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ATO #116 - August 22, 2000

PART 1: Upcoming Chats
PART 2: New Projects for Fall
PART 3: The Role of a Research Engineer


 Beat the Heat: Thermal Protection Chats!
 We will be chatting and with researchers from the Space
 Technology Division at NASA Ames Research Center. I think you will find
 this fascinating and a worthwhile topic. This will introduce you to the
 topic of materials for thermal protection and the use of computer models
 for predicting the heat generated by vehicles entering different
 planetary atmospheres. This is a very important topic for those of you
 who plan to travel in space in the near future.
 Tuesday, August 22, 2000, 10-11 AM Pacific
 Aerospace Team Online QuestChat with Susan Fehres
 Susan Fehres works with spacecraft insulation. She develops materials
 that protect astronauts and equipment from extreme heat and cold
 experienced by spacecraft during spaceflight and entry into Earth's
 atmosphere. Read her bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/women/bios/sf.html

Exploring the Extreme
The F-15 ACTIVE, an aircraft used by NASA to explore the extreme limits of
aerospace technology, is featured in this NASA Educational poster. The
poster also contains activities for measuring the angles of wings and 
tails of different aircraft. Download the PDF at:

 Virtual Skies is an air traffic management project for students and
 teachers in Grades 9-12. It will be a "project based learning
activity" with hands on multimedia to enhance student decision making   
 and problem solving skills. Topics to be covered include
 Aviation Navigation, Aviation Weather, Communication Air Traffic
 Management, Airport Design, and Air Traffic Research. Materials will be
 tied to the National Standards in Mathematics, Science, Technology,
 Geography and Language Arts. Stay tuned for more news as we crank up over
 the summer!
 Planetary Flight is an aerospace project for Grades 4-8. We know how to
 fly on Earth but what will it take to fly on Mars. This will be an 
 inquiry based learning project to design an airplane to fly on Mars. The
 stuff dreams are made of!! We will also be keeping you posted on this one
 this summer.

[Editor's Note: Susan Fehres is an engineer in the Thermal Protection
Materials Branch Read her bio at 

by Susan Feheres
My job title is research engineer. I am a mechanical engineer. Engineers
are people who apply science (and math, which is a tool of science) to
solve people's physical or medical problems.

I work on spacecraft insulation - developing materials to protect
astronauts and equipment from the extreme heat and cold experienced by
spacecraft during spaceflight and return to the planet Earth.

This work involves analyzing how our insulation materials
function under new conditions, and improving existing insulation
strategies with new configurations or new inventions.

In my field each day is different from the next. It is great to be part of
of the future-oriented mission of space exploration, even though one
person can only contribute her one small piece to the whole project.

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