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Day: December 9, 2019

Michigan Tech on the Hill: Ultra-high strength materials for deep space human missions

On December 3, Michigan Tech professor Dr. Greg Odegard visited Capitol Hill in Washington DC and presented progress on the Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP), a multi-university NASA Space Technology Research Institute led by Michigan Tech.  Their mission is to reduce the weight of today’s cutting edge composite materials by two-thirds while maintaining strength and other characteristics. Deep space human exploration costs roughly $1 million per pound. The success of this program will significantly reduce costs of key materials needed for the trip.

Dr. Greg Odegard (left) showing an ultra-high strength carbon nano-tube composite sample to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (right).

US-COMP will serve as a focal point for partnerships between NASA, other agencies, industry, and academia to: (1) enable computationally-driven development of Carbon Nano-Tube based ultra high strength lightweight structural materials within the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) and (2) expand the resource of highly skilled engineers, scientists and technologists in this emerging field.

The NASA Hill event featured cutting-edge research which will create new space technologies that benefit the nation’s science, exploration and economic futures. Funded by the Space Technology Research Grants program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, Fellows and faculty researchers highlighted their groundbreaking research in multiple areas including spacesuit pressure systems, quantum computing, in-space manufacturing of medicine and more.

Learn more about Michigan Tech’s engineering programs and research by visiting https://www.mtu.edu/engineering/