIA aircraft detected water in the Clavius Crater. The H2 O detected isn’t much, it is roughly 12 ounces. The article states,“‘Without a thick atmosphere, water on the sunlit lunar surface should just be lost to space,’ said Honniball, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center…‘Yet somehow we’re seeing it. Something is generating the water, and something must be trapping it there.’” My hypothesis is that there are subsurface water deposits present. Water could be pulled into the vacuum of space, whilst being replenished by the underground water source. In order to see whether or not there is H2O underground, we can drill in the area of the Clavius Crater to search for this potential source of water.
Apollo 17 detected traces of Carbon Dioxide in the Moon’s fragile atmosphere. I hypothesize that there is frozen CO2 on or below the surface of the moon slowly being released through the process of sublimation. Sublimation is when a substance changes from a solid to a gas and vice versa, but never passes through the liquid phase. When we go back to the moon we can use solar-powered UAVs, designed for the thin lunar atmosphere, with sensors to detect carbon dioxide. For example, we could use a capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducer (CMUT) as a sensor. According to “Greenhouse Gas Molecule CO2 Detection Using a Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasound Transducer,” they manufactured and tested the CMUT, which is a sensor for CO 2 detection, and uses a concentration of polyethylenimine as a binding material. The article also states, “The assembly of a sensing chip was 10 × 20 mm, and up to 5 gases can potentially be detected simultaneously using a masking technique and different sensing materials…” We can use a charted course moving in a grid-like pattern with the UAVs. However, it would be unnecessary to send UAVs to the North and South poles since it doesn’t reach an appropriate temperature for frozen CO2 to sublimate in those locations. If we use UAVs to search for frozen CO2 we would be able to explore places that are not easily reachable ourselves, for instance, the far side of the moon. If enough frozen CO2 is found, NASA could deploy its artificial magnetosphere, designed for Mars, which would protect any lunar atmosphere from solar winds. Then we could accelerate the sublimation of the CO2, creating a greenhouse effect.
Last, astronauts have grown plants in weightlessness aboard the ISS. However, there are other variables on the moon such as extreme temperatures, lunar soil, solar radiation, and low gravity. For example, the soil on the Moon may not produce the same nutrients as the soil on Earth. This begs the question, “Can we grow vegetables in lunar soil that yield the same nutritional value as on Earth?” We could conduct an experiment. The control group would contain vegetables grown on Earth; the experimental group would have vegetables that would be grown on the moon. We would record the data to see if there would be an effect on the nutritional value, size, germination, and other physical characteristics. To grow the lunar vegetables we can use an underground greenhouse similar to the University of Arizona’s Prototype Lunar Greenhouse, with artificial lights, thus eliminating the variables of temperature and radiation. This will leave us with the variables of low-gravity and lunar soil.
Ultimately, there are many experiments that we can conduct on the Moon. The moon is an object so “close” to us, and there is so much we can do with it that can benefit us in the future. We can utilize these discoveries on future missions when venturing out into the endless universe. To live this great dream, we can start by answering these questions. Why isn’t 12-ounces of water drawn into space? What if there is frozen carbon dioxide on the moon? Is there a difference in the nutritional value of vegetation grown on the moon?
The best thing about science is the questions that are asked. There is no question that can be asked that is foolish, because there is no right or wrong answer until it is proven. Not only that, but one answered question leads to another unanswered one. It’s a cycle that continues forever because the questions never end. So I will leave you with these questions. How much more can we do with the moon? What if the moon is so much more than what we thought? Are there mysteries beyond our understanding, and answers beyond our imagination?
