Open House Being Held for Spacecraft Simulator Facility
John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
Contact: Karen Ryba/Phone: 701-777-4761
November 21, 2007
North Dakota Space Grant Consortium Hosts Open House for Spacecraft Simulator Facility
(Grand Forks, North Dakota): The North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) has installed a spacecraft simulator at the University of North Dakota (UND) and is hosting an open house on December 4, 2007 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in Ryan Hall (Room 162) located at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. The public is invited to attend.
The spacecraft simulator was designed and constructed by students from UND in the Departments of Space Studies, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Funds were provided through a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Pablo de Leon, research associate in the Department to Space Studies, is the principal investigator for the project. â€œWorking on this simulator has been an incredible experience,' said de Leon. â€œThe students did a superb job and the system can accurately simulate all phases of space flight.'
The spacecraft simulator will simulate launch, orbital operations and landings of Vostok, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Soyuz and Orion, NASA's newly designed Crew Exploration Vehicle. The simulator will be used for academic and research purposes by students enrolled in life science, aviation, orbital mechanics and engineering classes. It will be available on a limited basis for visitors to the UND campus.
The simulator is the approximate size of the original Apollo Command Module that took American astronauts to the Moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It can accommodate three people at a time. A second spacecraft simulator is currently being designed at UND which will simulate horizontal launches such as that of Spaceship One which was the first privately built spacecraft to reach space in 2004.
De Leon said, â€œThis first spacecraft simulator will allow us to develop an educational program on spaceflight training that is not available anywhere else. We are planning to develop several simulators in order to be able to provide a diverse training in all space vehicles, including NASA's and the spacecraft being built by private companies. This could be the beginning of something very promising for the Odegard School. We want to be part of the new era of human spaceflight.'
The NDSGC is a state wide NASA program designed to enhance the education and research infrastructure in North Dakota.
About Space Studies: The Department of Space Studies offers a program leading to a Master of Science degree. This interdisciplinary program studies the conditions and implications of humankindï¿½s entry into space: including the political, legal, technical, scientific, economic, and historical impacts on a national and international level. Designed to prepare the student for positions in the commercial and governmental sectors of the rapidly growing field of space exploration and development, the Space Studies M.S. is offered on campus and over the Internet. The Department of Space Studies is consistently innovative in the delivery of education services, and is now planning for the creation of a Ph.D. program offered on campus and at a distance. Students with a variety of professional backgrounds from all over the world participate in our program.
About UND Aerospace:
UND Aerospace, which includes the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota and the UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF), is an international leader in collegiate and contract aviation education and training services flying over 100,000 hours per year in over 120 aircraft. UNDAF also has facilities in Spokane, Washington, with Spokane Falls Community College; Lumberton, North Carolina, with Robeson Community College; Phoenix, Arizona, in conjunction with Chandler-Gilbert Community College; Williston, North Dakota, with Williston State College; and Crookston, Minnesota, with the University of Minnesota in addition to its home-base in Grand Forks, North Dakota. With more than 2,000 students from throughout the world, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is the second largest college at the University of North Dakota. Undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a variety of rewarding careers in aerospace are offered through five different academic departments: aviation, atmospheric sciences, computer science, earth system science and policy, and space studies. The UND Aerospace training complex is the most technologically advanced environment for aerospace education, training and research in the world.
In 2008, UND Aerospace will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. A series of regional alumni gatherings will be held across the country, as well as several events during UND's Homecoming and 125th anniversary on October 13-18. For an updated listing of events, see www.undaerospace.com or www.undalumni.org.
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