Penn State Behrend Professor to Discuss NASA Fellowship

Open House Night in Astronomy is Thursday, Jan. 31

Will we ever make it to Mars? If we do, we’ll have NASA’s Environmental Controls and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) group to thank.

ECLSS develops the air and water recycling processes that occur on the International Space Station. The group is now tasked with increasing the efficiency of their systems to allow for a multiyear space mission.

Charlotte de Vries, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State Behrend, spent the summer of 2017 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., as part of a NASA Fellowship where she worked with ECLSS engineers. She will discuss her experience on Thursday, Jan. 31, when Open House Night in Astronomy returns to Penn State Behrend.

Her presentation, “Engineering Design at NASA,” will begin at 7 p.m. in room 101 of the Otto Behrend Science Building. It is free and open to the public.

During her talk, de Vries also will outline the senior design project her students developed last year, which aimed to improve the air recycling system on the International Space Station.

The lecture will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. A live presentation on the current night sky will be held in the Yahn Planetarium at 6 p.m., prior to de Vries’ talk.

Open House Nights in Astronomy are an outreach program of the School of Science at Penn State Behrend. These scientific presentations are intended for ages 8 and up; for additional information, contact the school at 814-898-6105.

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