Atmosphere of the Moon- https://www.space.com/18067-moon-atmosphere.html
Lunar Greenhouse- h ttps://cals.arizona.edu/lunargreenhouse/
Technical Committees Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (1st Place, 7th Grade)
The Science of Moonquakes
Argyrios “Deanie” Vaitsos, The Weiss School
Everyone knows about earthquakes as they are a well-known phenomenon on Earth; however, Earth is not the only planetary object (un)lucky enough to have surface quakes. The moon has them too, and on the moon they are called “Moonquakes”. These moonquakes do not seem to be a big deal or an immediate problem now, but if humans are ever to settle on the moon or try to build a lunar base or habitat on the moon, these unpredictable moonquakes could cause a lot of damage. Therefore, scientists should study moonquakes on the lunar surface in more detail so that we can get better information about their location and causes, and also improve at predicting them. The good news is that moonquakes are actually very similar to Earthquakes which helps us use similar technology to study them. One potential experimental design that could offer great research is a two-step process: The first part involves ways to measure the moonquakes and the second part involves trying to predict the moonquakes. For the first part, I propose that we use seismographs and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to measure the moonquakes and to pinpoint their location. In the second part, I propose we study radon emissions to help predict when a Moonquake will occur.
Seismometers at the four Apollo landing sites on the moon recorded 28 shallow moonquakes between 1969 and 1977, and these moonquakes ranged in magnitude from 1.5-5.0 on the Richter scale. However, the location and depths of these moon quakes were uncertain. Therefore, for the first part of my proposal, we will need to send two large unmanned missions (one to each side of the moon) to deliver many more seismometers at multiple locations at predicted/probable hot spots on the moon. The first mission capsule will fly over the major craters on the light side of the moon. Above each crater the capsule will do a targeted drop of a package containing the seismograph. The idea is that the delivery package will land itself softly on the lunar surface and start recording data. The capsule will remain orbiting the moon until the ground crew on Earth confirm that the seismograph is responding, and only then the second seismograph will be dropped by the capsule at the next location. This process will repeat until all the packages have been dropped and are confirmed to be working. Larger craters will receive more than one package. The second mission will be similar, but in this mission, the capsule will deliver packages to the dark side of the moon. Once all the seismographs have been delivered and are activated, they will record lunar seismic data and electronically transmit it back to the ground crew on Earth who will study the data about the frequency, intensity and location of the moonquakes.
In addition to seismometers, GPS can also be utilized to help measure and study moonquakes. Recently, scientists have been installing GPS receivers that continuously measure the constant yet imperceptible movements of earthquake faults throughout Southern California. The same technology can be used for studying moonquakes. The unmanned mission capsules that will be used for dropping the seismometers, can also drop the GPS receivers over the major fault lines on the moon, each at a distance about six miles apart. The GPS receivers can then use the GPS system (which is a constellation of 24-Earth orbiting satellites) to determine their precise locations and to transmit the information back to Earth. These GPS measurements will be useful during and after moonquakes because they will be able to measure ground motions from the moonquakes and identify the fault that ruptured. They can also help study the terrain deformation and stress changes that are caused by the moonquake.
Finally, Radon emissions can be used to predict future moonquakes. Radon is a type of radioactive gas that is found in some of the rocks that make up the lunar surface. It has been demonstrated on Earth that there are spikes in the levels of Radon emission before a major earthquake. This is because Radon is released from rocks due to pre-seismic stress. So, in the special seismograph packages, it is proposed that compact, radioactive gas detectors (specifically for detection of Radon gas) be included. The gas analyzer data received over time can be transmitted to Earth, and scientists can study the correlation between radon emission changes in the moon and the occurrence of a moonquake for improving their predictions of moonquakes.
In the not too distant future, moon settlements which are currently in planning stages will be built and inhabited. However, moonquakes are a serious problem on the lunar surface and a major threat to any planned lunar settlements. So, the proposal is to conduct experiments on the lunar surface that will measure moonquakes and could also help predict them. These experiments will use seismometers, GPS receivers and Radon gas emission analysis to collect data and transmit it to Earth. The goal is that this information is expected to help researchers forecast future moonquakes and improve our estimates of regional moonquake hazards, which will be extremely useful because it could help the inhabitants of the moon settlements and save the entire mission from failure.
