Exploring Space and Life at MIT

by Nicole Morell on October 15, 2014 · 0 comments

in Alumni Life, Learning, Modern Geekhood, Science, Space, Student Life, Transportation

Last week six alumni working in space exploration as managers, engineers, and researchers joined us for Twitter chat MIT Alumni and the Final Frontier. The alumni fielded questions about their favorite projects, life at MIT, and shared insider knowledge on upcoming missions like OSIRIS-REx and Mars 2020.

New NASA Projects

All the alumni experts have a connection to NASA—as a current or past employee—and all have a great interest in upcoming missions, especially their favorites. Alessondra Springmann SM ’11 leaned towards asteroids, while Allen Chen ’00 SM ’02 had to pick an obvious favorite. Bobak Ferdowsi ‘03 chimed in with why he thinks the Europa Clipper mission is so exciting.

Mars 2020

The Mars 2020 mission will send another rover to the red planet—one with more capabilities than current rover Curiosity. Tamra Johnson ‘01 and Vanessa Thomas ’98 were curious how this newest mission might be different. Chen and Noah Warner ‘01, SM ‘03, PhD ‘07 shared some changes we can look for in 2020.

See You on Mars

Warner also shared insight into the future of the Curiosity—one we may never get to see.

Mission Moments

Caley Burke SM ’10 works in launches and Chen works in landings—both of which can be very stressful. Burke and Chen discussed what it’s like when they can finally breathe again.

NASA and MIT

Which AeroAstro class do the alumni keep thinking about? David Oh ’91, SM ’93, SCD ’97 joined in with his favorite.

To end the chat, Chen summed up what makes MIT and NASA so similar in his eyes.

This chat was cosponsored by MIT AeroAstro. See a more complete transcript of the chat

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