Aerospace group wins Best Student Paper Award at SpaceOps 2016

Spaceops2 SmAerospace engineering graduate students Mauricio Coen, Benjamin Morrell, Austin Probe and Julie Read won the Best Student Paper Award at the AIAA 14th International Space Operations Conference (SpaceOps) in Daejeon, South Korea.

Dr. Greg Chamitoff, professor of practice in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, and Dr. George James, structural engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Center, were co-authors on the paper. 

The paper, “Future Mars Exploration Operational Simulation: Research Outcomes and Educational Benefit,” highlighted lessons learned from a Human Spaceflight Operations class directed by Chamitoff and Dr. Rao Vadali, professor in the department.

Experts from various NASA centers across all disciplines gave lectures throughout the semester, with the final class project involving a planning-based simulation for a future Mars human exploration mission.

The lessons learned during the class simulation, and the basis for the paper, were the need for close feedback between technology development and operational capabilities for future missions, as well as flexibility in operations scheduling. The paper also showcased the educational and research benefits derived from these types of simulations, which are complex in scope but simple to perform in a group setting.

Coen and Morrell attended the SpaceOps conference and presented the paper. Hosted by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), SpaceOps 2016 was a technical forum of the space operations community that addressed state-of-the-art operations principals, methods and tools. With the Best Student Paper Award, both Coen and Morrell received KARI scholarships to cover the registration fee for the conference.