Technical Committees Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (2nd Place, 7th Grade)
Gemma Braza, Eagleview Middle School, Colorado
While the moon has been researched to a great extent, there is still a vast amount that remains undiscovered. With all of its resources, there are several unknowns and possibilities that have the potential to be an asset to our space discoveries. As is commonly known, several asteroids and meteoroids have hit the moon over the last several billion years, resulting in several craters and impact sites in the moon. Asteroids have been the cause of trace amounts of ice on the moon, more commonly found at the poles, where there is almost no sun exposure. However, scientists do not know if that water could be harvested to make rocket fuel, and whether or not it would be effective.
Rocket fuel could be made from liquidized oxygen and hydrogen, the two elements that compose water. When combined with liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen has a low molecular weight and has quite an efficient output of energy. After the initial, more solid, rocket fuel usage, the lightweight, stable water based rocket fuel could be a useful tool for space vehicles exploring the galaxy. By utilizing that water that can be found in the poles of the moon, would it be possible to create rocket fuel with only ice? Having a lunar base, with natural rocket fuel on the moon for any spacecraft using the moon as a stopping point, could prove to be extremely beneficial to space exploration. It would be like having a fuel station for rocketships, enabling them to travel further afield.
Using a robot that would be designed to maneuver around the harsh terrain on the moon, the water on the poles could potentially be extracted for further experimentation. The robot would be a device that had the mental capacity to perform spectroscopy (UV-VIS), and extract the water molecules using its physical abilities. If the robot was able to perform a spectroscopy UV-VIS scan on a crater, most likely at the South Pole (of the moon), it could detect water. After extracting the ice molecules and water, a high-tech excavation arm would maintain a low temperature for the H20 molecules. By using an electric current (electrolysis) , the device would be able to separate the hydrogen and oxygen molecules from the water droplet. By putting extreme pressure on the hydrogen atoms, it would be possible to liquidize it. If one were to do the same procedure on the oxygen atom, it would produce the same result. Once you mixed the liquid hydrogen and oxygen, it would be possible to have rocket fuel.
If this experiment were to be tested on Earth, using a model rocket would be a simple, yet effective way to test the rocket fuel. By using a small model rocket, several trials could be done to determine the efficacy of the propellant. If you were to attempt using the fuel for the rocket in a low gravity environment, similar to the moon, you would be able to see if the liquidized oxygen and carbon mixture would be a valuable source of energy on the moon. Another trial could involve testing the rocket fuel in another model rocket in an Earth-like gravity. Further experiment with this could involve testing in various weather conditions and gravity levels. Experimentation with this would enable scientists to have more information on the reliability and effectiveness of the rocket propellant.
By utilizing a robot, various technological techniques, and experiments to discover the full potential of lunar water as rocket fuel, scientists could discover a new way of fueling on the moon. This would be very beneficial for future space exploration. By being able to refuel with a light, efficient fuel on a “rest stop” such as the moon, future expeditions would have the freedom to travel farther into space. Having natural, water-based propulsion systems on the moon would greatly impact the future of space exploration.
“Will Hydrogen Power the Future of Aerospace?” WHA International, Inc., 29 Oct. 2020, wha-international.com/will-hydrogen-power-the-future-of-aerospace/.
Patel, Neel V. “Here’s How We Could Mine the Moon for Rocket Fuel.” MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 19 May 2020, www.technologyreview.com/2020/05/19/1001857/how-moon-lunar-mining-water-ice-rocket-fuel/.
Charles W. Dunnill Senior Lecturer in Energy, and Robert Phillips PhD Student in Renewable Energy Storage. “Making Space Rocket Fuel from Water Could Drive a Power Revolution on Earth.” The Conversation, 14 Nov. 2020, theconversation.com/making-space-rocket-fuel-from-water-could-drive-a-power-revolution-on-earth-65854.
Urrutia, Doris Elin. “NASA Announces a Dozen Science and Tech Experiments to Scout the Moon.” Space.com, Space, 8 July 2019, www.space.com/science-technology-payloads-nasa-moon-artemis-program.html.
“Scientific Experiments.” Scientific Experiments | National Air and Space Museum, airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/apollo-to-the-moon/online/science/scientific-experiments.cfm.
“HamishALSEP.” NASA, NASA, www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/HamishALSEP.html.
“Spectroscopy.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 29 Jan. 2021, www.britannica.com/science/spectroscopy.
marshallmarshall 68111 gold badge77 silver badges1010 bronze badges, et al. “What Is Known about Liquid Carbon?” Chemistry Stack Exchange, 1 July 1962, chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/6068/what-is-known-about-liquid-carbon.
Technical Committees Unique Science Experiments on the Moon (3rd Place, 7th Grade)
The Lunar Surface: A Hotbed for Scientific Experiments
Nish Keer, Wisdom Lane Middle School
Our nearest celestial neighbor, the Moon, has never ceased to fascinate us. It was this fascination that drove us to not just gaze at the Man in the Moon, but actually put a man on the Moon. When Apollo 11 landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, the expedition and Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the Moon, wrote a new chapter in space exploration and humanity’s quest for knowledge. His words: “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” sums it all up. Since then, the United States has completed six more missions to the Moon that have conducted increasingly advanced studies and provided novel scientific insights into its evolution. Still, there are so many questions unanswered and so much more to learn and explore.
Experiments lead to discoveries, and discoveries lead to development. The Moon, our nearest neighbor and only natural satellite, is an excellent space laboratory that offers lots of research and testing potential. The experiments we conduct on the lunar surface unique to our Moon will someday be breakthroughs in knowledge and exploration. Since the Moon itself is believed to have formed from the Earth as a result of an asteroid impact, it can be studied to learn more about future and prehistoric asteroid impacts on Earth, like the one that caused the Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction. Having the same three layers as the Earth – the mantle, crust, and core – an experiment conducted to drill into the Moon’s mantle will most likely provide answers to questions about the Earth’s formation. Additionally, as a treasure trove of resources, the Moon can be mined for common rocks and minerals like iron, basalt, and quartz; there are rare elements like helium-3, which can be used in nuclear fusion, as well as rare earth metals (REMs) that are used in modern electronics. The lunar surface is majorly covered by regolith, a combination of fine dust and rock fragments from billions of years of meteor impacts. It can be an excellent building material, similar to the cement on Earth, and be used to make blocks and bricks for constructing roads and pavements. Also promising are the experiments that can harvest the oxygen from the regolith to make the air breathable.
At the lunar poles, the sun shines for longer periods with a lunar day of about 29 Earth days. Solar panels built using the glassy regolith can be placed at the poles to collect energy that can be used to supply power. Scientists can position powerful infrared telescopes in the deep craters of the far side, and the cloudless dark skies above would enable spectacular views of the universe. The groundbreaking discovery of water ice in the dark craters at the poles raises hopes of one day farming and supporting life. This discovery is valuable as water ice can also be converted to fuel for rockets and satellites. Experiments to use the Moon as a launching pad will be greatly aided by the Moon’s low gravity, making it easy to launch rockets. But this low gravity being detrimental to our bones would also propel medical researchers to conduct experiments that can either counterbalance the low gravity, slow down, or reverse the bone loss. The need to keep humans safe from this low gravity and the harmful cosmic radiation will give rise to further advancement in the fields of robotics and automation. Highly-specialized, fully-automated robots developed by Earth scientists can be tested on the lunar surface to perform tasks that would otherwise be difficult for humans.
While on the surface of the Moon, we can keep a watchful eye on the Earth. The Moon’s proximity to Earth will allow high-resolution studies of Earth’s gravitational force and phenomena like lightning storms, eclipses, changing geology, and most importantly, climate change. Since the Earth and the Moon have a synchronous rotation, the far side of the Moon never faces the Earth and hence is an ideal place to test nuclear weapons as there is no fear of exposure to harmful radiation. In fact, they will be neither heard nor seen from the Earth. The fact that sounds can’t be heard on the Moon because it lacks an atmosphere can be used to perform experiments that might otherwise be too loud.
Our blue planet’s trusty sidekick, the silvery Moon, does more than merely mesmerize us in the night with its presence and soft light. It opens up newer avenues of scientific research and discovery that will take our space exploration to a level never achieved before. The moon surface offers us great potential to conduct many exciting engineering experiments that will allow us to test newer, more advanced technologies, materials, and equipment. If we can experiment and develop technology that lets us live in harsh environments with extreme temperatures, no atmosphere, no sound, no protection against cosmic rays.… then we can triumph anywhere, the Moon, Mars, infinity and beyond!
Section News Northwest Florida Section Honors Members
By Ryan Sherrill, AIAA Northwest Florida Section Chair
The AIAA Northwest Florida Section honored two professional members and three educator associates during our section’s end-of-the-year banquet. Dr. Daniel Reasor won Professional of the Year for his extraordinary dedication, creativity, and leadership in the development of modeling and simulation capabilities to advance hypersonic airframes. Dr. John Fay won the Achievement Award in recognition for his sustained and outstanding contribution to STEM Outreach, measured by volunteer hours, miles driven to rural schools, and emails sent to university sections.
The section also honored David Williams of Bethlehem High School in Holmes County, FL, who started one of the first AIAA high school branches. Additionally, he sponsors multiple programs such as the SeaPerch underwater rover competition, the Drone Swarm Programming competition, Higher Orbits, and the Great American Paper Plane Contest. Marian Gilmore, a teacher at Silver Sands, a Special Day School in Okaloosa County, FL, was honored for her work in joining the Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Connections in Education (ACE) program and winning National ACE School of the Year in 2020-2021. During the weeks leading up to the Perseverance’s landing on Mars, Ms. Gilmore invited and virtually hosted former NASA Astronaut Don Thomas to talk to all the classes about the upcoming rover landing on Mars, sponsored a virtual STEM night, and invited Janet Ivey of Janet’s Planet and President of Explore Mars, who led them virtually through making lunar landers. Alyson McCullough, a teacher at Hilliard Middle Senior High School in Nassau County, FL, was recognized for writing grant proposals for which she received over $15,000 in funding to take a two-acre field and turn it into a poultry and fruit tree farm and made three-quarter-acre rotation beds to teach students about crop sustainability. Using the Florida State Standards for Agriculture, students are prepared to take the Agriculture Education Services & Technology certification test, which then will allow students to gain access to job training programs and complete their five credit hours toward Florida Bright Futures Gold Seal Scholarships.
Section News AIAA On the Road
AIAA staff is back on the road visiting sections, student branches, and corporate members. In August, AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher met with the Twin Cities Section and University of Minnesota Student Branch. Some of the staff also attended the 36th Space Symposium, meeting with many corporate members and members of the Rocky Mountain Section.
In September AIAA Vice President of Community and Partner Engagement Merrie Scott and Regions & Sections Program Manager Lindsay Mitchell traveled to Philadelphia to meet with volunteer leaders from the Greater Philadelphia Section, the Drexel University Student Branch, and the Villanova University Student Branch.
AIAA Committees Membership Nominations Open for AIAA Technical Committees & Integration and Outreach Committees
The Technical Activities Division (TAD) and Integration and Outreach Division (IOD) work diligently with their committee chairs to maintain a reasonable balance in appropriate representation to the field from industry, research, education, and government and the specialties covered in the specific TC/IOC scopes. TAD and IOD encourage the nomination of young professionals (those individuals 35 years and younger). Committees have a 50-person maximum unless approval is granted to exceed that limit. Nominees selected for membership who are not AIAA members in good standing must become members or renew their membership within 45 days of start of the membership term (1 May–30 April).
If you currently serve on a TC/IOC, you will automatically be considered for the 2022/2023 membership term. Nominations are submitted online. The nomination form can be found on the AIAA website at aiaa.org, under My AIAA, Nominations and Voting, Technical Committee Online Nomination. Nominations are due by 1 November 2021.
Information about the committees can be found at
• Integration and Outreach Committees: aiaa.org/integra-
• Technical Committees: aiaa.org/technical-committees
Obituary AIAA Senior Member Wasz Died in June 2019
Glenn Wasz, age 88, passed away on 21 June 2019.
Wasz earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, followed by a master’s degree in the same field from the University of Southern California. He served two years with the U.S. Army during the Korean War era.
Wasc settled in California, earned his professional engineering license, and spent most of his career with TRW. He advanced the understanding of how to design and test space vehicles capable of surviving high shock and random vibration environments, and was active in the Institute of Environmental Sciences and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Obituary AIAA Associate Fellow Gagnier Died in February
Thomas R. Gagnier died 12 February at the age of 86.
Gagnier received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Detroit in 1957 and M.S. in Contract and Acquisition Management from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1992. He worked for Martin Marietta over 35 years in Orlando, Colorado Springs, and Oak Ridge, where he retired as the Director of Advanced Programs. Gagnier was instrumental in the expansion of the IR&D programs as well as guiding the divisional growth of Contracts and Data Management in Orlando. During his tenure at Oak Ridge National Labs, Gagnier successfully developed environmental technology markets for Martin Marietta. He twice received Martin Marietta’s highest corporate level award, the Jefferson Cup, for his superior performance to Martin Marietta in 1977 and 1982.
Gagnier’s passion was the education and mentoring of engineering students. Gagnier was the director of the AIAA Southeastern Regional Student Conference from 1978 to 1988. He also served for many years with the AIAA ABET accreditation team, the AIAA Academic Affairs Committees (now Committee on Higher Education), and the AIAA Student Activities Committee. He received both a Special Service Citation (1988) and a Sustained Service Award (2003) for his volunteer work with AIAA. He also was honored with the 1986 AIAA Distinguished Service Award “for more than twenty years of continuous and dedicated service to the Institute and community for his contributions to Education, Public Policy, and Technical Committees.”
Obituary AIAA Senior Member Young Died in August
Laurence R. Young, the Apollo Program Professor Emeritus of Astronautics and professor of health sciences and technology at MIT, died on 4 August. He was 85.
Young received a B.A. from Amherst College in 1957; a certificate in applied mathematics from the Sorbonne, Paris, as a French Government Fellow in 1958; B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and an Sc.D. in instrumentation from MIT in 1962.
Young joined the faculty in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT in 1962. There, he co-founded the Man-Vehicle Laboratory (now the Human-Systems Laboratory) with Y.T. Li to conduct his research on the visual and vestibular systems, visual-vestibular interaction, flight simulation, space motion sickness, and manual control and displays. He was widely regarded for his pioneering role in the field of bioastronautics, focusing on the human factors of spaceflight. Young helped launched the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST) doctoral program in bioastronautics.
Young also consulted with NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center on the Apollo project and later became a qualified payload specialist for the U.S. space shuttle’s Spacelab biological laboratory in 1993. While he never flew a space mission, he served as backup crew on Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (STS-58) and was principal or co-investigator on seven shuttle missions conducting human orientation experiments.
Over the years he also held visiting professor positions, including at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers in Paris, the Universite de Provence, and Stanford University. Young was the founding director of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (1997–2001) and also served as director of the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium.
Young received extensive recognition for his contributions, including election to the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the International Academy of Astronautics. He held fellowships with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Explorers Club. In 1982, Young received the AIAA Dryden Lectureship in Research, and he was among the recipients recognized with the 1992 AIAA Jeffries Aerospace Medicine and Life Sciences Research Award “for outstanding contributions to space biology and medicine as a principal investigator on the Spacelab Life Sciences 1 mission.” In 1995, NASA recognized his achievements with a Space Act Award for his development of an expert system for astronauts. In 1998, he also received the prestigious Koetser Foundation Prize in Zurich for his contributions to neuroscience. In 2013, he received the Pioneer Award from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. In 2018, he received the AIAA de Florez Award for Flight Simulation, and the Aerospace Medical Association’s Professional Excellence Award for Lifetime Contributions.
Outside of his career as an engineer, Young was an avid skier, which led him to become active in ski injury research. He was a director of the International Society for Skiing Safety and chaired the Ski Injury Statistics Subcommittee of the American Society for Testing and Materials Committee on Snow Skiing before being elected committee chair in 1987. He received a Best Research Paper Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.